But, just because people are itching to get back to socializing and normal life, that doesn’t mean that the coronavirus has gone away.
In fact, in some parts of the country, including celebrity-packed California, when it comes to new cases and deaths, the curve is anything but flattening. Arizona and Florida, for example, are just two states where the infection rate has risen while lockdown restrictions have lifted, according to The New York Times.
So, given all of this information, if you want to go out and eat at your favorite restaurant, how can you do it while limiting your chance of catching COVID-19? Dr. Michael G. Knight, an Assistant Professor of Medicine at George Washington University, says there’s no way to completely eliminate the risk of infection. “You can’t,” he tells HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. “There’s always a risk [of infection] when you go to a bar or a restaurant. That’s the reality. But restaurants and bars are businesses and many people enjoy going out. So it’s finding that level [of comfort].”
If you really want to go out and eat with your family or friends, Dr. Knight suggests bearing two things in mind – location and frequency. Eating outside, for the example, is his go-to recommendation. “Outdoor dining is going to have a lower risk because [of] the air movement, the ventilation outside,” he says. “Your tables are at least six feet apart, most of your waiters are going to have a mask on and they’re limiting the amount of time they come to your table.” Speaking of restaurants in D.C., for example, Dr. Knight adds, “We’re having disposable menus and you’re not having to share condiments and other items for your table.”
That brings the doctor to another caveat. How often you dine out counts too. “In that setting, I may say, ‘You know what? I’m used to going to the restaurant every night. I’m not willing to take that level of risk, but maybe I’ll go once every weekend. Or once every other weekend to my biggest restaurant to have outdoor dining.’ That may be a level of risk that I’m willing to take.” That scenario, Dr. Knight says, is “lower” risk than “going every day or if I was going into an indoor sitting restaurant where I’m right next to other people.”
To reiterate what the doctor says about going out, period, during the pandemic, there’s no way to guarantee that you won’t get COVID-19. “There is a risk of coronavirus transmission anytime you leave your home and interact with other people,” he says.