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I'm an Infectious Disease Doctor and Beg You Not Go Here

Avoid these five places to stay safe from coronavirus.

While experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci tell us to avoid crowds and bars to prevent the spread of coronavirus, many of us are still wondering what other places—in addition to watering holes—we should be avoiding at all costs. So we at Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with an Infectious Diseases Specialist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Debra Goff, PharmD, FIDSA, Professor of Pharmacy Practice, who told us the places that are on her coronavirus black list. Read on to stay healthy, and also don't miss this essential list of the Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.


Cruise Ships


You might want to avoid sailing the friendly seas until after the pandemic is under control. Despite the fact that many ships are starting to sail once again, Dr. Goff isn't planning on boarding a sea vessel anytime soon. "It is a contained closed environment with large numbers of people," she points out. Early in the pandemic, major coronavirus outbreaks on cruise ships were grabbing headlines daily, with over 40 vessels reporting cases. One ship alone, the Diamond Princess, had over 700 infections. 

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Large Indoor Gatherings

Group of friends sitting around a table at house party

Indoor weddings, funerals, birthday parties, retirement bashes, and pretty much every possible large event thelp indoors has one thing in common—the potential to be a coronavirus superspreader event. Endless outbreaks have been tied to large gatherings of people across the country, and Dr. Goff won't be a guest at one of these until the pandemic is under control. Even if people have the best intentions, and show up wearing a mask, chances are they will take it off at some point. "People need to remove their face-masks to eat and drink," she points out. "The lack of face-masks plus confined closed space makes this risky."


Dinner at a Friend's House—or With Anyone You're Not Sheltering With, Including Family

woman putting a plate with meal on dining table at backyard celebration

A friend invites you over for dinner. How risky can that be? You trust your friend, and you won't be in a public place, so everything should be fine, right? Not-so-much, according to Dr. Goff. "Lack of face masks in a confined closed space makes this risky," she points out. If you do get invited for dinner, request an al fresco meal. "Eat outside to decrease the risk," she suggests. 

RELATED: Dr. Fauci Says Most People Did This Before Catching COVID



People in cinema with protection mask keeping distance away to avoid physical contact

Broadway and most live theaters have yet to open their curtains, but many movie theaters are welcoming movie goers back. While a dark theater, the latest Will Smith flick and a tub of popcorn may seem like the perfect escape, Dr. Goff warns against a day at the theater. "Being in a closed space for two or more hours with strangers makes this risky," she points out. Until coronavirus is an afterthought, you are better off streaming a movie at home and microwaving a bag of popcorn. 


Public Transportation

Students and travelers using public transport for commuting

Buses, trains, subways, and all other sorts of public transportation involves packing a bunch of people into a small enclosed space, which is the perfect environment for a virus to spread. If you can, avoid public transportation, warns Dr. Goff—she is. "The inability to social distance and potential to encounter people without face masks makes this risky," she points out. So avoid those spaces, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more about Leah