Can I protest racism and police brutality without myself or others at risk of infection?
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The new Coronavirus (aka COVID-19, aka SARS-CoV-2) is still looming, and a crowded protest seems like a perfect spot for spreading the disease. In fact, several experts said that these nation-wide protests could plausibly enhance the spread of COVID-19.
"It's really the worst thing they can do, from the pandemic standpoint, because people are coming from disparate areas, crowding together, screaming," all of which can transmit the virus more easily, said Dr. John Swartzberg, a clinical professor emeritus in infectious diseases and vaccinology at the University of California at Berkley School of Public Health. And then on top of what is taking place and transmitting at/during the protest(s), participants are then returning back their own communities, bringing back whatever they may have picked up.
So here's what to know before you go, to best help yourself, others, and to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Protesting racism and injustice is important. Much of the risk associated with protesting during a pandemic can be reduced by standing 6 feet (1.8 meters) away from people wearing a mask (Swartzberg,J.).
Prepare before you go...
Follow these tips provided by the NYC Department of Health to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 during protests.
Additionally, Krys Johnson, an epidemiologist at Temple University in Philadelphia suggests being sure to bring with you, a face mask, hand sanitizer (sold at OC Pharmacy), eye protection, and plenty of water.
IMPORTANT: if you are feeling sick (at all), stay home!
During the protest...
Properly utilize your mask, maintain social distancing keep your hands off your face, and sanitize your hands frequently.
After the protest...
Washing your hands and clothes as soon as you get home is important! Johnson states to stay hydrated and monitor your temperature so you can get tested early if you become ill.
Already been to a protest and didn't take these precautions? Or maybe just didn't feel like wearing your mask the whole time.
[Anyone who hasn't taken these precautions "should assume that they've been infected and take the necessary precautions not to infect anyone else," Swartzberg said. That can mean quarantining for 14 days after the last protest you attended or taking a COVID-19 test about 4 days after a protest, and then 4 days after that, Swartzberg said. Johnson recommends being tested 5 days after the event, or immediately if you have symptoms. (livescience.com)]
For more information visit the original article at Livescience.com