DETROIT – Large crowds during police brutality protests across the country have triggered concerns among health experts. Here are some steps to take to avoid spreading the coronavirus (COVID-19) if you’re participating in protests.
While social issues are an understandable reason for people to go out, that doesn’t change the fact that large public gatherings are high-risk at this time.
The coronavirus is still circulating in our communities, and obviously, many people in the crowds weren’t wearing masks.
Shouting is known to increase the rate of “virus aerosolization,” which means more virus is being put into the air than if you’re simple speaking.
Even if you wear a mask, crowds mean there’s no social distancing.
Many people joined the protests in Detroit from different areas, including those where the virus might not be as prevalent. That could increase the risk of spreading COVID-19 in communities that haven’t been hit as hard during the pandemic.
Medically speaking, if you participated in any of the recent mass gatherings, it would be in your best interest, and the best interest of the community, family and close contacts, to isolate yourself for the next 14 days, until you’re definitely free of infection.
The incubation time is generally somewhere between five and 14 days. Watch yourself for symptoms, which can include fever, shortness of breath, muscle pain, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, vomiting and diarrhea.
If you have any symptoms, get tested as soon as possible.
Even if you don’t develop symptoms, many areas are offering tests for minimally symptomatic or asymptomatic people, and if at all possible, you should get tested after about seven to 14 days from your exposure.
Remember, you might not have symptoms, but you can still spread the virus if you’re infected.