The No. 1 Safest Place Where You Can Avoid the Coronavirus
The COVID-19 contagion is everywhere, but there is one environment that's safer than others.
New research about the transmission of the coronavirus confirms the health advice that many of us have heard from our loving mothers ever since we were young: "Go outside, it's good for you!" Multiple recent studies suggest that the best place to avoid the COVID-19 contagion is simply being outdoors.
A study out of China from researchers at Southeast University, the University of Hong Kong, and Tsinghua University, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, looked at 318 outbreaks in China in which three or more cases were identified. They found that only a single outbreak of the 318 occurred in an outdoor environment. (Homes were "the dominant category" for COVID-19 outbreaks, with 254 of the outbreaks stemming from houses.)
Another recent study out of Japan, from the country's National Institute of Infectious Diseases, also aimed to get a better understanding of what environments promote transmission of COVID-19. They looked at 110 cases across 11 outbreaks, and the scientists found that "the odds that a primary case transmitted COVID-19 in a closed environment was 18.7 times greater compared to an open-air environment," proving the great outdoors is a safer place to be.
And that's not all—a leaked and unclassified government study from April shows promising data on the direct effect of sunlight on COVID-19. The study, which was conducted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Science and Technology Department, found that "sunlight destroys the virus quickly." To be specific, full intensity sunlight killed the virus in roughly two minutes, while under "quarter intensity" of sunlight, the virus lived for four minutes. By comparison, when left in the dark under the same conditions, the COVID-19 contagion lived for 60 minutes. (The Department of Homeland Security has declined to comment on the leaked report.)
So, as long as you're social distancing and wearing a mask to help abate the spread of the contagion, there is enough anecdotal evidence to suggest that being outdoors and in the sun is one of the safest places amid the COVID-19 pandemic. And for the places you need to avoid in order to stay safe, check out 14 Places You Should Still Avoid When Lockdown Ends.