United against the spread of COVID-19

The importance of Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions in combating Covid

With an impending 4th wave and new variants coming to light, vaccinating at least 70% of our population is still our best defense against the Covid pandemic.

However, even if you are vaccinated it is still important to make use of non-pharmaceutical interventions, such as wearing a mask in public or in crowded areas, maintain social distancing, spend as much time outdoors as possible, when indoors ensure that that area is ventilated and wash your hands regularly or sanitise often.

While being vaccinated does not guarantee that you will not contract the virus, it will help to reduce the risk of hospitalisation and death, the use of non-pharmaceutical interventions helps to suppress transmission of the coronavirus.

Data from physical sciences research suggests that masks protect the wearer by filtering viruses from external sources, and protects others by reducing expulsion of the virus by the wearer. Social distancing, handwashing, and improved ventilation also reduce exposure to the amount of viral particles from an infectious source. Maintaining and increasing non-pharmaceutical interventions can help to quell the spread of the coronavirus. (Spinelli et al., 2021)

Top Covid Safe Holiday Activities

Given the challenges that we have faced over the last year, and the stress that has accompanied it, it is more important than ever to make sure that we take some time to do something fun this holiday season. 

By finding Covid safe activities to do during the holiday season, we can all enjoy our December, curb the 4th wave and protect our health, as well as the health of our loved ones.

Generally, outdoor activities while maintaining social distancing is your safest option as you are less likely to be exposed. The virus is mostly spread from person to person, within 2 metres from each other, through respiratory droplets released into the air when talking, coughing, breathing and sneezing.  Outside, fresh air is constantly moving which disperses the droplets meaning that you are less likely to become infected

Low-risk outdoor activities

  • Walking or running in your local park
  • Hiking or biking on local trails
  • Golfing
  • Kayaking, canoeing, diving
  • Fishing
  • Gardening
  • Outdoor exercise classes

Low-risk social activities

  • Going for a picnic
  • Outdoor markets
  • Drive-in movies

Moderate-risk outdoor activities

  • Going to the beach
  • Public swimming pools
  • Camping
  • Sporting or entertainment events 

Moderate-risk social activities

  • Playing soccer or other ball sports in the garden
  • Roasting marshmallows by the fire 
  • Boating with friends or family
  • Braai with a small group
  • Restaurant dining in outdoor areas

High-risk outdoor activities

  • Large gatherings of people 
  • Youth camps
  • Playgrounds

High-risk social activities

  • Indoor gatherings
  • Exercising at a gym
  • Going to the mall
  • Eating inside a restaurant
  • Going to bars or nightclubs
  • Going to the movie theatre

If you are high-risk or unvaccinated, avoid large crowds, busy sidewalks or narrow paths where you cannot keep your distance. Vaccinated or unvaccinated, it is still important to continue with non-pharmaceutical precautions such as wearing your mask, maintaining social distancing and washing your hands or sanitising. 

Top Tips for keeping our December Covid Safe

  • Whether you are travelling or staying at home, maintain social distancing. 
  • Avoid large crowds and gatherings as far as possible.
  • Wear a mask when you are in public, especially if you are using public transport.
  • Do as many outdoor activities as possible or host any gatherings outside.
  • If you are indoors, ensure that there is sufficient ventilation or that windows or doors are open.
  • Regularly wash your hands with soap and water or sanitise often.
  • If you are travelling, use your own transport rather than public transport if possible.
  • While we want to spend time with loved ones, if you have family or friends that are high-risk rather spend time with them on Zoom.
  • If you are experiencing any flu-like symptoms, rather be safe and quarantine yourself. Do not attend or host any functions.

Together we can enjoy a safer holiday season, curb the 4th wave and protect our health, as well as the health of our loved ones.