Here’s What You Should Know About How Coronavirus Spreads Indoors vs. Outdoors

The coronavirus pandemic is not over, but the lockdowns are loosening. As states start to reopen, it is tempting to try to get back to our normal lives as much as possible, but at the same time, we don’t want to risk getting sick.

Unless we continue to stay home all day every day and interact with no one except people in our household, there is risk involved, but the risk isn’t very high for certain activities. For example, going to the beach or even eating outside at a restaurant can be pretty low risk as long as we’re following certain precautions, like social distancing.

You might think that there isn’t much difference between eating outside at a restaurant verses eating inside. You might think that as long as you stand at least 6 feet away from a friend, it doesn’t matter if you’re in your living room or your backyard. Oh, but it does make a big difference.

Vox reporter Sigal Samuel dug into the research and discovered that there is actually a huge difference between the way the coronavirus reacts inside verses outside. At first, she was worried that she could get sick while going for a walk if a runner or cyclist with the virus passed by her. Now, she feels much safer outdoors. 

Watch the video below to learn more about why there’s a very low risk of getting sick from the coronavirus when you’re outside and how to keep that risk as low as possible.

After watching that video, we’re definitely hesitant to eat inside a restaurant any time soon. The summer months bring lots of air conditioning, and the risk doesn’t seem worth taking. However, going to the beach or going for a walk seems like a great way to enjoy the summer months without worrying about getting sick.

According to Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at Columbia University, “Outside, things like sunlight, wind, rain, ambient temperature, and humidity can affect virus infectivity and transmissibility, so while we can’t say there’s zero risk, it’s likely low unless you are engaging in activities as part of a large crowd (such as a protest). Solitary outdoor exercise is likely low-risk.”

The video above is helping many people feel safer going outside. One comment reads, “I needed this video because I’ve been contemplating to exercise/run in the mornings when most people are still waking up. Thanks, Vox. This gave me confidence.” Another person commented, “This was kinda comforting I needed this. It’s nice to have actual clear information for once.”

Do you feel safer running/walking/cycling outside after watching this video?