No easy formula for gauging personal risks as economy reopens

As states reopen stores and restaurants following COVID-19 lockdowns, even as cases continue to rise in certain areas, many people may be uncertain about what activities are safe. Deciding whether to visit an elderly relative or go out to eat can be especially difficult because such activities could put not just the individual at risk, but those with whom he or she comes in contact.

Eve Wittenberg, senior research scientist at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, told WBUR that there is no simple formula to guide these decisions. In a June 9, 2020 article, she advised people to put activities into buckets of low, medium, or high risk based on type of activity and personal health conditions, and to think about who else might be exposed. “Then I think we can sort of get some parameters, some boundaries on making decisions that will at least feel a little bit more satisfying than this completely, ‘Who knows what to do? We’re all going to do something different,'” she said.

She added that people should continue to take steps to minimize their risk, including wearing a mask and frequently washing hands.

Read the WBUR article: As Stores And Restaurants Reopen, Is It Hard To Decide What You Dare To Do? It’s Not You