Last Thursday (28), Brazil reached 70% of the adult population vaccinated with two doses against Covid, which brings a greater sense of security to resume social life.
Faced with the prospect of a cooling of the pandemic, however, doubts arise about what should or should not be done, and also about the use of masks, even more so now, when governors and mayors are already trying to completely remove the sanitary measures.
According to experts consulted by sheet, the moment allows certain occasions with due care, such as small meetings with vaccinated family and friends. As long as the environment is well ventilated and distance is maintained.
Mass events, such as cheerleading games, concerts and events that cause crowds, are still not safe, even outdoors, according to respondents.
Picnics & walks in parks, squares and beaches
Open areas promote air circulation, and decrease the amount of coronavirus particles that can be inhaled. So if people are keeping their distance, experts say it’s possible to have picnics, or be at a beach, or a park, without a mask.
For the pulmonologist and Fiocruz researcher Margareth Dalcolmo, the confusion about whether or not one can go without a mask in open areas causes many to disobey the measure.
“If you’re with your family in a park and you’re at a certain distance from other people, the risk is low. Now, if you’re going to get up to go meet these other people, just put the mask back on,” says Jamal Suleiman, from the Instituto de Infectologia Emílio Ribas.
Meetings with friends and family at home
The same rule of keeping distance and, in this case, the ventilated environment, allows you to receive friends and family for events safely at home.
“This is possible because most adults in the country are already vaccinated with two doses”, says the microbiologist and president of the Questão de Ciência Institute, Natália Pasternak.
For larger events, such as birthday parties and weddings, Dalcolmo, from Fiocruz, recommends testing the guests. “Invariably, they will get positive cases, because we know that even those who are vaccinated can become infected and transmit, but if people have this desire to get together, it is an assumed risk”, he says.
It is important, in these events, to keep the mask on your face —preferably PFF2, as it has greater filtering power for microparticles— and only remove it if you are going to eat or drink. “The area where the food will be served has to be airy, with tables outside, to prevent people from being masked indoors,” adds Pasternak.
Cinemas, theaters and shows in closed rooms
Movie theaters and theaters can operate at full capacity since the last 16th throughout the state of São Paulo. “My recommendation is not to remove the mask at any time in the room. Avoid eating, drinking, sneezing or coughing, because this implies removing the mask, even vaccinated people”, says Dalcolmo.
Bars, restaurants & clubs
As for meetings at home, the recommendations for bars and restaurants are the same: keep your distance and remove your mask just to eat.
The problem is that many addresses do not have outdoor areas, and people can be crowded, explains infectologist Carlos Fortaleza, from Unesp (Universidade Estadual Paulista). “To assess the transmission of coronavirus through the air, there are three axes: if you are in an environment with many or few people; if you are quiet or talking a lot; and if the space is open or closed. And in most bars and clubs, the The set of these three axes is negative: lots of people, talking and talking loudly and indoors,” he says, who recommends avoiding these environments for now.
One way to minimize the risks in this case, according to infectologist Raquel Stucchi, from Unicamp (State University of Campinas), is to wear a mask and avoid talking too closely or too loudly.
Clubbing is by far the most risky environment. “The more closed the environment, the greater the possibility of transmission. And can transmission be by someone there in the middle of the club, asymptomatic and transmitting? The answer is yes. Even if the person has received both doses of the Covid vaccine? The answer it is,” says Dalcolmo.
Gyms and other sporting activities
During the pandemic, many people had their physical and mental health affected by having stopped exercising. “If the gym is well ventilated and everyone is wearing a mask, if there is a requirement for proof of vaccination at the door, it is safe to go back,” says Pasternak.
It is better to give preference to rooms with open windows and for the use of fans. In addition, the practice of cleaning devices, despite not being an effective measure against the transmission of the virus, is good for hygiene, says epidemiologist Paulo Lotufo, from FMUSP (Faculty of Medicine, University of São Paulo).
work and classroom classes
In general, offices and classrooms are closed environments, with little air circulation and air conditioning devices, but even in these spaces, it is possible to reduce risks by adopting, for example, HEPA-type filters or CO2 meters.
The requirement for masks in classrooms and work must be maintained, as well as the physical distance between people.
Shows, football games and big outdoor events
Even outdoors, experts stress that events that cause crowding, at this time, still pose a high risk.
Experts suggest, however, measures that have been applied in the United States and Europe, such as the requirement for a vaccine passport and an antigen test (which detects the virus in the body, but is faster and can be done outside the laboratory, unlike the RT -PCR) on the port.
“Whether in Europe or here, any game that allows fans, [os organizadores] they may even require a mask, but we know how it is: people remove the protection, scream, get crowded. This is not the time to release it”, says Fortaleza.
The infectologist Renato Kfouri, director of SBIm (Brazilian Society of Immunizations), reinforces: it is not because it is outdoors that it is safe. “An outdoor rave with 50 vaccinated people, all wearing masks, has a lower risk than a closed club with a thousand people crowded together. Now, that doesn’t mean that it’s free.”