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The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has changed our daily lives in all aspects, and you’ll probably remember this summer for the impressive number of Netflix you watched, and the astounding number of breads you baked.
But as some states are slowly opening up and people are venturing outside, there’s been some debate on which activities are safe and which are to be avoided. Having a small picnic outside with your roommates? Good choice. Heading to an indoor celebration at the bar? Not the best idea.
And for many, going to the movies is a summer tradition. But there’s some confusion about whether or not it’s a safe activity to partake in at this time. The confusion has further been compounded by AMC’s news that they’ll be reopening a number of their theaters on August 20, and they’re offering many enticing deals, including 15 cent tickets.
However, many epidemiologists and doctors are denouncing the move, and they’re urging the public not to head to the movies. Physician and epidemiologist Dr. Abdul El-Sayed told The AV Club in a recent interview, in fact, that it’s “just about the last thing I’d do right now.”
Dr. Anne W. Rimoin, professor of epidemiology and director of the Center For Global And Immigrant Health at the University Of California, Los Angeles also explained why going to a movie theater is such a bad idea:
“I mean, the thing people need to realize is that there really is no zero-risk scenario during this COVID pandemic. We’re advising people to not interact with others beyond their immediate family or home bubble unless absolutely necessary, to limit gatherings of more than 10 people in any given space, and to avoid indoor areas. And you should definitely not be in an indoor area where you’d be taking your mask off, not even for eating. Movie theaters have all of that.
And if they’re selling concessions, people are gonna be taking off their masks and eating, and that’s tantamount to eating in a restaurant in a closed space—even worse, because you’re basically in a closed box. There aren’t even windows, there’s no ventilation.”
But if you decide to ignore the risks and head to the movies anyway, Rimoin and El-Sayed pointed to a few ways to keep yourself safe. Make sure the theater you’re going to has closed the concession stand, buy your tickets online, and wear your mask the entire time. The theater should also have employees walking around the theater to make sure everyone has their mask on and that no one is eating.
However, there are a number of ways to get your movie fix without compromising your health and the health of the general public. You can head to an outdoor or drive-in theater, and the Netflix Party extension is a great way to feel connected to your friends while staying safe.
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