The Surprising Behaviors That May Put You At A Higher Risk Of Catching COVID-19

With cases numbers spiking around the country, it's not difficult to see why avoiding COVID-19 is a top concern for many people nationwide. And now, Spanish researchers have issued the results of a new study that show people seemed to increase their chances of catching the coronavirus by doing two things that seem completely natural to many of us: walking our dogs and touching groceries and other items that have been home delivered

The research, published in Environmental Research, shows that walking your dog boosts your chances of catching COVID-19 by an incredible 78 percent, while dealing with a home delivery increases your chances of getting sick by a whopping 94 percent. What's more, there are other surprising circumstances that could expose you to COVID-19 and make you more susceptible to the disease, including going to work and living with both young and adolescent children. 

Researchers don't know why dog walkers are getting sick

In reporting on the findings, Woman & Home says dogs could be catching the disease and spreading it to their human parents, or they may be touching contaminated surfaces and then their humans. "The results of our research warn of increased contagion among dog-owners," said Professor Cristina Sánchez González. "The reason for this higher prevalence has yet to be elucidated. Taking into account the current scarcity of resources to carry out the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 in humans, the possibility of diagnosis in dogs is extremely unlikely."

While researchers weren't able to pinpoint the exact reasons why dog walkers seemed more likely to develop COVID-19, vets say there are ways to stay safe if you want to walk your dog. Their advice suggests staying six feet away from people, avoiding crowds altogether, and wearing a face mask when you are in public. VCA also recommends that you keep your dogs leashed during the walk and avoid going to parks or public places whether people and their pets might gather.  

As VCA points out, fresh air and exercise are still important, because they help you deal with the stress and anxiety you might be feeling, while giving your dog a chance to play outdoors and get some much-needed exercise.