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Risk Factors For COVID-19 Transmission And The Potential Impact Of 'Caution Fatigue'

Photo by Engin Akyurt from Pexels CC0: https://bit.ly/2zB5VY2

Shelter-in-place orders and distancing guidelines have kept COVID-19 case numbers at a manageable level so far, but the threat of community transmission is still very real.

Texas is among several states to start lifting shutdowns and relaxing safety restrictions. As soon as they could, people longing for a reprieve from quarantine descended on restaurants, bars, museums, gyms and beaches, despite ongoing concerns about the spread of COVID-19.

How does the virus spread in the community? What are the biggest risk factors? What can you do to avoid or mitigate the likelihood of transmission in high-risk situations?

What is the level of risk for people in large groups or small spaces? What about singing and shouting? Does being outdoors lessen your risk? How important is it to wear a face mask and why has doing so become so politicized?

People are understandably lonely and frustrated after weeks or months of isolation, and messaging about the threat is becoming less impactful as individuals and families tire of isolation. Maintaining a heightened level of caution about personal and community well-being can be mentally exhausting.

What is "caution fatigue" and how can you limit its negative effects? How could large-scale caution fatigue impact public health outcomes in Texas?


"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call 833-877-8255, email thesource@tpr.org  or tweet @TPRSource.

*This interview was recorded on Tuesday, May 26.

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Kim Johnson is the producer for Texas Public Radio’s live, call-in show The Source. She is a Trinity University alum with bachelor’s degrees in Communication and Spanish, and a Master of Arts Degree from the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.
Dallas Williams is a Producer for The Source at Texas Public Radio. With a degree in Mass Communication — Broadcast Media, Dallas brings a unique perspective and a passion to producing a live, call-talk show.