The Covid-19 Virus is Airborne: Can I Still Exercise Outdoors?

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The recent news about SARS-CoV-2 being airborne has many people concerned. Sales of air purifiers shot up overnight. For some, the idea of the virus being airborne may conjure up an image of viruses floating outdoors like flurries of snow.

Before we go on, perhaps it is good to clarify the word “airborne”. The scientific definition is different from the common meaning.

According to the World Health Organization, “the virus can spread from an infected person’s mouth or nose in small liquid particles when they cough, sneeze, speak, sing or breathe. These particles range from larger respiratory droplets to smaller aerosols.”

The US CDC adds “The smallest very fine droplets, and aerosol particles formed when these fine droplets rapidly dry, are small enough that they can remain suspended in the air for minutes to hours.”

For the virus to be airborne, it must attach to particles. Environmental factors like the wind, sun and humidity will affect the duration of how long the virus is suspended in air.

Naturally, this means that the dangers of catching the virus is much higher indoors than outdoors. Still, it makes sense to keep a safe distance from others, regardless of setting. That is why under Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) , Singapore’s Ministry of Health has this to say, “Outdoor exercise classes organised by a registered instructor can take place with up to 30 persons in groups of no more than two persons, spaced 3 metres apart, if masks are worn. If persons are unmasked, the group can only comprise 2 persons, including the instructor.” In order words, keep a safe distance from others when exercising. Whenever possible, keeping your face masks on is advantageous.

Judging by the number of runners and joggers we see outdoors, most health-conscious people are taking a sensible and measured approach when exercising outdoors. The common sense guidance will always be to avoid crowded places. Obviously, choosing to go at less popular time will be advantageous. To this end, National Parks has a website that will show whether a park is crowded or not. You can check the status here:

Pandemic or not, we still need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you choose to exercise outdoors, stay safe. And remember, put on your pair of polarized Sunday Shades when working out in the sun. Sunday Shades are super fun, ultra lightweight, very snug-fitting and do not bounce even when running. Check them out here.