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The initiation of vaccination programs across the country may have given Americans a new sense of hope for 2021, but there is still no definite end in sight to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. This puts the food service industry into an increasingly desperate position, as recovery in that sector depends on states opening back up and allowing for denser foot traffic.The extent of losses across the restaurant industry was demonstrated in a Dec. 2020 survey conducted by the National Restaurant Association. It reported that 17% of all restaurants in America had either shut down permanently or were temporarily shut down for an unknown length of time over the course of last year. A whopping 87% of remaining restaurants had reported an average decline in revenue of 36% during the same period. (Related: The Saddest Restaurant Closures In Your State.)Now, experts are predicting that one particular food service segment will have a slower road to recovery than the rest: coffee chains. Bloomberg has reported that the domestic coffee segment saw a 25% drop in sales, representing an $11.5 billion loss for the United States coffee chains. And the drop in foot traffic has affected both national mega-chains like Starbucks and Dunkin' and smaller regional chains like Bluestone Lane.Industry experts predict it will take years for coffee chains to get back on their feet, with sales not expected to be back to pre-pandemic levels until 2023.There are glimmers of hope, however: at the time of this writing, the Starbucks stock is trading slightly higher than in the weeks leading up to the dramatic plunge in March of 2020, as the scope of the coronavirus pandemic became clear.Don't forget to sign up for our newsletter to get the latest restaurant news delivered straight to your inbox.
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With coronavirus deaths breaking records nearly every day, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is concerned—and has a warning. A new variant is here, and it's more transmissible. That means you need to "double down" on some protective measures right now. Read on to see what he recommends—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus. The New Variants of COVID-19 Will Put More People in the HospitalDr. Fauci said the new variant is cause of concern. "We're taking it really very seriously," he said. "You don't want people to panic, but you have to look at it from certain standpoint." He said there's one "from the U.K. that's essentially dominated. That's the one that is actually is seen in the United States. There's another more ominous one. That's in South Africa and Brazil. We're looking at all of them, very, very carefully."He said, "the Brits have made it very clear that it's more contagious. They say that it isn't more virulent, but, you know, we gotta be careful because the more cases you get, even though on a one-to-one basis, it's not more virulent, meaning it doesn't make you more sick or more likely to die just by numbers alone. The more cases you have, the more hospitalizations you're going to happen. The more hospitalizations you have, the more deaths you're going to have. The thing we really want to look at carefully is that does that mutation lessen the impact of the vaccine? And if it does, then we're going to have to make some modifications, but we're all over that. We're looking at that really very carefully."RELATED: 7 Tips You Must Follow to Avoid COVID, Say DoctorsWhat You Can Do Now to Beat the Mutation"I think one of the things we've got to do, and maybe the silver lining, if you want to call that, is that when you have a variant, that's really very, very, different in the sense of it's more contagious, it tells you to do two things," said Fauci. "One double down on the public health measures that we've been talking about all the time—be very compulsive as the President-elect says, at least for the first hundred days, and maybe more—everybody wear a mask, keep the distance, avoid the congregate settings, but also another important thing: The easiest way to evade this negative effect of these new isolates is to just when the vaccine becomes available, people should get vaccinated. Boy, if ever there was a clarion call for people to put aside vaccine hesitancy. If we can get, you know, the overwhelming majority of the population vaccinated, we'd be in very good shape and could beat even the mutant."RELATED: If You Feel This, You May Have Already Had COVID, Says Dr. FauciHow to Survive This PandemicSo follow Fauci's fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.
You're hot, you feel a cough brewing, your eye feels wonky—and, oh no, is this COVID-19? Is this the first sign you have coronavirus? "The bottom line is that only COVID test—or an antibody test—can confirm you have or had a case, but since even those aren't 100%, read on for other clues," says Dr. Leo Nissola. Here are 13 early signs that you might have COVID-19, informed by the CDC and the most recent studies; if you experience them, contact a medical professional to get tested. And to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus. 1 You Have Flu-Like Symptoms "For most people, the coronavirus will be like any other flu or cold. Many people catch these illnesses during their lives and experience only mild symptoms," says Dr. Carrie Lam. For a certain amount of people: "There are no special signs or symptoms of coronavirus. In fact, that is one of the reasons why it spread so quickly," says Dr. Kaushal M. Kulkarni, a board-certified ophthalmologist. 2 You Have a Loss of Senses "Thirty percent of patients have loss of smell (anosmia) and loss of taste (ageusia) as their first signs of a COVID-19 infection," says Dr. Jonathan Kaplan. "Because of the relationship between smell and taste, taste can also be significantly affected. It can take weeks to recover," says Dr. Inna Husain. Since this loss of sense is so unusual, there's a good chance it's COVID-related if it happens to you. 3 You Have a Fever "Coronavirus often begins with a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit within 2-14 days of exposure to an infected person," says Dr. LaFarra Young, a pediatric pathologist and health coach. One study found this is usually the first sign you have coronavirus, following by, in order, cough, muscle pain, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea.RELATED: 7 Tips You Must Follow to Avoid COVID, Say Doctors 4 You Have a Dry Cough One of the most common symptoms is a dry cough, which can be described as one without mucus or phlegm. "If you notice a slight cough or fever this would be reason enough to begin self-isolation allowing a couple of days to see if symptoms manifest," says Dr. Giuseppe Aragona, a family medicine doctor. "It has been reported that the respiratory symptoms will worsen after a week, though in some cases the incubation period can be as little as two days.""The cough to look out for is a new, continuous cough," reports the BBC. "This means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or having three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours. If you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual." 5 You Have a Sore Throat or Headache Nearly 14% of cases studied in China had symptoms of headache and a sore throat, reports WHO. The virus "travels to the back of your nasal passages and to the mucous membranes in the back of your throat," reports Johns Hopkins. "That's the place where symptoms—such as a sore throat and dry cough—often start."RELATED: Dr. Fauci Just Said When We'd Be Back to "Normal" 6 You Have Chills or Body Aches CNN news anchor Chris Cuomo says he was shivering so much due to COVID-19 that he "chipped a tooth." "They call them the rigors," he said, adding that he felt like he was being beaten by "a piñata."Researchers at New York University also discovered aching muscles (known as myalgia) are among the factors that could signal respiratory distress caused by the coronavirus. 7 You Are Fatigued "Some older or immunosuppressed individuals may not present with a fever, instead presenting with other common symptoms such as sore throat, dry cough, or fatigue," says Dr. LaFarra Young, a pathologist at King's Daughters Medical Center. "Fatigue is a daily lack of energy; unusual or excessive whole-body tiredness not relieved by sleep," reports WebMD. "Fatigue can prevent a person from functioning normally and affects a person's quality of life." 8 You Experience Shortness of Breath Can't get enough air in your lungs? "Extreme shortness of breath and respiratory issues are what is causing the increase in patients in the ICU. Increasing your immune system using Vitamin D can help decrease the likeliness of the spread of bacterial and viral infections," says Dr. Geoffrey Mount Varner.If you are struggling for air and can't breathe, seek immediate medical attention. 9 You Have Pain in Your Chest "Persistent pain or pressure in the chest" is one of the CDC's "emergency warning signs"—seek medical help immediately if you feel it. This could be a symptom of the coronavirus or a heart issue, and tests can help determine the right course of action.RELATED: Simple Ways to Avoid a Heart Attack, According to Doctors 10 You Have Pink Eye "Conjunctivitis, or more commonly known as pink eye, can present as a symptom of coronavirus," says Dr. Kevin Lee. "People should be cognizant of possible aerosol transmission with the conjunctiva and through ocular secretions, like tears." 11 You Have Diarrhea or Vomiting Diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain may be more common as a symptom of COVID-19 than anticipated, according to The American Journal of Gastroenterology. Half the patients that were diagnosed complained of those issues in the study. Some patients may not even have respiratory symptoms, and just digestive ones.RELATED: The New COVID Symptom Every Woman Needs to Know 12 You Have a Bluish Face or Lips This is considered one of the CDC's "emergency warning signs" and they advise you "get medical attention immediately" if you see them. Cyanosis is the name for poor oxygen circulation in the blood that causes bluish discoloration of the skin. 13 You Feel Confused Doctors have observed neurological symptoms, including confusion, stroke and seizures, in a subset of COVID-19 patients. If you are considered high risk, you may show rarer and more severe symptoms. The CDC considers "new confusion or inability to arouse" as an emergency warning sign. Do seek medical attention immediately if it sets in.If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms, call your medical care provider before showing up. And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch Coronavirus.
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With new variants of the coronavirus circulating in the United States after originating in the U.K. and South Africa, there is cause for concern: These variants may not be more fatal, but they do transmit faster. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is concerned enough to have just issued a warning. "New virus variants that spread more easily could lead to a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases," says the CDC. "NOW"—the capitalization is theirs—"more than ever, it is important to slow the spread." "I want to stress that we are deeply concerned that this strain is more transmissible and can accelerate outbreaks in the U.S. in the coming weeks," said Dr. Jay Butler, deputy director for infectious diseases at the CDC. "We're sounding the alarm and urging people to realize the pandemic is not over and in no way is it time to throw in the towel." Read on to see how you can stay safe, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus. The New COVID Variant is Dangerous Due to "Increased Transmissibility"The CDC's report said: "The increased transmissibility of the B.1.1.7 variant warrants universal and increased compliance with mitigation strategies, including distancing and masking. Higher vaccination coverage might need to be achieved to protect the public." "We know what works and we know what to do," Butler said. He was referring to the public health measures you've no doubt heard about—but now must follow more than ever."These variants seem to spread more easily and quickly than other variants, which may lead to more cases of COVID-19. Currently, there is no evidence that these variants cause more severe illness or increased risk of death. However, an increase in the number of cases will put more strain on health care resources, lead to more hospitalizations, and potentially more deaths," says the agency. "Rigorous and increased compliance with public health mitigation strategies, such as vaccination, physical distancing, use of masks, hand hygiene, and isolation and quarantine, will be essential to limiting the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and protecting public health."Or, in the words of the study: "Collectively, enhanced genomic surveillance combined with continued compliance with effective public health measures, including vaccination, physical distancing, use of masks, hand hygiene, and isolation and quarantine, will be essential to limiting the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)," says the report. "Strategic testing of persons without symptoms but at higher risk of infection, such as those exposed to SARS-CoV-2 or who have frequent unavoidable contact with the public, provides another opportunity to limit ongoing spread."RELATED: If You Feel This, You May Have Already Had COVID, Says Dr. FauciHow to Survive This PandemicAs for yourself, follow Dr. Anthony Fauci's fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.
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The COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage across the country, making your health—as well as the health of others—the #1 priority. With the number of infections breaking daily records, hospitals reaching capacity, deaths continuing to rise, and the identification of a newer, more transmissible strain of the virus, preventing initial infection is the best easiest way to do your part. Over the last year, we have learned that some places are riskier than others when it comes to the potential of coronavirus spread. Therefore, a truly easy way you avoid catching or spreading the virus is avoiding certain places completely. Here are 7 places you should never walk into, according to Darren Mareiniss, MD, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Sidney Kimmel Medical College – Thomas Jefferson University. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus. 1 You Should Avoid Indoor Dining Across the country, many mayors and governors have opted to put a stop to indoor dining, as sitting inside of restaurants and sharing meals with others has been detected as a higher risk activity due to ventilation issues and the fact that people take off their masks when they walk inside. Dr. Mareiniss dubs indoor dining "high risk." "I feel badly about restaurants losing business," Dr. Anthony Fauci, who orders takeout and delivery, told CNN. "And I feel it's almost a neighborly obligation to keep neighborhood restaurants afloat." 2 You Should Avoid Gyms Dr. Mareiniss warns that gyms are risky establishments for the spread of the virus. Many states have opted to close indoor gyms, especially during periods of extraordinary surge. RELATED: 7 Tips You Must Follow to Avoid COVID, Say Doctors 3 You Should Avoid Bars Health experts—including Dr. Mareiniss—have repeatedly warned that bars have no business being frequented during the pandemic. This is due to the fact that most people take their masks off and don't engage in social distancing, he points out. "They have been the source of multiple outbreaks," he adds. "Bars: really not good," says Fauci. 4 Don't Take Public Transportation Unless You Have To While communal transportation may be convenient, Dr. Mareiniss suggests staying away from the inside of an airplane, bus, or train during the pandemic where you will be "inside with multiple people from other households." 5 Avoid Religious Houses of Worship; Pray and Commune Online Whether your preferred place of worship is a church, temple, synagogue, mosque, or AA clubhouse, Dr. Mareiniss warns that they have superspreader potential and dubs them "high risk." Why? They usually involve little to no masking wearing, sitting or standing close to others, and singing or speaking loudly in an indoor environment, all a recipe for transmission. RELATED: If You Feel This, You May Have Already Had COVID, Says Dr. Fauci 6 Use Caution During Indoor Gatherings While gathering with members of your immediate household is impossible to avoid, multiple family indoor get togethers are a no-no, says Dr. Mareiniss. This includes holiday events, New Year's Eve celebrations, dinner parties, and other types of indoor gatherings. There is "high risk mixing of multiple households," he explains. "Remember, the virus can be actively spread by asymptotic patients." Even small gatherings are dangerous, and cause the most spread. 7 Postpone Weddings, Funerals, or Bar Mitzvahs While celebrating or mourning with friends and family can bring us joy, these types of events have been linked to huge outbreaks of the virus over the last year—including one wedding in Maine that recently caused a large outbreak and the deaths of several people who did not attend the wedding, Dr. Mareiniss points out. 8 How to Survive This Pandemic "We've got to be able to get people to get out and enjoy themselves within the safe guidelines that we have," Fauci says. "Make public health work for you as opposed to against you." So follow his fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.
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Since the start of the pandemic, the entire world has been eagerly awaiting the arrival of a COVID-19 vaccine. Many equated the reality of a vaccine with a return to normalcy, believing that after receiving it, many of the precautionary measures recommended by the CDC and health experts could be abandoned. However, now that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been approved by the FDA and are currently being administered to the first groups, it is quickly becoming clear that this isn't the case. So, when will we be able to stop social distancing, throw away our masks, and return to life as we know it? Read on to find out—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus. 1 Vaccines Don't Represent "The End" of the Pandemic "As much as we are all ready to see the 'end' of the COVID pandemic, getting the vaccine does not mean that it is time to throw the masks away, stop social distancing and return to the way things were pre-COVID," Oyere K. Onuma, MD, MSc, Associate Director, Preventive Cardiovascular Health Program at Yale Medicine and Assistant Professor of Medicine (Cardiology), Yale School of Medicine, tells Eat This, Not That! Health. Unfortunately, there are several important reasons why COVID precautions will need to continue after you get vaccinated. 2 Immunity Will Take at Least 5 Weeks "If you have had only the first vaccine, you are definitely not protected and can get COVID in that period between the first and second vaccines where the protection from the vaccines is only about 50% on average," Dr. Onuma points out. During this period it is absolutely crucial to continue to maintain adequate precautions with wearing masks, social distancing and washing your hands. So, how long does it take to achieve immunity? "The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were about 95% effective after full vaccination 1 week after the second dose," she says. 3 The Vaccine Isn't 100 Percent Effective Darren Mareiniss, MD, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Sidney Kimmel Medical College – Thomas Jefferson University, points out that the vaccine is only 95 percent effective. "In the Pfizer study of over 21000 immunized people, around 8 became infected 7 days after the second dose compared to 162 people in the placebo group," he explains. This means that while the majority of people who received it were effectively protected, there is still a risk of infection. 4 It Protects You From Getting Sick, But Might Not Protect You From Spreading It Asymptomatic spread is one of the unfortunately harsh realities of COVID-19. "While the vaccine reduces the risk of getting COVID or having severe diseases when you are fully vaccinated, it is unclear that it prevents you from transmitting the virus to others. Vaccinated people could potentially act as asymptomatic carriers and sicken others," Dr. Onuma points out. "Hence, it is important to continue wearing masks around others and social distancing even if you have been vaccinated." 5 Herd Immunity Will Take Time Dr. Onuma explains that herd immunity won't happen overnight. "When the vaccination rates are eventually high enough to reach "herd immunity" (80% or more of the population vaccinated), it might be feasible to start relaxing some of these rules," she explains. However, when this will be a reality all depends on whether the majority of the population choose to be vaccinated. Once herd immunity is achieved, life can start to return to normal and we can start returning to movie theaters, sporting events, and even bars. 6 Even When Herd Immunity Is Achieved in the US, It Might Not Be the Case Elsewhere International travel might not be safe for some time, according to Dr. Onuma. She points out that even once we achieve herd immunity in the United States, it might not be the case elsewhere. "Travel, especially to international locations where the vaccines may not be available as they are in the US could carry the same risk of asymptomatic infection," she points out. 7 How Long Will Immunity Last? There is also a big question: how long will immunity last after vaccination? "We don't know how long the vaccines will impart immunity," Dr. Mareiniss points out. RELATED: 7 Tips You Must Follow to Avoid COVID, Say Doctors 8 Keep Following the Fundamentals While the vaccine is sure to be effective in slowing the spread of the virus, life isn't going to return to post-pandemic normal overnight. So, in the meantime follow Dr. Anthony Fauci's fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.
Whether you believe the coronavirus is a deadly virus worth observing public health measures to avoid—or an overblown "flu"—there's one thing anyone could agree with: It'd be good to know if you had it. That's why one study, published in the journal Frontiers in Public Health, and led by experts at the USC Michelson Center's Convergent Science Institute in Cancer, proved so engaging: researchers said they discovered the order COVID symptoms usually presented themselves. "COVID-19 patients have symptoms similar to other common illnesses," wrote the authors. Read on to see the distinguishing order in which they usually appear—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus. 1 You're Most Likely to Get a Fever First "It starts off, in many cases, like the flu," reports the Mercury News. You may have a fever of 100.4 or above. "But that can be misleading, because some patients never develop a fever." 2 Then a Cough and Muscle Pain Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has warned of a cough and "myalgia," which are muscle aches and pains. The cough is usually dry and produces no phlegm. 3 Then Nausea or Vomiting "Fever, cough and shortness of breath are the classic symptoms of COVID-19, but there may be gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea and diarrhea, that are getting missed, according to a Stanford Medicine study," reports the University. "Researchers found that, in addition to upper respiratory symptoms, a significant number of those sick with the new virus also suffered from loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea." 4 Finally, it May End With Diarrhea Yes, as mentioned, diarrhea can be a symptom—often the final one. If you feel better after, be grateful—those with Post-COVID Syndrome may have gastrointestinal issues—or issues like fatigue, hair loss and neurological problems—for months, possibly years, possibly life. 5 There Are Of Course Other Symptoms—and the Order May Vary One of the most nefarious things about COVID-19 is that everyone experiences it differently.Besides fever, "typical symptoms are cough, fatigue, nausea and shortness of breath. The most unusual symptom is loss of smell and taste, which can precede the onset of respiratory symptoms," says Mercury News. And the order can change. 6 What to Do If You Experience These Symptoms "If you have a fever, cough or other symptoms, you might have COVID-19," says the CDC. "Most people have mild illness and are able to recover at home. If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider."RELATED: 7 Tips You Must Follow to Avoid COVID, Say Doctors 7 How to Survive This Pandemic As for yourself, follow Fauci's fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.
Over a year into the coronavirus pandemic, some of us are experiencing "COVID fatigue," and might find it tempting to be a little less vigilant about some of the best practices to prevent infection. Face masks, worn properly—covering the nose and mouth—are a must. But if you've seen more people allowing their masks to slip below their noses, you're not alone. Wearing a mask below your nose is more than incomplete protection against the virus—it may be as bad as not wearing a mask at all. That's because research suggests COVID-19 enters the body through the nose first, because nasal tissue is more susceptible to the virus. Leaving the nose exposed is forgoing protection where you literally need it most. Read on to find out how to best protect yourself, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.The nose = a COVID superhighway?"We have been researching this data for less than a year. Still, so far, it suggests that the primary attack of the coronavirus is in the nose, in the nasal epithelium, which is the skinlike layer of cells in charge of expressing odors," Leo Nissola, MD, told us in December. "It seems like the virus assaults support cells and stem cells in the nose." This might be what causes the loss of smell and taste many people experience with COVID.Last summer, a study at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that cells in the nose are more vulnerable to the coronavirus than cells in the throat or lungs. Researchers also found that people emit more of the COVID-19 virus when breathing through their noses than through their mouths.Since mask-wearing is a two-way street—we wear them to protect ourselves from inhaling the virus and to shield others from virus we may unwittingly be transmitting as we exhale—letting a mask slip below the nose is a double failure.The good news: Researchers' findings about how the virus enters the body could lead to more treatments. "If the nose is the dominant initial site from which lung infections are seeded, then the widespread use of masks to protect the nasal passages, as well as any therapeutic strategies that reduce virus in the nose, such as nasal irrigation or antiviral nasal sprays, could be beneficial," said Dr. Richard Boucher, co-author of the UNC study. But in the meantime, keep wearing that mask—the right way.RELATED: COVID Symptoms Usually Appear in This Order, Study FindsHow to survive the pandemicAs for yourself, do everything you can to prevent getting—and spreading—COVID-19 in the first place: Wear a face mask, get tested if you think you have coronavirus, avoid crowds (and bars, and house parties), practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.