How do you know you should break up with your COVID-19 bubble?
Many conversations about COVID-19 pods focus on an exact number of people that is or isn’t “safe,” but pod size might not matter as much as factors like “leakiness,” Dr. May explains. For instance, the National Basketball Association (NBA) was able to play last season without any reported COVID-19 cases because they sequestered players, staff, and media as necessary. “The ‘NBA Bubble’ was a very large number of people, but it was successful because the control measures were very strong,” Dr. May says, adding that those types of protocols aren’t practical for most people. “All members have to be willing and able to strictly follow control measures—minimal public outings, masking, elimination of indoor dining, et cetera. In many ways, it comes down to trust in your pod mates,” she says.
It might help to think of pandemic pods as ethically non-monogamous relationships, Emily Jamea, Ph.D., L.M.F.T., tells SELF. “This means that everyone in the pod needs to be honest about how their behavior might impact other people around them. We have to be honest about who else we’re seeing outside the pod. And we can’t always wait for people to be frank, open, and honest with us.”
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