SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A chart that shows the risk of different activities amid the coronavirus pandemic has gone viral - but exactly how accurate is it?
COVID-19 RISK CALCULATOR: Quiz yourself on the safest, most dangerous things you can do as California reopens
The graphic was made and released by the Texas Medical Association. It shows the relative risk of ordering takeout, doing your groceries, eating at a restaurant and pretty much everything else as we continue to live with the threat of COVID-19.
But before you use this graphic as a roadmap for your life, you should ask yourself a few questions. Ok, maybe it's actually a lot of questions:
"When people are considering an activity or outing, they have to consider variables such as indoors versus outdoors, time spent around others, density of people, shared surfaces and the ability to physical distance," says ABC7 News Contributor Dr. Alok Patel, for starters.
For example, the Texas Medical Association chart lists going to the beach as a higher risk than going grocery shopping. However, walking along an empty Mendocino County beach by yourself poses next-to-no COVID-19 risk. Going to a crowded grocery store where no one is wearing masks (not allowed in California, by the way) would pose a relatively higher health risk.
We asked experts to help us navigate the risk of 12 activities you may want to do in California. Check out our interactive story below to see what they had to say.
Then there's the question of any underlying medical conditions you might have, or if you have high-risk members of your household.
Plus, you should also think about the rate of transmission in your community. Going out to a restaurant in Shasta County isn't the same risk as going out to eat in Orange County, for example.
The biggest asterisk on all of the activities in the chart? Masks. If people aren't wearing face coverings during any of those activities, the risk factor gets dialed way up.
RELATED: Here's everything allowed to open in CA (and what we're still waiting on)
"People need to keep in mind that businesses could follow every single safety precaution perfectly and that still may not be enough," says Patel. "The general public visiting those businesses need to be responsible, as well."
For those reasons, the Texas chart isn't totally off base, but it's a bit simplified. You may want to think of the chart as more a "litmus test," suggests Patel, as opposed to actionable health advice.
If you have a question or comment about the coronavirus pandemic, submit yours via the form below or here.
Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here
RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
- COVID-19 Help: Comprehensive list of resources, information
- From salons to dinner parties: Experts rate the risk of 12 activities
- California reopening: Here's what's open, closed in the Bay Area
- Watch list: Counties where COVID-19 is getting worse
- When will the San Francisco Bay Area reopen? Track progress on 6 key metrics to reopening here
- Life after COVID-19: Here's what restaurants, gyms will look like
- Here's everything allowed to open in CA (and what we're still waiting on)
- What is a COVID-19 genetic, antigen and antibody test?
- What will it take to get a COVID-19 vaccine and how will it be made?
- What does COVID-19 do to your body and why does it spread so easily?
- Here's how shelter in place, stay at home orders can slow spread of COVID-19
- Coronavirus Timeline: Tracking major moments of COVID-19 pandemic in San Francisco Bay Area
- Experts compare face shield vs. face mask effectiveness
- List: Where can I get tested for COVID-19 in the Bay Area?
- COVID-19 Diaries: Personal stories of Bay Area residents during novel coronavirus pandemic
- Coronavirus Doctor's Note: Dr. Alok Patel gives his insight into COVID-19 pandemic
- WATCH: ABC7 Listens 'From Anger To Action: A Bay Area Conversation'
- Symptoms, prevention, and how to prepare for a COVID-19 outbreak in the US