Another COVID-19 risk scenario question
August 15, 2021 5:59 PM   Subscribe

Because flipping Delta variant. How risky is (mostly outdoor) mingling, partying, and an overnight stay with a fully vaccinated group of people? Children are involved (but not attending). This is in Ontario, Canada.

A friend's milestone-birthday celebration is coming up next weekend. The plan is to do a winery tour; the majority of venues are likely to be outdoors, but no guarantee that will be the case for all of them. There will be carpooling and an overnight stay -- rooms will be shared by two people. Everyone will be fully vaccinated, BUT nearly everyone also has children under the age of 12. As an added twist, one attendee is currently travelling (within Canada) and will be passing through Pearson Airport shortly before the event. My COVID risk meter is thoroughly borked, please help me think this through.
posted by Rora to Health & Fitness (7 answers total)
Delta doesn't know boundaries.

That said you are doing your best to be safe, enjoy their milestone birthday.

Even hunkering down you are likely to be in contact with folks that you are concerned about, but you are #adulting and being responsible.
posted by TheAdamist at 6:06 PM on August 15, 2021 [1 favorite]

Here in Toronto we're vaccinated enough that we've been holding steady all week at ~100 new cases/day, but the numbers in the rest of Ontario keep going up. I hope your group is going to be as no-contact with outsiders that you can. Good luck!
posted by foxtongue at 6:14 PM on August 15, 2021

I would take an N95 or similar mask to wear when carpooling or indoors.
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 6:19 PM on August 15, 2021 [4 favorites]

1. How many people are involved in the party? Assume there is will enough exposure through the weekend that there is high chance that if someone has COVID you will catch it at least to the extent that you are sharing car rides and/or hotel rooms. Fewer people, the better your odds. Staying consistent on who you drive with and just one roommate lowers your exposure.

2. What do you know about the people you are traveling/partying with? Are they generally as conservative as you are or do they have lots of every day exposure to lots of other people?

2. I am just not ready to be indoors with lots of other people - is the group willing to skip any places that don't offer outdoor options? Outdoors is just many times safer.

3. What happens if you do get COVID? For most vaccinated people it is at worst several days of feeling really miserable, with a small risk of it becoming worse. Are you generally healthy? Do you have anyone at home who is high risk? Can you offer to take time off of work if you get sick?
posted by metahawk at 7:03 PM on August 15, 2021 [2 favorites]

I recently was pointed toward the risk calculator at, which may be of use to you.
posted by rakaidan at 8:23 PM on August 15, 2021

How many people altogether? Are you all wearing masks indoors? In the car? How cautious are all these people in their day-to-day lives?

TBH without knowing any details, this scenario sounds like a pretty good way to share COVID with one another. Consider the same scenario, and one of the people involved has a cold. Does it seem likely you'd catch a cold at this milestone birthday? If so you can probably assume you could catch other airborne viruses. With the vaccine no one involved may ever come down with symptomatic COVID, but there's no guarantee it won't also get passed on to the unvaccinated kids.

If this party of people are all extremely cautious in their daily lives, and there's less than 6 of you and you all mask indoors, open windows in the car, get single rooms, then you might be okay. But also: How many indoor wineries are you going to? What are their mask policies? Will they be busy? will people get too drunk to make good decisions? This seems like so many variables outside your control AND people have children involved that could be at risk. It's not a chance I would take personally.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:33 PM on August 15, 2021 [5 favorites]

I was more worried about this kind of gathering before running some numbers for my own back of envelope math. I did find microcovid useful for this but with the caveat the website seems to sometimes default to the risk tolerance setting for immunocompromised or high risk people, so you want to read all the way down the page before freaking out at "high" preview results.

I've stopped indoor dining and going to indoor concerts, that kind of thing, because of the risk of exposure to a larger group and including unvaccinated people. But if the group you're encountering is more limited, it's the odds of them having a case that's contagious during the time you're interacting (local case rate with a modifier for vaccination making it less likely) times the odds of it breaking through your own vax, with added modifiers for masks, ventilation, and if you're in or outside.

We don't have super good numbers for all of this experimentally, of course, so it becomes a matter also of which estimates you use. And of course your own risk tolerance will depend on how dangerous you think it would be to your kids; this is an area where I don't think I can help, since I haven't really researched it at length.
posted by Lady Li at 6:52 AM on August 17, 2021

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