Estimating Your Chances Of Being Exposed To Omicron

Estimating Your Chances Of Being Exposed To Omicron

How can you predict the likelihood of being exposed to Omicron? There's no way to do this with 100% accuracy, but you can consider a number of factors that are likely to figure into the equation.

Assuming a typical-sized supermarket and the capacity to socially remove yourself while shopping, I estimate that you are only within the infection range ( 6 feet) of 8 people throughout your visit (the vegetable and fruits section at Whole Foods gets pretty cluttered). A random person you meet has a 99.2 percent chance of not having COVID (1 - 0.8 percent ). As a result, the likelihood that none of them have COVID is 0.9928 = 0.937. In other words, a regular supermarket trip has a 6.3 percent probability of exposing you to COVID (so wear your mask and sanitize!).

Visiting a nightclub
I wouldn't go partying in the middle of a pandemic, but if you insist, let's figure out your chances of getting infected. Around 200 people can fit into a regular club (the crammed variety, not the glitzy Vegas kind). If you stay the entire time as others arrive and go, there will have been around 600 people inside the club by the time you finally are ready to leave.

Avoid crowded places, put on a mask, and get your flu shot.

It's now difficult to prevent COVID exposure, thanks to Delta and now Omicron. Even if you just hide and order DoorDash, the sheer number of infections out there now means that each DoorDash order has a 2.4 percent chance (0.9923, assuming that a cook, to-go packer, and delivery person handle your order) of exposing you to COVID. If you keep changing restaurants (and infections continue high), you'll have a 50% chance of contracting COVID from your delivered meal after 28 days!