2333: COVID Risk Chart

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COVID Risk Chart
First prize is a free ticket to the kissing booth.
Title text: First prize is a free ticket to the kissing booth.


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This comic is a graph showing the risk of COVID-19 infection of numerous activities on the horizontal axis, while showing the other (ie. safety) risks of the activity on the vertical axis. The activities are also color coded green, yellow, orange, or red, presumably indicating whether engaging in them is a good idea. All the activities are green in the upper left corner (no COVID-19 danger and no other dangers), but change to yellow, orange, and red as you go right or down. This presentation and color progression is similar to a common presentation of a risk matrix.

The top of the graph contains activities that people are likely to engage in during the pandemic, beginning (from left to right) with staying at home, hanging out with friends at the park, grocery shopping, attending in-person classes, and singing in church. The first few activities are common and not very dangerous (colored green and yellow), but the last two come with significant risks of infection due to COVID-19 (they are colored orange and red). Lower on the graph the activities become more and more dangerous (though these dangers are not related to COVID-19, i.e.: they are non-covid risks) and then non-sensical, a trend often seen in XKCD comics. Some activities are grouped together, being variations of the same thing (such as going down a waterslide, going down a waterslide with a stranger, and going down a waterside on an electric scooter).The last row contains extremely dangerous activities such as (from left to right, or from low COVID-19 danger to high) bungee jumping while doing sword tricks, going down a waterslide on an electric scooter, (participating in an) axe catching contest, racing a scooter through a hospital with a mask over your eyes, and winning a test-tube-eating contest at a COVID testing lab. All these activities are likely to result in undesirable outcomes.

Part of the humor comes from the increasing ridiculousness of the "red" activities, some of which are unlikely combinations or escalations of other less-risky activities (e.g. renting an electric scooter is a "green" activity, but riding that scooter with a stranger carries more risk, and then still more from racing that scooter through a hospital, with or without a mask).

This comic strip is similar in presentation to 2282: Coronavirus Worries.

The title text suggests a ticket to "the" kissing booth as a prize. (Presumably, the kissing booth mentioned in the comic, "a kissing booth at a COVID testing site"). A kissing booth, is a kind of sideshow sometimes seen at carnivals, where members of the public can pay a small fee to kiss someone, usually an attractive woman. Winning a ticket would normally be positively received. However, since kissing is a very high risk activity for COVID-19 transmission, it would now be perceived as a kind of punishment.

Green (low risk)

The lowest-risk category of activities has very low COVID risk and also very low non-COVID risk.

Staying home
The lowest-risk activity of all, as long as the home itself is safe, and your family members do not have COVID-19.
Video chats
Video chatting carries a slightly higher non-COVID risk than simply staying at home, because you might get into an upsetting argument or accidentally expose something embarrassing. As long as the person you're chatting with is not within your personal space, the risk of catching COVID from them is still zero.
Hanging out with friends in the park
Physically interacting with others creates an increased risk COVID transmission, but the major risk of transmission seems to come from sharing enclosed spaces, not the outdoors, and as long as everyone keeps to themselves, they can still safely enjoy the social interaction (as long as they aren't prone to overthinking everyday decisions).
Going for walks
Going for walks carries very little COVID risk as long as you stay by yourself. It is slightly more dangerous than staying home though, as you might fall or hurt yourself in some way.
Hanging out with friends on the beach
This has a similar COVID risk as hanging out with friends in the park, but has slightly more safety concerns due to possible unpleasant encounters with crabs, jellyfish, and other ocean-going animals[cetacean needed] as well as the risks posed by extended UV exposure. There are also negligible risks of tsunamis, shark attacks, and encounters with other rare and deadly animals[cetacean needed].
Riding an electric scooter
Electric scooters are scooters powered by electricity. They have increased in popularity recently, representing a form of lightweight transportation. If done by one’s self, riding one has essentially no risk of coronavirus, but it is relatively easy to injure one’s self when riding an electric scooter. Electric scooters have already been mentioned in E Scooters.
Renting an electric scooter
This has a slightly higher COVID risk than riding your own scooter, as a previous renter could have left traces of the virus on the handle bars. In terms of general safety, it is the equivalent of riding your own scooter.
Going down a waterslide

Waterslides are common attractions at water parks. They are simply slides made faster by running water down them. They are not extremely dangerous, though it is definitely possible to injure yourself on one. The COVID risk is near zero if the slide belongs to you and you are using it by yourself.

Yellow (medium risk)

Grocery shopping
Going shopping for groceries involves entering a building in which others are present, including many workers who are present for hours-long shifts. The risk of catching COVID can be reduced by wearing face masks, barriers between staff areas and customer areas, and limiting customer densities.
Grocery shopping while hungry
Shopping for groceries while hungry does not carry any greater risk of catching COVID, but it is said to have a slightly increased non-COVID risk because people who go shopping while hungry tend to buy foods that are more expensive and less healthy. (Be advised that a study that popularized this "common sense" result has been retracted due to academic misconduct by its author, Brian Wansink.)
Grocery shoplifting
Shoplifting means stealing, so this activity is stealing groceries. It would expose you to the same amount of COVID risk as regular grocery shopping, but might get you hurt by falling and crashing into stands, and might get you arrested. While this activity is not very risky and is colored yellow, it is probably not a good idea.
Riding a single rental scooter with a stranger
This is a bad idea, as most rental scooters are designed for only one person. It would also expose you to a stranger, who might have COVID. The safety concern of riding with two people on a one person scooter is not reflected in the comic.
Going down a waterslide with a stranger
This carries the same risks as going down a waterslide by yourself (as long as the waterslide is designed for two people), but exposes you to a stranger who could have COVID.
Getting in a stranger’s car
This can potentially be risky because driving is dangerous, and because murders have occurred in the past when people hitchhike. Getting into a stranger’s car would also expose you COVID, if they are carrying the virus. A car is a confined space, which is generally considered particularly bad from a COVID perspective.

Red (high risk)

Singing in church
While singing is normally harmless, doing so in a church, which is a high-traffic and fairly contaminated place during COVID-19 (making it easier to be infected) will significantly expose the singer to COVID due to an increased breathing rate. In addition, when singing in a church, one often dooes it in a group with others during church sessions without masks, so this increases the risk further as multiple people are in close proximity without protection.
Going to a restaurant
Restaurants are also high-traffic and more contaminated (of COVID-19) areas, and also contain many people in a closed space which can also be small. Also, arguments and other fights could occur in a restaurant which adds to the non-COVID risk.
Going to a bar
Similarly to restaurants, bars are also a place where COVID-19 spreads often. However, since the customers are more likely to be drunk and to get into a fight, the non-COVID risk is increased.
Going to a party / Hosting a party
Parties involve participating in activities with (often many) others. Whether hosting a party or attending one, the risk of contracting COVID is similar, as are the non-COVID risks, since in both cases you're in the same room with others and also participating in the same (potentially dangerous) activities. The COVID risks are slightly higher for the host, as they are more likely to be touching objects or surfaces on which the virus is present as they tidy up during or after the party.
Going on a cruise
Cruises have been a site where many people have contracted COVID, leading to the high COVID-related risk. However, there are other risks assiciated with cruises that are non-COVID related, such as the risk of the ship sinking, or one falling overboard, etc.
Opening a kissing booth at a COVID testing site
This is a bad idea for COVID-related risks since many people who may not have been tested yet and are likely sick (since they are being tested, they are likely exhibiting COVID-related symptoms) will use it. Kissing is one of the easier ways to transfer COVID due to the proximity of people, and other diseases could be transferred as well. Opening a booth close to a testing site could also lead to a lot of controversy, adding to the non-COVID related risk.
Doing skateboard tricks in a bar
As mentioned before, bars are places where it is much more likely to contract COVID. Doing skateboard tricks in such a confined space also leads to a very large risk of injury.
Skateboarding in a mosh pit on a cruise ship
Mosh pits are often very densely crowded with people, so the risk of transmission is huge. Also, doing skateboard tricks with so many people means one could get trampled, knocked over, run into other people and/or things, etc.
Getting a COVID test from a stranger at a crowded bar
As mentioned before, bars greatly increase the risk of contracting COVID, and getting a test from a stranger means the test itself carries many non-COVID related risks coming from a malicious or incompetent stranger (such as poisoning from having the wrong materials in the syringe).
Bungee jumping while doing sword tricks
While bungee jumping is an activity that is often not performed in a crowded area, meaning that it is difficult to contract COVID while doing so, the act of bungee jumping while doing sword tricks could lead to a host of injuries.
Going down a waterslide on an electric scooter
As mentioned before, if the waterslide is not used by many people, it is not likely to contract COVID riding it. However, since waterslides contain water and electric scooters contain batteries (they don't mix well, safety-wise) many injuries may result.
Setting off fireworks in a stranger's car
A car is a confined space, and so the risk of contracting COVID is higher. Setting off fireworks in cars also could (will) cause many injuries to everyone in the car, and more injuries from the driver and/or other angry passengers.
Axe catching contest
The proximity to others during a contest means a higher risk of contracting COVID. As for the axe catching part, it is likely to get injuries form attempting to catch (presumably) flying axes, especially when the catcher is inexperienced.
Racing a scooter through a hospital with a mask over your eyes
A hospital is a place where COVID patients are often concentrated, meaning a higher risk of contracting the disease. Riding a scooter while effectively blindfolded in an area that has many obstructions like a hospital can lead to many injuries.
Winning a test-tube-eating contest at a COVID testing lab
Eating many test tubes which potentially contain samples containing COVID will almost definitely lead to one contracting the disease, and eating glass will lead to many internal injuries.


Ambox notice.png This transcript is incomplete. Please help editing it! Thanks.

[This comic is a graph plotting the safety risk of activities on the vertical axis and the risk of infection from COVID-19 on the horizontal axis. Lowest risks are in the upper left corner, and highest in the lower right. All activities are color coded green, yellow, orange, or red. A two way arrow labeled “non-COVID risk” points up and down to "high" and "low" labels on the left side of the graph. Another two way arrow labeled “COVID risk” points left and right to "high" and "low" labels on the top of the graph. From left to right and top to bottom:]

Staying home & Video chats, Hanging out with friends at the park, Grocery shopping, Attending in-person classes, Singing in church
Going for walks, Hanging out with friends on the beach, Grocery shopping while hungry, Attending online classes while in class at a different school, Going to a restaurant
Riding an electric scooter, Renting an electric scooter, Grocery shoplifting & Riding a single rental scooter with a stranger, Getting a dental cleaning & Going on a tinder date, Going to a bar & Going to a party & Hosting a party & Going on a cruise
Going down a waterslide, Going down a waterslide with a stranger, Getting in a stranger’s car, Getting a dental cleaning from a tinder date, Opening a kissing booth at a COVID testing site
Playing lawn darts, Climbing a waterslide with a stranger, Getting in a stranger’s car uninvited, Doing skateboard tricks in a hospital, Doing skateboard tricks in a bar
Doing skateboard tricks, Riding a conveyor belt through the TSA x-ray machine, Axe throwing contest, Racing a scooter through a hospital with a mask on & Racing a scooter through a hospital without a mask, Skateboarding into a mosh pit on a cruise ship & Getting a COVID test from a stranger at a crowded bar
Setting off fireworks in your car, Running and sliding headfirst into the pins at a bowling alley, Stealing a stranger’s car, Racing a scooter through a hospital with a mask on & Racing a scooter through a hospital without a mask [extends from previous row], Skateboarding into a mosh pit on a cruise ship & Getting a COVID test from a stranger at a crowded bar
Bungee jumping while doing sword tricks, Going down a waterslide on an electric scooter, Setting off fireworks in a stranger’s car & Axe catching contest, Racing a scooter through a hospital with a mask over your eyes, Winning a test-tube-eating contest at a COVID testing lab

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I'm sticking to the green, except for grocery shopping. It'll be a pain to make any kind of table for this. The columns are much better defined than the rows, though. 18:37, 15 July 2020 (UTC)

Same! I think we do need to make a table or similar structure to explain each item though. Not exiting, but necessary! Do you think we should switch everything to columns? Since we've started with rows, maybe we should just continue...Cow (talk)

Staying home is a death trap. Here some random numbers (Germany 2019): Deadly accidents at home - 8000, Deadly accidents in traffic - 3500. 07:50, 16 July 2020 (UTC)

Singing in a church: is this where the expression "mass contamination" comes from? 08:31, 16 July 2020 (UTC)

Or "weapons of mass destruction"? 09:00, 17 July 2020 (UTC)

Not all the things on the far right seem to have equal covid risk. Simply going to a restaurant or some of the others that are simply dangerous by being around a lot of other people in close proximity doesn't seem to compare to opening a kissing booth at a covid testing site, the eating test tube things, and the mosh pit on a cruise ship for instance.-- 09:03, 16 July 2020 (UTC)

There's no inherent extra disease risk in _opening_ a kissing booth (beyond the possible proximity to others). However, the people working/volunteering at the booth you opened that might have a higher-than-average risk due to kissing all the testers and people coming to be tested. :p 12:08, 16 July 2020 (UTC)
(Required to make a choice between them and someone else, for which all else is equal) I'd kiss an off-duty Covid-tester, because they're probably far more protected by PPE during their shift (and know how to don and doff safely) than most other people, and screened with even more caution. The tester would probably not want to kiss me, in my booth, due to at least the latter point. 14:04, 16 July 2020 (UTC)

I feel like 1252: Increased Risk is quite relevant here. But I can't decide whether it should be linked as general trivia, or directly related to the paragraph about dangers of going to the beach. --Lupo (talk) 09:16, 16 July 2020 (UTC)

There have been cases of known transmission of COVID-19 during choir rehearsals and performances, so it belongs where it is shown. The choir at my church is down to two people, at opposite ends of their area. Nutster (talk) 16:01, 16 July 2020 (UTC)

"Skateboarding in a mosh pit on a cruise ship": So this looks like confirmation that NOFX and Bad Religion will be playing on the 2021 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise. Iguanabob (talk) 14:47, 17 July 2020 (UTC)