Barefoot running and covid-19

Discussion in 'Health, Nutrition, Injuries & Medical Conditions' started by Barefoot Caveman, Mar 12, 2020.

  1. Barefoot Caveman

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    Hi all,

    Im just curious if anyone is wondering besides me if it’s safe to run barefoot during this covid-19 situation. I realize our feet may encounter all sorts of bacteria, viruses, etc and we come out just fine. It’s not like we touch our faces with our feet. Still, there is the risk of a thorn puncture or cut. Thoughts?

    Barefoot Caveman
     
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  2. Barefoot TJ

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    Hi Glen, Good to hear from you, my friend. From my understanding, you would have to walk/run through a place where someone with the virus just spit, sneezed, etc., but then I think the health officials are still learning about this virus, so who's to say just yet what is safe? I haven't been able to find anything about how long this particular virus lasts on a particular surface.

    I moved your thread to the main forum to get more people to hopefully respond as well.
     
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  3. Barefoot Caveman

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    It’s good to hear from you too TJ! Obviously races could be risky for multiple reasons. But what if you run on a popular course or heavy pedestrian area (practicing social distancing of course)? It sounds like covid-19 could live on surfaces for several days according to WHO.

    “How long does the virus survive on surfaces?

    It is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces, but it seems to behave like other coronaviruses. Studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This may vary under different conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment).”

    https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses
     
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  4. Gordon

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    Outside in the sun is the safest place you can find. Don't touch your feet and then touch your face. I can go weeks without touching my feet unless I'm showering...
     
  5. Barefoot TJ

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    Thank you, Glen. I'll check that out.

    But what if you have an open wound on your foot, and you run across a virus-contaminated surface, Guys?
     
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  6. Barefoot TJ

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    Interesting. if we are to compare this to money.

    From WHO:

    Is it safe to receive a package from any area where COVID-19 has been reported?

    Yes. The likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low.



    I didn't see anything on the WHO's site about particular surface shelf-life though, for example, a doorbell vs. a wet towel hung up then dries out, etc.
     
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  7. Barefoot Caveman

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    I have the same question.
     
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  8. Gordon

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    Really? A cut on your foot? In an environment completely hostile to the CV? And then it gets into your lungs, how? Take ten minutes to learn what we know about CV. It can really help reduce anxiety. Our local store is sold out of rice and beans of all things. People think that the power is going out? How stupid is that? The news media is so thirsty for clicks that they just keep stirring things up. Panicked people stay tuned in and generate lots of dollars for them. Turn the news off, educate yourself, reduce social contact, and relax. Unless you're over sixty and have health problems, the personal risk is darned low. The real risk is that if we can't slow the speed with which it's spreading, the hospital system will be swamped and the people who need a bed that we don't have will start dying in real numbers.
     
  9. Clark

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    I saw a FB post that included not running barefoot in a long list of recommendations for running in the time of GTOVID-19, but it offered no explanation. Since I can't touch my face with my feet and wouldn't want to, am not apt to touch my hands to the surfaces my feet use without promptly washing my hands, and seldom touch my feet with my hands except to wash my feet which would also involve washing my hands, I can't see much increased risk. But I'd really like to hear from a health care expert on this topic.
     
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  10. Barefoot TJ

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    It wouldn't make sense, since it's a respiratory virus, and our feet don't have lungs, but...
     
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  11. BF-Bulos

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    ....but, better be safe than sorry.
    For the time being, whenever I go running in places with pedestrian traffic I'll be using my Xero Genesis. Only in areas where there is no traffic at all I'll run barefoot.

    I understand and respect what is being expressed here, but there are many things we don't understand yet about this whole situation.

    Keep running and be safe everyone!
     
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  12. Gordon

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    Perhaps it would be safest to stay inside at home. Safe from dogs, muggers, homeless drug addicts, mountain lions, rabid animals of all types, tetanus, lightning, broken glass, nails, texting drivers, crazed juveniles on mountain bikes, falling trees, flash floods, ice, snow, ticks, goat heads, mosquitos, rattlesnakes, and even bunnies with tularemia. Sweat to the oldies with Richard Simmons instead. Barefoot, of course. Better safe than sorry. If worry prevents you from enjoying nature, let those of us with wanton disregard for our own safety enjoy the outdoors. ;)

    PS. Don't forget to hold your breath when you run in public. CV infects the lungs, after all, and is carried in airborne droplets whenever a carrier coughs, sneezes, laughs, etc. Probably holding your breath for 100 feet prior to and after passing another person will be enough. Probably.
     
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  13. macdiver

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    The way I see it is running barefoot would be safer than wearing shoes. After your run you would remove your shoes potentially transferring the virus to your hand wheras barefoot I tend to shower afterwords and would wash my feet.

    The risk should be very low. This virus does not get absorbed through skin plus the likelihood of you stepping on a viable virus is low too.
     
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  14. Neil_D

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    Although not a doctor my take would be this.
    The UV from the sun would probably kill the virus fairly quickly (lots of UV in Australia) and it would be a very low probability of landing on a spot where a Covid carrier just sneezed and then having the virus on your feet after a long run.
    Most people would rinse their feet under a tap at the end of their run washing way any debris on the feet. I also don't think I would be going running with a cut on my foot unless it was well covered as the risk of something else other than covid would be on my mind.
    The only time I ran with a cut was when I stood on a fish hook while running. I had to pull it out then run back to the car.

    Neil
     
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  15. mandytheartist

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    Yeah, I'm not running outside (or inside for that matter) during this. I have a toddler to worry about.
     
  16. hikerdana

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    While the authorities are ever evolving their recommendations and now even recommend wearing a face mask of any sort they still have not advised us to wear gloves. They do recommend washing our hands when returning home. If they have not advised us to wear gloves and they expect us to be touching a lot of surfaces that may contain the virus, then it would stand to reason that being barefoot would not increase your risk either. Of course if you have a cut on your hand or foot then this is an entry point for any foreign virus. And yes you can get a thorn or something in your foot and you could also get a paper cut or prick your finger on something while being about barehanded. Even most latex gloves will not protect you from a splinter or even a throne from a rose. It comes down to using common sense and what you personally are comfortable with.
     
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  17. Barefoot TJ

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    Very true!

    And on the subject of face masks...

    It's now coming out that we should have always been wearing face masks, but the US government knew that we didn't have enough N95s to go around, and they needed to keep what was available for the first responders, understandably.

    I always questioned why they were saying masks weren't needed all along for everyone because who doesn't understand that asymptomatic people could still pass the virus on and are walking around everywhere? A mask will not only help in cases where people are known to be ill, people who are asymptomatic, but ALSO people who are not ill...yet...which is the point of everyone wearing a mask all along. (But apparently, the Governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, wants us to believe that the reason he waited until the last minute to order a SIP order for Georgia was because he "didn't know" the virus was able to be spread by asymptomatic people although he has a multitude of advisers on his panel and watches/reads the news. I'm pretty sure he won't be re-elected).
     
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  18. IraR

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    Thanks Glen, for starting this post. We'll see what people are saying about barefootedness (and shirtlessness) as the weather gets warmer. I kind of feel like Gordon that this thing is being overblown, but especially in a crowded area like where I live I had better be cautious and, as our governor said, I owe it to the entire society, and especially to the first-responders, to keep risks down. I do know more isolated areas with less people I can get to by bike, but I'm not going out much. I am sixty now, and by I have probably been exposed to the virus. I no doubt am a carrier, although given my vibrant health history and my likely exposure, I probably have acquired some degree of immunity, also. But typical understandings of immunity have not been working as well for this virus. As it's been said before, outside light and air seem to decompose viruses somewhat. Footwear surfaces carry and spread more germs and are less able to be decontaminated than bare soles. Here in New York, it's still not even shorts and sandals/flops weather yet, except for athletes, and, of course, for me. Most are covering up pretty well. We'll see how much this continues. I saw a rabbi's sermon in which he stated something like it's our duty to shield ourselves "head to toe" against this virus. I'm sure he was speaking figuratively, but there are those who will take such expressions literally. At this point in my area, some stores are giving out gloves. There certainly will be new social pressures to bear, even when they may not be justified. Keep exercising, everyone, as you can, take vitamins and herbs, sleep, and boost your immunity as best you can (Wim Hof-style cold showers, anyone?). And immunity does seems to be affected by my attitude, too. Crush this virus! It would be good to get real medical input, although I assume it will be pretty drastically risk-avoidant. Happy Passover/Easter!
     
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  19. IraR

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    It does seem true that, according to the WHO article Glenn quoted, droplets quickly drop out of the air and fall to the ground. But this disease is mainly destructive to the respiratory system, and I don't think we know of cases of transmission to the respiratory system through cuts and abrasions. I actually think it would be better for out health to touch our feet more, Gordon --that is, to wash them. And besides, to tell you the truth, I really do need to work on touching my toes! Flexibility is not my strongest point, and I have to keep going with my stretching and yoga, because otherwise forward bending and even cutting my toenais with bent legs can give me a "stitch" in the abdominals. So doing more foot-washing and creams or oils (often I'll use olive oil) to avoid cracking callouses has been a growing part of my health routine, as it is in places like the Middle East (perhaps the oil would make viruses stick more - I'll have to think about that).There is an April 2 2020 post by Kriss Sands on the blog https://borntolivebarefoot.org/bare-feet-are-much-less-a-risk-for-covid-19-than-shoes-are/ but it just puts together conjectures based on other diseases, it looks like.
     
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  20. IraR

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    Since I was participating so actively in this discussion, I felt a responsibility to include excerpts from an article which came into my news feed a few hours ago.

    I don't know the reliability of Fox News reports on coronavirus, but they are quoting some "Spanish General Council of Official Podiatrist Colleges" about "chicken-pox-like lesions" especially in children and adolescents, and sometimes adults, appearing on the feet, which seem to be a COVID symptom.

    https://www.foxnews.com/science/researchers-discover-new-coronavirus-symptoms-feet-lesions
     

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