#PostCOVID: Here's how to overcome your Fear Of Dining Out

Still feeling uneasy about actually going out to eat in a restaurant again?

You’re definitely not alone and so many people are worried about it, there’s even a trendy name for it - FODO, or fear of dining out. And after the year we’ve all had, therapist Shelley Treacher says FODO is a “completely normal response to the abnormal situation of coming out of isolation caused by a killer virus.”

She explains that we may feel this way because we’ve gotten used to being on guard, so it may take us a while to calm down and “get back to normal.” So if you’re feeling hesitant about dining out, Treacher says it’s important to be kind to yourself and to remember you’re just being cautious, which is “a good survival skill.”

Professor Paul Hunter, with the Norwich School of Medicine at the University of East Anglia, explains that data shows eating in a restaurant is not one of the riskier activities in terms of transmitting COVID. If and when you do decide to go out to eat, his tips can minimize your risk.

● Sit outside - If the weather is nice and you have the option, your risk is lower outside than indoors.

● It’s okay to be picky - Choose a restaurant that’s following safety measures, like cleaning tables properly and staff wearing face masks.

● Go at slower times - Try to go when it’s not too busy and if the place is packed, he advises going somewhere else.

● Keep your hands clean - Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer when you go in, after visiting the restroom and when leaving.

● Mask up - Keep wearing your mask when you’re moving around the restaurant.


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