So, without beating around the bush regarding this topic, it’s recommended that you don’t travel at all. Stay at home, and ensure your safety as well as your family’s -along with the rest of the world. But if you cannot stay at home for some reason and need to travel, it’s imperative that you’re aware of the risk you’re exposing yourself to. Firstly, you must avoid traveling at all costs -nothing is more important than your life and the lives of others – if you’ve come in contact with or been in the vicinity of someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days since you can still pass on the infection to others. Secondly, if you’re sick, don’t travel and stay at home. Also, avoid traveling with someone who is sick.
How to Avoid Getting COVID-19
There are different kinds of travel and with each type, you must consider how the risk of getting infected exists. Whether you travel by air, car, bus, or any other mode, the risk of getting infected persists in all modes. Social distancing may not be possible in these modes of transportation, and you’ll have to stay within the 6 feet distance of others – this implies that your chances of catching COVID-19 increases. While precautionary measures are taken by companies, putting yourself in situations of risk can be unavoidable at times, since the virus spreads fast on crowded flights and buses and while ridesharing. The first thing you need to do is determine what kind of traveling you’ll be doing and with whom, and then decide which measures you’ll be taking for protecting yourself.
Tips for protecting yourself and your family
● Always wear a mask while you’re on public transportation -do not go without a mask in any public setting, but especially at airports and stations.
● Continue social distancing. Particularly with people who are not from your household, maintain the distance of at least 2 arms’ length.
● When going to the bathroom or rest stops, ensure washing hands for 20 seconds minimum with soap and water. Wash hands after using the bathroom and leaving the public place.
● In case you do not have soap and water, use a sanitizer with 60% or more alcohol instead. Use the sanitizer thoroughly and rub them together until you’re sure they’re dry.
● Keep disinfecting wipes with you while going out, and use the wipes if you’re getting gas. Use them on handles and buttons and other surfaces before touching them. This would ensure maximum safety. It should be noted that one should use sanitizer after fueling as well or wash your hands with soap and water.
● As for food, try to prepare your food from home and stick to eating that only. However, if you do not have this option, check whether the place you’ve ordered from has taken all preventive measures and your food is completely safe. You can use options like take-out, delivery, and drive-through.
There are certain things you need to keep in mind before you begin traveling. Especially if you’re traveling with family, you’ll need to keep these travel needs in mind.
Mask – ensure that you have enough masks (for each family member) to wear in public settings. Wear it if you’re using public transportation or are in any crowded place.
Sanitizers – you need to have a hand sanitizer with a minimum of 60% alcohol content. Always keep the sanitizer with you. Pack spares as well, so you do not face problems in an emergency.
Medication – you have to be very careful about this. Pack all your medicines for the entire trip, and then pack some extra in case there is an unforeseen delay.
Food and water – you need to pack food that doesn’t get spoilt and you can rely on it if regular options are unavailable. With how the pandemic has spread, there’s no predictability of when restaurants will open and shut, and you need to keep in mind your whole family when you pack food and water.
Clean and disinfect your travel lodgings according to the guidelines given by the CDC.
Read about the travel restrictions imposed on the place you’re going to. Authorities are going to require you to follow multiple orders and requirements to ensure that you’re not a threat to the safety of their people and are safe yourself. This may require you to stay at home quarantined, or get testing done. It’s likely that policies will change according to the places you’ll be going to, precisely why you need to be prepared before you leave. Make sure you carry all your important documents and survival necessities.
The 14 days after catching the virus make you a threat to the safety of others, especially the more vulnerable members of our community. You pose as a risk to children, people who have health conditions, and older people – even if you are completely well. That makes precautions after traveling important as well. It’s better to personally isolate yourself even if authorities don’t impose any restriction on you, but in case you are living with other people and have to go out, be careful about the following points:
● Maintain a distance minimum of 6 feet, or 2 arms’ length, with outsiders. You need to do this everywhere.
● Cover your nose and mouth with a mask. It should be noted that even an imperfect mask is better protection than no covering at all.
● Regularly wash your hands with soap (for 20 seconds at least) and if you do not have the availability of soap and water, use a sanitizer.
● Pay more attention to your health. If you feel like there are any symptoms of sickness or COVID-19, contact the responsible authorities. Take your temperature and avoid contact with anyone else.
(Please note that if you traveled with your family, everyone should follow the above-mentioned points.)
If there are any special guidelines or restrictions that have been declared by state, territorial, or local bodies, follow the recommendations to have a safe end to the trip.
If you’ve traveled and been a part of activities that can put you at a higher risk of COVID-19, like going to areas with a high risk of the infection, large gatherings including funerals and weddings, crowded places like airports and stations, and traveling on cruise ships of riverboats, you need to try your best to stay at home. Do not leave the house until the recommended time, and take regular updates of any signs and symptoms. Postpone any other traveling until you’re absolutely sure that it’s safe for you to go out.
Remember that when you follow the recommendations given by the health authorities, it also sends a positive signal to the community.