First and foremost, there is no 100% ensured way to be safe and travel during this Covid-19 Pandemic. That’s the reality of the world we are living in. However, the longer this pandemic carries on, and the more we learn about it, there are ways to REDUCE your risk and the risk to others. If you are traveling for a necessary reason, or a vital one, here are some tips based on information from the CDC and WHO to keep you and other safe and safer.
Much like going to the grocery store, or other essential errands, it is important to follow the basics.
- Wear a mask
- Keep distance from others (6ft)
- Stay home if you are sick
- Wash your hands FREQUENTLY
If you can, drive to your destination. This will reduce the number of people you are around for longer periods (roughly 5 minutes) and therefore your exposure.
If you don’t have the driving option, there are other things you can do to reduce your overall risk.
Let’s start with Public Transportation (trains and buses):
- WEAR A MASK
- Wipe down surfaces you sit on
- Try to keep distance from where you and others sit
- Try to stay by the air flow (open window/doors)
- Try to reduce your time on transportation as much as possible
Flights – planes are the lower risk area due to these bomb things called HEPA filters that remove approximately 99.99% of viral particles. They’re actually really cool and a way we might be able to reduce community spread. However, the act of getting on the plane is a big part of the problem. Thus, it’s important to reduce our risk. If you can, also select airlines that are keeping a middle seat open AND making masks a mandatory requirement (not face shields).
- WEAR A MASK
- Wipe down surfaces you sit on are around (most airlines are ALSO cleaning, but it never hurts to clean again)
- only sit/travel with your travel bubble (in the airport too)
- Maintain distance when you can
- Wipe down surfaces before and after using the bathroom
While I am a big fan of city bouncing and making the cost of a week away, this is the time to simplify your travel plans and avoid spreading your germs or other germs. This is a great time to try out a vacation rental, maybe a small beachfront hotel, or kick it with your sister in Florida. This means staying in one area (preferably with a lower outbreak) and keep a lid on the risk of spread.
While reducing your amount of movement is good, here are some other tips to be safer
- WEAR A MASK
- Do not go around those that are higher risk (older, immune issues etc.)
- Choose outdoor activities over inside
- Keep a distance from others
- wipe surfaces before and after use
- Get a Covid-19 test BEFORE and AFTER travel – recommended https://www.passporthealthusa.com/covid-19-testing/
- Stay in your rental property/hotel room if you start having symptoms
Returning home is almost as important as any plans to go. Make sure you keep a low profile for a while and follow the same safety as listed. If you can – stay home for a while after your trip.
Overall, reduce your risk as much as possible, and thus you will reduce your risk of exposing yourself and others.
In a recent example, I had a family member come for the week, here is what we all did to minimize risk to them and others.
- They had no confirmed exposure at least 2 weeks before travel.
- They took a Covid-19 test the day before they flew out – and dropped it off ASAP so that it would be processed within 24 hours.
- I was the only person around them until their test came back – and it came back negative.
- We mostly stayed home their entire visit, we cooked at home and only did a little take out.
- Anyone we saw during their visit was fully informed on their travel and activities – some were ok seeing them (socially distanced as much as possible). Some decided not to and that was OK.
- They visited high-risk family before we went out to do activities where other people were around.
- We did not go to a large gathering of family (inside or outside).
- We only did outside things and maintained distancing.
- We wore a mask in public ALL THE TIME
- I will maintain staying away from others for the next two weeks to reduce any risk of spread. My husband (who has to work out of the house) will continue to mask up and maintain distance.
- They will travel home with all safety measures in place and monitor for ANY symptoms.
Of course, the risk comes from a variety of places, but we knew we could greatly reduce risk by making some of these decisions. Some people have to travel now for work or other needs, and it is important to take precautions where you can. It’s not an all or nothing approach, every proactive thing you do could make a difference on someone getting sick or not.
Overall, the vital things are to reduce time spent around others (or keep it SMALL), communicate with others on what you have been doing and where you have been going, and step out to be responsible if something doesn’t feel right or if you have any concern of exposure.
Finally – Travel is very risky right now, but everyone’s comfort level is different on what that looks like. Having an open dialogue and encouraging positive actions will mean we all can emerge from this a lot healthier and happier.
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