While many people focus on the 2020 election results, even more people worry about the coronavirus pandemic that has so far taken the lives of over 200,000, with no end or treatment insight. With the upcoming holidays quickly approaching, safety concerns weigh heavily on the minds of individuals who traditionally travel to visit family and friends during this joyful time of the year.
Travel increases your chances of contracting and spreading the COVID-19 virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC,) who also suggests that staying at home is the best way to prevent the spread of the virus. However, since many people travel, take a few added precautions to stay safe if you plan to do so this year amidst the pandemic.
Check COVID-19 Rates
Before leaving home, check the COVID-19 rates for your destination. Take time to learn more about travel restrictions that may be in place in the area as well. Local and national news sources, as well as specialized apps, provide this information. COVID-19 restrictions vary from one area to the next. Avoid traveling to any high-risk transmission areas and reconsider traveling to areas with a moderate transmission risk.
Consider Travel Methods
People will travel by car, airplane, train, and even bus this holiday season, and with each comes a risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus. Car travel is the safest option since it reduces the number of people you encounter. If using one of the alternative travel methods, always make sure to wear a mask to protect yourself and others. It is always important to keep the mask on when in public.
Wear a Mask
For goodness sake, put a mask on your face! Wearing a face mask covering your mouth and nose considerably lowers the transmission of COVID-19, according to scientists and experts across the globe. Although you likely cannot wear a face mask during thanksgiving dinner or while celebrating with friends, you can reduce contact with others. Wear your mask while traveling, especially during stops en route to the destination.
While en route to loved one’s homes, minimize stops for fuel, drinks, bathroom breaks, etc. Although such stops cannot be avoided altogether, you can make adjustments like bringing snacks and drinks along to minimize the number of stops that you make.
Keep social distance measures in mind while en-route to your destination and upon arrival. CDC guidelines recommend that you maintain a six-foot distance between people who are not in your immediate family. Maintain social distance measures everywhere you go, and be mindful that we are in the middle of a pandemic when socializing with loved ones. Everyone must make changes if we want to get through this virus!
An at-home COVID-19 test kit can give you answers in times of uncertainty. Designed for at-home use, the kits can be used before travel, during travel, or once you return home. Experts recommend testing both before and after travel, but there is always a chance that you’ll encounter problems while at your family’s home.
Doctors agree that testing three days after the possible exposure date provides the most accurate results. Keep your distance from others during the three days. In fact, you should go ahead and self-isolate as you await the results. It is better to be safe than to be sorry if you suspect you’ve contracted this deadly virus, after all.
2020 is one unforgettable year, and that is an understatement. Nothing today is the same as last year, and at this point, no one is sure if things will ever return to normal. We are all (still) in this together and can beat the virus if we take a few precautions even during those rare moments of normalcy we enjoy these days.
Staying home is the best protection against COVID-19 and can help stop the spread of this virus. However, if you are like the millions of others who plan to travel to visit family and friends this holiday season, use the tips above to enhance safety and reduce your risks.