Coronavirus Safety: Protect Yourself While Traveling

Coronavirus Safety: Protect Yourself While Traveling
  • Opening Intro -

    The coronavirus is taking its toll. But life goes.

    Understand these important safety tips if you have fly during this time.

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Protect Yourself While Traveling

  • The American Center for Disease Control and Prevention has issued travel advisories discouraging people from going to China as a way to help reduce transmission of Covid-19, also known as Coronavirus.
  • The flu-like virus, first reported in China in December 2019, has spread across every continent (except perhaps Antarctica), with hundreds infected in countries such as Italy, Iran, Japan, South Korea – and quite recently, the U.S.
  • Although coronaviruses are not considered extremely deadly, they do pose a serious health risk particularly among elderly people, or individuals with respiratory disease.
  • Covid-19 has now turned into a pandemic; however, the World Health Organization still maintains that individuals can do a lot to prevent infection.

What Are the Symptoms of Coronavirus?

Covid-19 is characterized by symptoms normally associated with the common cold and flu. The symptoms include the following: runny nose, cough, sore throat, fever, breathing difficulties; and in some cases, pneumonia. Very rarely, Covid-19 can be fatal.

According to the World Health Organization, the disease poses serious risk to about 2% of infected people, with older people being more vulnerable. Individuals who have diabetes, low immunity, asthma, and heart disease, have a higher risk of becoming severely ill.

Covid-19 symptoms include:

  • Runny nose
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Difficulty breathing

How Effective is Wearing a Mask While Traveling

Masks can be useful for preventing the spread of particles containing the virus, however, they have to be used in combination with other methods such as regular hand cleaning and maintaining a safe distance with other people. Also, masks must be handled safely, and disposed off properly after use to prevent further spread of infection.

The World Health Organization website has some tips for wearing a mask:

  • Before wearing a mask, wash hands with soap and water, or sanitize using alcohol or other disinfectant.
  • Individuals who are healthy need not wear a mask, unless when taking care of a person who is suspected to have Covid-19.
  • Wear a mask when sneezing and/or coughing to prevent spreading the virus to other people.
  •  Cover the mouth and nose and leave no gaps between your face and the mask.
  • Avoid touching the mask while using it, and when removing the mask, do so from the back, and not the front of the mask.
  • Once removed, wash hands with soap and water.
  • Face masks are actually meant to prevent you spreading germs and viruses through coughing or sneezing, and not necessarily to protect you from the virus itself.

How Do I Protect Myself on a Plane?

The normal common-sense things that people do to protect themselves from the common cold also apply to Coronavirus; however, the worrying issue is whether being on a plane presents additional risks because it’s an enclosed space with re-circulated air.

In truth, the way that air is filtered and circulated in an aircraft leaves little room for spreading germs and viruses such as Covid-19. Having said that, you should still make an effort to avoid contact with other people, avoid touching the face – and if necessary, wear a mask to protect others.

Before getting on a plane, pick up a hand sanitizer if you’re worried about touching something on the plane. Avoid traveling to places that are known to have higher cases of infection, such as certain parts of Asia, and the middle east.

Limit Exposure to People Who Are Sick

The incubation period of Covid-19 is about two weeks. This makes it difficult to identify people who may have the virus, and therefore, prevention becomes even more challenging. But even so, if you suspect that a person has the virus, interaction with said person should be minimal.

Keep a distance of at least 3 feet (1 meter) when engaging people who may be showing symptoms of a cold or flu and encourage them to wear a mask when going out. Combine this with some good hygiene and get yourself tested if you are worried that you may have the virus.

Here are some additional tips for avoiding Coronavirus:

  • Wash Your Hands

    Although hand-washing sounds simple and obvious, it is the single most effective way of preventing the spread of flu viruses such as Coronavirus. When traveling, we come into contact with all manner of germs and bacteria, many of which can be transmitted to other people to cause disease.

    Wash regularly with flowing water and use plenty of soap. A hand sanitizer is also useful for killing germs and certain viruses, but it should not replace actual handwashing as a preventative measure.

  • Do Not Forget to Get Vaccinated

    Cold and flu shots are excellent for strengthening your immune system against Coronavirus. They don’t actually have a vaccine for Covid-19 yet, but a regular flu shot will reduce the likelihood of acquiring the virus.

    Bear in mind that influenza and the common flu are serious infections that cause respiratory problems for millions each year, and they also contribute to the spread of Coronavirus. If you plan to travel, get yourself vaccinated against the flu, because this can go a long way in making you stronger against Coronavirus.

  • Prefer to Use Bottled Water And Be Aware of Food Contamination

    Again, when traveling to places where food safety and hygiene are not guaranteed, take a bottle of water and perhaps carry packaged food to avoid contact with contaminated food. Many types of Coronavirus infections are spread through contact with poultry, so you may need to keep off chicken for a while.

  • Let a Doctor Know if You’re Sick

    If you start to develop signs of respiratory illness, especially when traveling, go to a health professional immediately and get tested. Similarly, if you’re traveling in a cruise ship, speak to the on-board doctors. If this isn’t possible, then it may be necessary to self-quarantine and wait for a doctor to come to you.

Image Credit: by 20twenty.com

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