Coronavirus and traveling
As our hotel stays open for the foreseeable future during this crisis, we still get tourists that escape the busy parts of the world and stay in with us in Kalpitiya. Traveling during this time can be done, but you have to take certain precautions in order to stay safe. So if you’re traveling, please read the following tips.
- Avoid crowds – especially in closed spaces. If you are traveling to a country with a high number of coronavirus cases, it is best if you stay away from any place where there is a large number of people.
- Wash your hands frequently. This is without a doubt the most crucial thing you can do to minimize your risk of contracting the coronavirus disease. And not just a quick rinse – wash your hands with soap for at least 20 to 30 seconds any chance you get – especially after being in public or traveling via public transport. If you are traveling by plane, wash your hands after leaving the airport. If you don’t have access to soap and water, then rub a hand sanitizer gel with at least 60% alcohol content on your hands and wrists. But remember that hand sanitizer is not as effective as a thorough wash with soap.
- Do not touch your face with unwashed hands. If you have been in a public place, don’t touch your face unless you have thoroughly cleaned your hands. The novel coronavirus can live in surfaces for hours after it has been touched by an infected person and can infect you if you touch your mouth, nose, and eyes.
- Clean frequently-touched objects with a cleaning spray or wipe. If you will stay in a hotel or hostel while you are abroad, make sure you book somewhere where you know it will be clean. Even so, it doesn’t hurt to check-in with the staff and management to see whether they have cleaned your room thoroughly – or maybe even giving frequently-touched objects a sweep with a disinfectant yourself.
- Keep your distance. If you notice someone is coughing, sneezing, or showing symptoms similar to that of the flu or a cold, make sure to stay at least 1 meter (3 feet) away from them. You can become infected by their airborne respiratory (cough or sneeze) droplets.
- Do your research regarding the spread of the coronavirus outbreak in the country you are visiting. See what the health and government officials are advising in that country and follow the same rules. If they advise staying away from crowds or a certain region, then you should do the same.
- Wear a mask and seek medical help if you develop symptoms. If you develop COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, coughing, or difficulty breathing, wear a mask so that you don’t risk infecting other people and seek medical help immediately.
Traveling is not without risk
Unfortunately, no one can tell you that traveling during the coronavirus outbreak is entirely risk-free, regardless of your age, health, or travel destination. While the COVID-19 fatality rate appears to be relatively low, and you may even return from your trip unscathed and in great health, there are some things you should consider before you travel:
- Your age
The elderly, especially those over the age of 80, are the ones most endangered for complications of the coronavirus disease, whereas ages 10 – 39 have shown relatively low fatality rates (approximately 0.2%). That does not mean that you have a lower chance of infection if you are younger, only that you have a lower chance of the disease becoming fatal. You can still become infected and spread the disease around.
- Your medical history.
People with pre-existing conditions are also more susceptible to become seriously ill from the coronavirus than those who were previously healthy. If you suffer from any respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, etc, you should reconsider traveling.
- The country you will visit.
There have been nearly 180,000 reported cases of the Coronavirus worldwide, and the numbers are constantly on the rise. The majority of the cases are in China, where the virus first originated, but there are other “hot zones” with thousands of reported cases as well – most prominent are Italy, Iran, Spain, and South Korea. So, as a precaution, the CDC has warned against travel to these countries, unless it is essential.
Most of the people who become infected with the coronavirus will overcome it without any serious complications. A large number of them may not even have to be hospitalized, but can instead self-isolate and recover at home. However, the elderly and people with underlying health conditions are more vulnerable to the coronavirus.
Therefore, if you are young and healthy, your biggest concern should not be whether you survive the disease if you catch it (you likely will) but that you may pass it on to someone else who is not so lucky.
Please take the necessary precautions, act accordingly, and take this virus seriously.
Stay safe guys!
This article was first published on VisaGuide.World