The Coronavirus has brought up some serious questions about what is safe and not safe to do in life in general, but with Spring Break looming there have been lots and lots of chatter about travel and exposure to the virus.
I personally have a Spring Break trip booked next week and if your year has been anything like mine, you need that vacation REAL BAD.
My boyfriend and I have been saying we don’t care where Coronavirus hits, we are getting on that plane and going to the beach, but secretly I did a little research to make sure we would be safe. I’m also planning to drink enough tequila to hopefully overtake any germs that come my way. Here is what I found out about travel and the Coronavirus:
First of all, what exactly is the deal with Coronavirus?
From Johns Hopkins Medicine:
- COVID-19 is the disease caused by the new coronavirus that emerged in China in December 2019.
- COVID-19 symptoms include cough, fever, and shortness of breath. COVID-19 can be severe, and some cases have caused death.
- The new coronavirus can be spread from person to person. It is diagnosed with a laboratory test.
- There is no coronavirus vaccine yet. Prevention involves frequent hand-washing, coughing into the bend of your elbow and staying home when you are sick.
So, the reason this has been such a talked about the outbreak is that it is a new strand, there is no vaccine and it can be spread person to person.
So do we need to all be quarantined and stop living life?
My answer after the research is no. I won’t give all the details of what I really think, to avoid a huge debate, BUT I will say that I’m hoping with precautionary measures, we will all be ok.
Betches.com (one of my faves) did a fantastic article about who is actually at risk and if it was or wasn’t safe to travel:
Who’s most at risk:
“Travelers over the age of 50, those with chronic illness, and those with compromised immune system may have a higher risk of contracting and getting sicker from any virus, including the [new] COVID-19 strain,” warns Eudene Harry, MD, who’s board certified in both Emergency Medicine and Holistic Integrative Medicine. Believe it or not, she says being in an airplane may not increase your risk as much as you’d think. “Based on research, using the flu model, your risk of contracting a respiratory illness on an aircraft is very low. To be at risk, you’d most likely have to be sitting directly behind, in front of, or right beside the infected person,” she explains.
Also high risk: The CDC has a lot of information about safety, not traveling unless you have to (does traveling for a beach and tequila including having to? Cuz it feels that way to me), and the current high-risk places including Italy, Iran, China, and Korea. Click here for more info.
How to Stay Safe While Traveling (from betches.com)
- Practice good hygiene:
This means washing and sanitizing (with an alcohol-based sanitizer of at least 60%) your hands often. It’s also helpful to wipe down any public surfaces you may be using, especially if you’ll be eating there,” says Dr. Majestic. Dr. Harry adds that you should be washing your hands frequently with soap and water for AT LEAST 20 seconds. So sing your ABCs or the “Happy Birthday” song at least twice and get those hands clean.
2. Avoid touching your face.
“[The virus is] spread through respiratory droplets coming in contact with mucosal surfaces. It’s not spread by simply breathing in the same air as someone else”
3. DON’T WEAR A MASK
This one was shocking to me because it seems to be the biggest thing I’ve seen around airports as a protective tool. In fact, they say not to wear a mask unless you actually already HAVE the virus.
“CDC does not recommend wearing masks to prevent getting the disease. In fact, there’s concern that this may have the opposite effect,” explains Dr. Harry. “People wearing masks tend to fidget with the mask, thus frequently bringing their hands in contact with the face. Also, most masks are designed to keep droplets in, not keep them out. So, masks are best worn by people with an illness.” Only wear a mask if YOU are sick. Otherwise, don’t do it. (betches.com)
4. Stay away from sick people and do not cough into hand use a kleenex or flexed elbow.
5. Hydrate and get lots of rest!
A strong immune system is the best fighter!