Although it looks like one of the main symptoms of the notorious Coronavirus could be a sudden urge to travel the world, life keeps going on despite the virus outbreak, and that includes traveling. However, in times like this, it does not matter how well-traveled you are. You have to follow some precautionary measures. Also, you have to keep in mind that your flights might get canceled, and you end up in quarantine in a foreign country for who knows how long.
Due to their specific nature, cruises became a considerable threat and health concern, especially because a lot of seniors prefer this way of traveling, and they are the age group with the highest risk factor. Individual travelers should also be careful and try to do as much as possible to protect themselves and others. Minimizing contact with sick people and taking care of your hygiene is the least you can do.
Consider the Risk
The COVID-19 virus was first detected last December in China. While China remains the epicenter of contagion, recent outbursts in Iran and Italy show us that the virus is spreading fast all over the world. Currently, more than 100,000 cases have been confirmed, but the numbers keep rising while you are reading this. Following the Chinese model, Italy started isolating cities and putting entire regions under quarantines. So even if you wanted to drive a gondola in Venice, that’s probably not going to happen in the next month or two. If it is possible to reschedule your trip and change plans, do it. Especially if some of the countries with a high number of cases were on your bucket list.
Limit the Contact With Those Who are Sick
Limiting the exposure and close contact to people who are sick can preserve your immune system from flu, COVID-19, and other respiratory diseases. However, that can turn into a mission impossible if you are on a plane, cruise boat, or in public transport. For example, air condition systems on cruise ships are not designed to filter out the virus; it just carries it around the cabins. Wearing a face mask can reduce the spread of germs if you are sitting next to a person who is sick, and it is highly recommended to use it if you are traveling to or through areas that are currently the most infected.
Tips for Maintaining Your Hygiene
Now more than ever, we need to pay extra attention to our hygiene. Maintaining your personal hygiene is pretty much all you can do to protect yourself, so invest some time in it and do not be so lazy, even while you are on the go.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for not less than 20 seconds after touching or assisting anyone who is sick.
- Avoid touching your face, mouth, eyes, and nose when your hands are not freshly washed, or you are not wearing gloves.
- Wash your hands anytime you get in contact with surfaces that are potentially contaminated with germs.
- Use a hand sanitizer that contains a high level of alcohol, at least 60%. Buy a few of those and carry them around while traveling.
- Cover your nose or mouth when sneezing or coughing.
How to Recognize the Symptoms
It is already known that the Coronavirus symptoms can easily be confused with the seasonal flu. Still, it is necessary to pay attention to your symptoms and to call the nearest doctor or hospital to take a check and maybe take a test. If there is no hospital near you or your local hospital is full, you always have the option of getting tested at home with a standard nasal viral PCR lab test.This virus can cause pneumonia, and in severe cases, organ failures. The majority of fatal cases were people who already have some health issues, and the recovery usually depends on the strength of the immune system. Let’s see what the most common symptoms are:
- Respiratory difficulties
- Shortness of breath
- Breathing difficulties
How Long Does It Take for Symptoms to Develop
This is the tricky part. Generally, 14 days is the number that everyone holds on to, but since this virus is still a new thing, there is still not enough data that can tell us more. Anything from 2 to 14 days after exposure is considered to be the time when the symptoms will start showing off.
What to Do When Coming Back From an Infected Area?
Many airports are already measuring the body temperature of passengers who are arriving and isolating the ones who are at risk. If you are coming back from China and Italy, you should contact your doctor and limit your movement for the next few days. If you think you have some of the symptoms, make a call, do not go to the doctor’s, and risk spreading the virus to the people who are already there and have fragile health.
Should I Cancel My Travels?
Right now, there’s no such thing as the right answer. But if you were planning to go on a cruise, to Asia, or Italy, you better postpone that if possible. There is a high chance that flights will be canceled in the meanwhile, and you can get stuck in a foreign country in the middle of an epidemic. If you have to travel, make sure to do everything that is up to you so that you and everyone around you are as safe and protected as possible.