With an upsurge in cases of the corona virus (Covid-19) in some countries around the world, it has become pertinent for individuals to either cancel their travel plans or think of ways to ensure they are traveling safe.
Countries are also taking preventive measures like closing their borders to travelers from some routes and placing certain rules for travelers when they arrive.
All these are happening after I have just made a trip and I often find myself wondering what my fate would have been if things did not go as planned. Stay back at home maybe?
Would I have continued the trip? Would I have rescheduled? or just find ways to make sure I am protected while traveling.
Traveling comes with a lot of consideration for hygiene and comfort, but traveling safe during a pandemic outbreak is a struggle and the thought in itself is a trigger for anxiety and paranoia.
At the airport, bus or train stations, people have been spotted wearing disposable overall outfits, using hand gloves and face mask e.t.c which is necessary if you ask me.
As at the time I left for my trip, Nigeria was yet to record it’s first case of the corona virus (covid-19), but I still took personal measures to ensure I was traveling safe. I did not wear a face mask like I spotted a number of travelers doing, but I was intentional about almost everything.
If you evidently cannot postpone your trip, here are some tips to ensure you are traveling safe during a pandemic outbreak:
1. Work on your Mindset.
Once you have resolved to continue your trip, it is important that you remain aware of the situation.
This is not the time to panic and there can be no room for negligence in terms of touching surfaces randomly, not wiping hands, not using a sanitizer e.t.c.
You also need to be in control of your emotions, as you do not want to be the traveler raising hell because another traveler mistakenly touched you. I have heard quite a number of cases like this.
2. Be Aware of your Health Situation.
Stay home if you feel unwell or unfit to travel.
Because the recent covid-19 symptoms are almost flu like, there is a high chance that you will be singled out by other travelers even if what you really have is a flu.
An aircraft, bus or train is more or less a confined space, so it is important that you are healthy before you embark on a trip.
It is absolutely unfair to share a space with other people when you are unsure about your health condition.
You may not also get as much people willing to help you if you fall ill while on a trip. This is largely because of the fear and anxiety that comes with a pandemic.
If you have a pre-existing health condition, please ensure you check in with your doctor to confirm you are fit for the trip.
3. Have your own Personal Hygiene Kit.
From alcohol wipes, hand sanitizers, tissue roll e.t.c , it is important to have your own supply during a trip so that you can take care of your personal hygiene needs.
Having your own supply also ensures you have control over how it is used and who uses it. Relying on the items supplied for public use is not the best choice.
4. Maintain Personal Hygiene.
Authorities have overemphasized the need to maintain proper hygiene to stay safe and that is really what is expected of every individual.
It is our responsibility to stay safe and ensure we are not putting anyone else in danger. Here are some tips:
- Use a disposable tissue if you have to sneeze or cough.
- Use alcohol based sanitizers.
- Wash hands frequently/ Wipe hands frequently.
- Stay hydrated.
- Social distancing, but be respectful.
- Avoid touching your face with unclean hands.
5. Adhere to Travel Rules.
During a pandemic outbreak, it is important that you strictly abide by the airport / flight rules. This is to ensure that you are not caught in a frenzy of dealing with issues raised in the middle of a sensitive period.
- Adhere to your luggage allowance. You do not want to repack your luggage in the open.
- Keep liquid in a clear bag and in the approved size for your carry on bag.
- Stay in the seat allocated to you.
- Respect people’s space while in flight.
- Be aware of the travel laws/ new rules in the country you are visiting.
Basically, make things easy for you to travel safe and to ensure the travel attendants do not pull you aside for obvious reasons.
This is a real crisis, but the question is how do we react to it?
Remember not to panic, be honest when asked questions about your recent travel history, be polite to everyone around you, call your doctor to report symptoms and most of all be safe.
Finally, most authorities have advised that you self isolate if you have traveled recently. This is just to ensure that you are well and do not unintentionally infect your friends and loved ones.
Please share your thoughts in the comment section below:
How has covid-19 affected your community or travel plans?
Are you working from home?
Do you have helpful tips?
How are you staying safe?
Have you been on a trip recently?
I will love to read from you.
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