Traveling used to be exciting and so much fun in the past. It was something that we all looked forward to before—every time there was a chance to do so—no matter what our status in life is—especially during summertime. Gone are the days when we can travel anytime and anywhere without fear and apprehension. I used to travel every year back to my home country to visit my family and spend some quality time with them. But due to the dreadful “Coronavirus” or otherwise known as the “COVID-19” disease, I was not able to travel to the Philippines for the past two years now because of the many travel restrictions and of course, the risk of contracting this highly infectious and sometimes deadly disease, as well as spreading it to my loved ones and other people.
What is Coronavirus or COVID-19 disease?
To understand it better, we need to know what this disease is all about and how it affects our body and immune system.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Coronavirus or COVID-19 is “an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered strain of coronavirus.”
What are the effects of Coronavirus and who are most prone to it?
Researches and studies have revealed that Coronavirus or COVID-19 disease primarily attacks the respiratory system of an individual and mostly it affects people who are 50 years old and above, with underlying health problems such as chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart diseases, kidney problems, and others. Recovery from this serious disease depends on the individual’s immune system to fight it off and overcome its effects on the human body.
What are the symptoms of Coronavirus?
The common symptoms of Coronavirus are the following: fever, sore throat, tiredness, dry cough, diarrhea, headache, loss of smell, loss of taste, skin rashes, body pains, and conjunctivitis.
That being said, the travel industry is one of the hospitality businesses that has taken a major blow and an unexpected twist, brought about by the COVID-19 disease that has crippled and devastated the entire world beyond our wildest imagination and expectations. The damage and death toll that this disease has caused in the global scene for the past two years cannot be described in words. Millions of people around the globe had lost their family members, their jobs, and sad to say, their lives because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Still, traveling cannot be totally avoided due to work and other personal reasons. Whether we are traveling locally or abroad nowadays, the risk of getting infected with Coronavirus is real and should not be taken lightly. It could spell the difference between life and death where traveling is concerned. That is why, we must take all the necessary precautions to safeguard ourselves, our loved ones, and the community from Coronavirus.
Below are important things to remember to stay safe while traveling in this present situation:
- Plan ahead – Make sure you make plans before embarking on a trip. List down all the things you need to bring and have to do in your travel to save time, money and especially your health. Do your best to shorten your time of travel so you would not get exposed to Coronavirus and risk being infected with it.
2. Bring your PPE – It is very important to bring your Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) whenever you are going out of the house and going to work or school. Always put on your mask every time you step outside your home, even if you are just going out for five minutes in order to protect yourself from getting the virus. Carry a sanitizer or alcohol in your bag or pocket and wear protective gloves all the time so you won’t touch the infected surfaces or stuff outside.
3. Choose the right mask –It is a must to wear the right mask. It is much better to buy expensive masks which would protect you from getting Coronavirus than to purchase cheap ones that would endanger your life and that of your loved ones. The top three most effective and highly recommended masks by medical experts and researchers around the globe are the N95 respirator mask (for health workers), the regular surgical mask used in the hospital, and cloth masks with several layers of fabrics. Do not use folded scarves or bandanas and buy masks with valves or vents because they have an opening where the virus could enter and allow droplets from an infected person to enter your body.
4. Follow regulations of disposing of the Mask – Make sure that you will dispose of your mask properly. Do not throw it everywhere especially on the streets where people might touch or step on them. When you remove your mask, put it in a clean plastic bag and throw it straight in the trash bin. Do not leave it lying around in an open space to avoid contamination and spreading the virus.
5. Wear your mask properly – Some people argue that even wearing a mask would not protect you from getting Coronavirus. Researches and studies proved that wearing a mask lessens your chances of being infected with Coronavirus. The problem is some people do not know how to wear the mask properly. Many people only cover their mouths and leave their noses uncovered when wearing a mask. This is a wrong practice. You must ensure that your nose, mouth, and chin are properly covered when you are wearing the mask.
6. Do not replace a mask with a face shield –Wearing only a face shield, without a mask underneath it exposes you greatly to Coronavirus because your nose and mouth are not covered. If you really want to use a face shield, you must also wear a mask with it to lessen your chances of contracting the virus.
7. Follow the rules and regulations set forth by the government – You may hate the government for imposing very strict rules when it comes to traveling like a “lockdown” but there is a reason for this. It is the responsibility of the government to protect and save the lives of its citizens from getting infected with Coronavirus and other life-threatening diseases or situations. The best thing you can do is to cooperate with the government in combating Coronavirus so you can protect yourself and your family from this disease.
8. Practice proper hygiene – Always wash your hands with soap and water and put in some hand sanitizer or alcohol-based products especially whenever you are outside. Coronavirus can live on surfaces for up to eight hours. So make sure you don’t touch any surfaces outside your home. Needless to say, you must always sanitize your home and keep it clean and safe for your family.
Do not touch your face, nose, mouth, and eyes to prevent getting Coronavirus.
Early this year, scientists and experts found a new COVID-19 variant in the US, United Kingdom, Japan, and Brazil. This new variant is said to be highly infectious and more dangerous, as compared to the first COVID-19.
The bottom line is, nothing is more important than your life or that of your family. If you can avoid going out as much as possible, then do so. Only leave the comfort and security of your home if it is really necessary. And if you have to go out, just keep in mind to do the things mentioned above, so you can travel and stay safe during these trying days. Have a safe and pleasant journey!