If you are considering traveling during a pandemic, safety precautions are a must. If you’re traveling during a pandemic, you will want to make sure you are healthy and won’t endanger anyone else’s health. Here are a few steps to help you prepare for your trip.
Before You Travel
Visit You Doctor if it’s possible
Knowing that there is a worldwide pandemic is frightening. If you have to travel during this time, visiting your doctor before departure is recommended for your own health and the health of others. You will want to ensure that you are healthy, have no fever and are free from obvious signs of virus.
Maintain Healthy Habits
Get plenty of rest and eat a healthy diet rich in nutrient-dense foods. You want your body to be in its best shape to keep your immune system strong. Follow your doctor’s advice about nutrition, exercise, and rest.
Wash Your hands
Most people contract viruses by picking up particles on surfaces. It’s important to wash your hands thoroughly in hot, soapy water for at least 20 seconds after you touch surfaces in a public place. If possible, wipe down surfaces with a sanitizing wipe before you touch them.
Research shows the average person touches her face 23 times every hour. If you have contacted a virus and it is on your hand, touching your eyes, nose, or mouth will introduce it into your body. Do your best to resist touching your face.
Avoid all physical contact for the sake of yourself and the other person. A pandemic is an excellent reason to skip on courtesies such as handshakes, hugs, and cheek kisses.
If you do have physical contact on your travels, be sure to wash your hands afterward to kill any virus particles you may have picked up.
Invest in Hand Sanitizer
While traveling, sometimes soap and water may not always be available. A bottle of hand sanitizer is an acceptable alternative when it’s not possible to wash your hands. Hand sanitizer acts fast to kill microorganisms on your hands and reduces bacterial counts.
When purchasing a hand sanitizer, you will want to buy one that is 60%-90% alcohol, since alcohol is responsible for killing germs.
Buy a Face Mask or Carry a Scarf with you
There are times when situations warrant wearing a mask. Other times, people may appear to avoid you if you are not wearing one.
If you are unable to get a mask, since many supplies have run out, you can simply use a scarf that you can throw in the wash when you get home.
What to do when you get back
Social distancing can stop the spread of a virus. Avoid crowds and places where people gather such as restaurants and public transportation. If you must be around others, maintain a distance of 6 feet between you to minimize the possibility of spreading germs.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
If you go out in public, take note of your surroundings. If you are at the grocery store, wipe down your shopping cart and wear gloves while picking out produce. Carry tissues in case you have to cough or sneeze. You will want to avoid any contact with a senior citizen, as well, as they are at higher risk for getting ill.
Taking care of your health before and after you travel will benefit you and everyone around you. Be alert to pandemic symptoms and call your doctor if you develop any concerning signs. Don’t head straight to the hospital or urgent care—call your doctor first and ask what to do, unless it is an emergency situation.
Practice common sense hygiene and good social distancing techniques to keep yourself safe and protect others while traveling during a pandemic.
Danielle K. Roberts is the Vice President and co-founder at Boomer Benefits, where her team of experts help baby boomers with their Medicare decisions in the US.