Okay, Coronavirus or COVID-19 as it is medically named has been the major thing going on all around the world in 2020. Everyone has heard about this pandemic and it has affected the everyone’s life, to what extent we do not know just yet. A lot of people are wondering what and if traveling with the Coronavirus is possible.
What is COVID-19 (the Coronavirus)
Before we get into how can you, or even if you should travel with the Coronavirus happening first we will share a bit about what COVID-19 actually is.
COVID-19, aka the Coronavirus is a respiratory illness that can be spread from person to person contact. It is actually a zoonotic disease meaning, it is spread from animals to people, which is how the Coronavirus all begain.
One fact to point out, which is often overlooked is that Coronavirus is not a new disease. That is just the name of a strain that has been around for decades, think SARS and MERS, both are Coronaviruses caused by animal to human transfer. What is new is this exact strain called COVID-19.
COVID-19 emerged from a marked in Wuhan, China and has quickly affected the whole world.
Symptoms of COVID-19 (the Coronavirus)
Initially thought of as flu like, COVID-19 is a respiratory infection that causes mild to severe illnesses in patients exposed to it. Some symptoms of Coronavirus include:
- shortness of breath
- sore throat
- organ failure
Precautions and prevention for COVID-19 (the Coronavirus)
The World Health Organization is a great resource for in-depth answers to anything related to the Corona Virus, preventive tips, travel warnings and advice, protecting yourself and country awareness. (there are a few easy charts on how to properly put on and take off masks along with cleaning your hands)
The CDC is also a handy website for COVID-19 information regarding travel in the USA and state exposure.
Here are a few quick ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and better prepare yourself from exposure to the Coronavirus, even when traveling.
- The best way to prevent COVID-19 is not to be exposed to it. That means self-quarantine or keeping spacial distance from individuals and avoiding crowds and gatherings.
- Clean and wash your hands (for at least 20 seconds with soap)
- Use hand sanitizer and make sure to cover every surface of your hands.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
- Stay informed about changes regarding COVID-19
- DON’T go out drinking or to parties (both for the gatherings and compromising your immune system.)
- Take vitamin C if you can.
Before I get into Traveling with the Coronavirus, make sure you are covered and safe!
I have been severely injured 3 times traveling, even emergency flown home once. I have visited doctors in various countries, I don’t know how many times, for rashes, sicknesses, infections, broken bones, motorcycle crashes, you name it, so I always stress the importance of having reputable travel insurance.
Especially now, if you are just starting your trip or you don’t have any travel insurance, please get some. It is easy to believe that something wont happen and hopefully nothing does but I have learned first hand the importance of travel insurance, even for a small short trip.
Traveling with the Coronavirus
Yes travel is still possible, but it is getting increasingly more and more difficult as the days go by and airport closures expand. The real question about traveling with the Coronavirus is should you with it happening?
If you do plan on traveling make sure both your destination and departure airports are still open and flying those routes. A lot of airports are closing or have set dates to stop flying, most have been for 2 weeks to a month. Also if you are flying or have a flight:
- The queue lines are chaos, with so many people trying to get places and with less routes to get there, the airports that are open are trying to keep up with the demand.
- If you are in a country and the airport has closed check to see if your visa will be waved if you get stuck there.
- Don’t panic if you can’t get ahold of anyone, a lot of airline contact outlets are completely overwhelmed. You might have to go into a physical office or agent at the airport to talk to them about your flight.
- Chances are if you arrive to your destination you could be put into a mandatory quarantine. Research before your flight or before you book a flight and decide if that is better than just staying put.
Do I need to travel right now?
This is the big question you should ask yourself. Maybe you are on a set RTW trip or your visa is about to expire or you had plans to visit a new country and now you are unsure.
All of those things can be figured out if you ask yourself – “Do I need to travel right now?” The pro’s of not traveling are, minimized risk from being in contact with so many people from completely different areas and that by not traveling you might help stop the spread if you are infected and don’t even know yet.
Also if you don’t need to travel why go through all the stress and headache to deal with the virus in a new place if you are okay where you are.
I know the appeal of going home is nice at a time like this just make sure it is the correct decision and weigh the options of going vs staying.
The Coronavirus has spread rapidly and complete effects are yet to be known just make sure you are safe no matter what you do.
3 Positive things about the Coronavirus
- Air pollution in some countries has decreased due to lack of traffic and transportation.
- People are more aware and concerned with the well-being of themselves and others.
- If you are off of work/school you have a great opportunity to reflect, disconnect from the online world and connect with friends and family, also time start new hobbies or kickstart a new routine and lifestyle.
My Experience - What I am doing abroad with COVID-19
So I have been in Bali the past two weeks and definitely had my fair share of scare and wonder about what to do now!
I am currently in a guesthouse/dorm/co-working space trying to stay as well informed as possible. For now I am going to stay put. I thought about going to Iceland and even home just with how flights are getting canceled and re-routed and the chaos everywhere I figured the best is to isolate myself and be as safe as I can be.
Also after informing myself of the Coronavirus risks, I know I definitely don’t want to go home to my small town. I am not sick but I could be carrying the disease and not even know. My young nephew already has had issues with pneumonia before and my two nieces are the last people I would want to accidentally get sick.
Final thoughts on COVID-19 (the Coronavirus)
Hopefully you are now a little more informed on whether or not it’s right traveling with the Coronavirus happening.
My thoughts are if you can stay put, even abroad like me in Bali right now, stay put and self-isolate. You might be healthy and take precautions but staying in one spot is more about protecting those who can’t and minimizing the spread of COVID-19.
Also the airports are a circus right now I have talked with friends trying to return home or go to their next destination and its madness, the wait times, queue lines and cancelations. Save yourself the headache, grab some snacks and enjoy a rest. Life will resume as normal in a couple weeks and then you can your adventure fix!