While we are now allowed to travel, at least within the US, we still need to do our diligence and stay as safe as possible. The pandemic is not over, and as we all are aware, leaving the house leaves us more susceptible to contracting COVID-19. Not all states or counties have the same regulations in place so it is important to let the facts guide your decisions about what you will do on a trip and how you will do it while you are there.
We are still, unfortunately, at the beginnings of this pandemic, and there is still, unfortunately, so much that we do not know. We are counting on our public health professionals to research, discover, and disseminate accurate and useful information. Because this is new to ALL of us, we need to be patient with these professionals. They are trying to find cures and vaccines and as many ways as possible to end this and keep us safe. The information is evolving and we should be open to accepting the changing narrative as new things come to light.
It still seems to be that the most important, yet hardest, thing that we could do to end this pandemic is to physically distance ourselves from one another. Difficult for so many reasons, physically distancing does, in fact, work best to stop the spread of this virus. Not only are we no longer “locked down” and forced to distance, many of us are traveling, myself included.
In a few short weeks, we are taking our daughter to college. The college is small and is taking enough precautions that we feel comfortable with her going. Our drive across the country, however, is in our own hands. This is how we plan on staying as safe as we can:
When we travel, we will be wearing a mask any time we are in public. I am in favor of everyone wearing a mask in public places. I have, as I am sure you all have, seen both the opinions and the scientific papers in favor of mask wearing and against mask wearing. Things are not black and white here- wearing a mask will not protect all of us from getting COVID. Nor will it, on its own, end the pandemic. The key is that when combined with all the prevention strategies, wearing a mask is beneficial in preventing some of the spread. When done along with physical distancing, staying out of public as much as possible, staying home when you are sick, cooperating with public health officials, washing your hands, and optimizing your own health, we have a better chance. Wearing a mask is simply one strategy, among many, to help get us out of this pandemic.
It is believed that infection occurs when you have prolonged contact with someone who is infected. When you are in a confined space with poor air circulation, the risk of infection is higher. Being outdoors, especially, again, when combined with physical distancing, washing hands, wearing a mask, etc. decreases your risk of infection. This means that spending as little time as possible indoors is another important part of your strategy. When traveling, we plan to eat outside, explore the outdoor spaces on the road and on campus, and make our indoor times as brief as possible.
Keep Our Hands Clean and Away From Our Faces:
Of course we will have ample hand sanitizer in the car, but, because we are on a road trip, we will likely pack a big jug of water and a bottle of biodegradable soap so that we can wash our hands on the road. Using soap and water is more effective than hand sanitizer at washing away all germs, and I think this is particularly important before eating.
Support Your Health:
It is so easy to throw your self-care away while traveling. We are all apt to use vacation as an excuse to eat whatever we want, take a break from exercise, drink lots of alcohol, and stay up too late. This is not a good idea right now. We need to practice all our excellent self-care to stay healthy while we travel. Eat healthy (raw veggies make great snacks!), walk to explore your vacation spot to keep up your exercise, make sure you get enough sleep, and take it easy on the alcohol.
We will also continue to take all of our immune support. While we don’t yet carry this product in the pharmacy, my family has been using it for a few months. We all agree that this is a great way to get in a high volume of the immune supplements that I want us all to take in a nice convenient, single-dose. It doesn’t taste great, but it is super easy to take.
Remember that just being out in public puts you at a higher risk because you are exposed to more people. We can protect ourselves by simply using ALL of the tools that we already have to prevent infections. Even though we don’t have all the answers yet, we do have some, and we can do the best that we can!