(HealthyResearch.com) – The country is about as divided as ever over how to handle the holidays this year. The pandemic is currently raging across the country like wildfire, with the World Health Organization already reporting record US cases in the aftermath of Thanksgiving.
The consensus right now is clear: People who can avoid holiday travel should. If travel is unavoidable, take every precaution to reduce the chances of catching or transmitting COVID-19 to others. Here are some safety tips that might help.
Being organized and planning for possible problems is vital to holiday travel in 2020. Potential travelers can use the CDC’s data tracker to see if their areas, or those they’ll be traveling to, are dealing with surges in COVID-19 cases. People living in or traveling to regions that have been hit particularly hard may want to consider alternate plans.
Have extra masks and hand sanitizer ready for the trip. Pack food and water, if possible, to reduce the need to stop or eat out. Plan every step of the journey to minimize extra stops or unexpected detours.
Be Mindful of the Guest List
We all have considerations to keep in mind where the guest list is concerned. Will high-risk people, or members of high-risk households, be attending this event? What about family members who are less apt to cancel plans if their kids suddenly get the sniffles? Make sure there aren’t any potential issues with the guest list that could lead to problems later down the line.
Make sure everyone who’ll be joining in this year is on the same page as far as social distancing and mask use is concerned. If not everyone is on board, don’t feel bad about backing out. Family is family, but genetics aren’t going to protect anyone from catching something serious in an unsafe environment. Set rules and stick to them.
Consider Modes of Travel
How people travel this year may be as important as where and when they do it. For example, the CDC reminds us that going by RV with members of the household is far less dangerous than taking a cruise with people in multiple social bubbles. Airplane travel lies somewhere between the two, with layovers and long lines increasing risks.
Ensure plans are as safe as possible by keeping stops and interactions in crowded places to a minimum. If traveling by car, be strategic about gas and bathroom breaks. Travelers by airplane should make sure seats are distanced and flights are as short and direct as possible. Keep masks on throughout flights and while in airports and other public places.
Keep It Distanced and Clean
Staying safe is important during both travel and holiday gatherings. It’s important that people not let down their guard just because they’re with family or back on familiar stomping grounds. People from different households should stay at least 6 feet apart, refraining from hugs and kisses and wearing masks when not eating. The measures are extreme, but we are living in unusual times. Remember, all it takes is for one person there to be sick for a family dinner to become a superspreader event.
Canceling plans isn’t an option for some people. When holiday travel can’t be avoided, minimize risks by following precautions and avoiding crowded places. We’re at the head of the next wave, and at the moment, all we can do is keep the ride back to shore as safe as possible. Let’s make sure we’re each doing our part — for ourselves and one another.
~Here’s to Your Health & Safety!
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