Flying During COVID-19: How to Travel as Safe as Possible?
First, make sure the country you are traveling to is not part of a travel ban and that you will be able to return home. Here is the list of countries with restrictions on entry to the United States In order to keep yourself healthy and protected while traveling, especially when airports and flights start to come back to normal from the pandemic, it is necessary to take many precautions.
If you are feeling sick, do not travel.
First, you should avoid crowded areas such as food courts, shopping areas, and busy gates. Instead, find an empty gate to relax in, away from the crowds. Next, you should make sure to avoid high touch traffic surfaces, like railings on stairs or escalators, as well as vending machines and sockets with switches. In order to avoid using airport electrical sockets, pack a portable charger so that you can still keep your devices charged.
Additionally, you should try to get out of the airport whenever you can. Being out in the fresh air is much better than being inside the airport. If you cannot leave the confines of the airport, check to see if the airport has an outdoor area, such as an observation deck or a patio of a restaurant, and spend your downtime there. If you have a long layover, leave the airport terminal. Furthermore, you should follow the health and safety precautions recommended by the CDC such as washing or sanitizing your hands whenever possible, avoiding touching your face and coughing, or sneezing away from others.
When on the airplane, here are some health and hygiene tips to help you avoid getting sick. First, make sure to pack disinfectant wipes in your carry on and wipe down the seat, seat belt, tray table, and armrest before you sit down. If you are by the window don’t forget to wipe down the wall beside you too. If given the opportunity, choose a window seat in order to put yourself in proximity to fewer people and reduce your risk of being close to a sick person. When exchanging payments, try to use a credit card or exact change whenever possible. Cash is often exchanged and touched by many people and has a higher risk of transmitting germs. Use credit cards or “no-touch” payments instead when given the opportunity. Further, while on the plane during the flight, try to avoid using the bathroom if you can because the small, enclosed, high traffic areas are high-risk locations for viruses to spread. If you must use the bathroom, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly.
When pondering how you can protect yourself from the novel coronavirus, there are a couple of obvious answers that rise to the surface of one’s mind: wear a mask in public areas, social distance, constantly wash your hands for thirty seconds and strengthen your immune system by managing your stress. Although, another protective measure people should consider may not seem obvious because some were doing this before the pandemic. I’m talking about food.
Avoid opting for a greasy pizza when at the airport.
Try to eat a good and healthy meal before you leave for the airport. Certain foods give you the vitamins and antioxidants that enhance your body’s immune system, which gives your body a better chance to fight off illnesses. Many foods that have vitamins, anti-inflammatory properties, and antioxidants that can strengthen the biological army that is fighting for your wellness. Three healthy foods are highly recommended for people to consume, especially during a pandemic: broccoli, greek yogurt, and green tea. Broccoli contains vitamins A, C, E, fiber, and other antioxidants. Vitamin A enhances vision, the immune system, and allows the heart, kidneys, and lungs function properly; vitamin C protects cells, produces collagen–a substance that heals wounds–and strengthens the immune system; vitamin E acts as an antioxidant–protects cells–it boosts the immune system, widens blood vessels to prevent blood clots, and allows cells to function properly. Greek yogurt is another healthy food that contains a crucial vitamin, vitamin D, and other substances that strengthens the immune system. The widely enjoyed green tea isn’t just tasty, it also contains nutrients that have major health benefits. Epigallocatechin (EGCG) is a strong antioxidant that’s found in green tea. The famous beverage also has amino acid C-threonine, which supports the production of germ-fighting compounds located in T-cells. All of the health benefits of drinking green tea are why it has been consumed for thousands of years, dating back to 2,000 BCE in China.
Finally, while traveling for business and spending time in hotels, it is crucial to minimize your risk of exposure to sickness. In order to stay safe, there are a few safety precautions you must be aware of. It is important to research the hotel and make sure they have a plan in motion to protect their guests and staff. If a hotel doesn’t follow a safe guideline, then ask your boss or company to consider booking another hotel. Also, before you book a hotel, ask them if you can check into a room that hasn’t been occupied for seventy-two hours prior to your stay. This should be enough time for potentially infected areas of the room to be naturally eliminated of COVID. Although, even if you are given a room that hasn’t been occupied for a couple of days, it would still be smart to bring disinfectant wipes to sanitize your room, just in case there are infected areas. Read CDC’s guidance on how to clean and disinfect your room. It’s also beneficial to keep your windows open, if possible, in order to have fresh air circulate throughout the room. Lastly, minimize your interactions with others staying at the hotel. Sadly, this includes using hotel facilities -such as the public spa and gym- and avoid ordering room service. If all of these safety measures are taken, then it significantly lowers the chances of getting COVID while staying at a hotel.