Updated: Mar 13, 2020
With spring break a week away, and a rapidly evolving Coronavirus pandemic, concerns over travel both domestic and abroad are definitely warranted. In order to make your decision on whether or not to cancel your trip, here are fast facts you should know:
1. If you are a student, especially one planning to travel internationally, keep in mind that many schools are requiring that upon returning to the United States, you self quarantine for 14 days. This could disrupt your studies so check in with your campus for official protocol.
2. If you are 50 years or older, and/ or have any pre-existing conditions, it is highly advised that you avoid nonessential travel.
3. If you are young, healthy, and have no pre-existing conditions, are you traveling to visit your aging parents? Grandparents? Other relatives who may not be as healthy as you? If so, consider postponing your trip, or taking all necessary precautions to avoid infecting others.
3. If you are traveling internationally, the CDC recommends that travelers avoid all non essential travel to the following destinations: Italy, China, Iran, Japan and Hong Kong.
4. If you are traveling within the United States, although the CDC has not yet stated which states travelers should avoid, here are things to consider:
California, New York, Washington, Florida, Oregon, Utah have declared states of emergency.
Seattle: WashingtonState is experiencing high volumes of coronavirus cases and deaths.
Miami: is an extremely popular spring break destination for people from all over the world. With a destination that attracts so many people, the risk of coronavirus is real.
5. AIR TRAVEL:
Considering that in a given day, more than 2.7 million people from all over the world pass through airports, concerns over air travel are warranted. So let’s talk:
If oxygen on planes is recycled, am I likely to catch the virus through the recycling of contaminated air? Not necessarily. HEPA filters, the ones used on airplanes, filter out at least 99.97% of airborne particles. Which means you shouldn't worry too much: by the time you breathe in air, the germs have most likely been filtered out.
Here’s how airports/ airplanes can lead to infection: Coronavirus can be contracted when a person comes into contact with contaminated objects which were touched by an infected person. Now, in an airport, there are many opportunities to touch things that may or may not be infected. TSA looks at your passports, and hands it back. Before the plane takes off, you buckle your seatbelt. To eat you pull down the food tray. To put your luggage away you touch the overhead bin...
Now if you think that you can be diligent enough to avoid touching surfaces, other people, your face, and hand sanitizing then perhaps canceling your flight is unnecessary. Bring wipes, drink lots of water, and remain proactive.