Adapted from a recent interview on All Things Considered featuring Megan Ranney
As we approach summer many people across the country have lingering summer travel plans and are wondering if or when it is safe to hop on a flight to help alleviate mounting COVID-19 tensions.
Based on recent recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and emergency physician Megan Ranney, here are a few things to consider.
Consider Your Health Conditions
If you are an older individual, or someone with pre-existing conditions it is best to stay put. The best way to combat coronavirus is to still practice social distancing. As airports both domestic and international remain hotspots for contracting the disease, it important to avoid them all together if possible, especially if you are older and have pre-existing conditions.
Limit Family Exposure
If someone in your family absolutely must fly, try to make arrangements that will require the least number of individuals to travel. This will help to contain any potential outbreaks of coronavirus in your family to one or a few people.
Upon arrival or return family members who have traveled via airport should self-quarantine for 14 days.
Traveling with High Risk Factors
If you are a high-risk individual and need to travel, you should strongly consider driving. Driving allows you to move from one place to another without needing to come in contact with so many individuals.
If you do decide to drive and your trip will take more than a few hours, look into places that are adequately clean. Many hotels and Airbnb locations have cleaning certifications in place to help minimize the risk of spreading the disease. Also, it may be helpful to pack your own food.
Airport Temperature Screenings: Are they reliable?
As of now, temperature screenings alone are not reliable. If you must fly wear a face mask, keep your hands clean, and stay home if you are experiencing symptoms of coronavirus. Upon your arrival quarantine yourself for 14 days.
When will International Flights Resume?
As of now no one knows when international flights will be safe… Perhaps in a few months we will be able to take international trips but right now it is not safe.
Call your doctor if you’ve been in contact with someone who already has COVID-19 or has traveled to an affected region and with 14 days you develop the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
There is no cure for COVID-19. If you are experiencing fever that responds to acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen and a cough, and you are young and otherwise healthy, treat yourself as you would for a bad cold or flu. If you have shortness of breath that is new for you, call your doctor.