Because restrictions are being eased across the country and the possibility of travel calls, many of us will be planning road trips for the holiday season.
To ensure that your trip is memorable in the best and not the worst way, here are some things you and your fellow travelers can do to reduce the risk of catching or spreading KOVID on your trip.
Before you go
1. Check for trips or other COVID-specific restrictions or rules in the areas you will travel to or from before you go. These can change quickly and may include restrictions on how far you can travel, how many people per square meter are allowed in public spaces, and whether you need border crossings or a mask. Each country or territory has its own health department or government website COVID that you can check.
2. Do not take COVID with you. If someone in your group has KOVID-like symptoms, no matter how weak, it is important to get tested and cleared for KOVID before leaving. Common symptoms may include fever or chills, muscle aches, sore throat, cough, runny nose, shortness of breath, new loss of taste or smell, and vomiting or diarrhea.
3. Pack masks, disinfectants and hand sanitizers. The two most likely ways of catching KOVID are by inhaling viral particles thrown by an infected person when they cough, sneeze, laugh, talk or breathe; and swallowing particles by touching contaminated objects and then touching your face or food. Masks (and social distancing) can help reduce the previous risk, while avoiding touching the face, frequent hand hygiene and cleaning surfaces can reduce the latter. Pack masks, wipes and hand sanitizers. Hand sanitizer should contain at least 60% alcohol.
4. Pack your own pillows and bedding. We know people infected with SARS-KOV-2, the virus that causes KOVID, can spread the virus to bedding and pillows (and other surfaces), even if they are asymptomatic. We also know that respiratory viruses can enter pillowcases and microfiber stuffing. So you may want to consider bringing your own pillows and bedding.
On your trip
5. Use disinfectant to clean high-touch surfaces in your rental car. These would include door and window handles or buttons, light switches, seat adjustment controls, radio controls, steering wheel, glove button, transmission / drive levers and handbrake, mirrors and mirror controls.
6. How about singing in a car? The more intense the activity, the greater the chance of droplets and aerosols being released and the more they will travel. So, laughing and singing will release more of these than talking, and talking will release more of the breathing. However, if you are traveling in a family group or with your family, then you have been in close contact at home and the additional risk would be small.
Read more: This video shows how easily KOVID-19 can be spread when people sing together
7. Maintain a social distance at gas stations. Leave at least 1.5 meters between you and the next person while paying for fuel, ordering food and using the bathroom. Be sure to wash or clean your hands after touching surfaces such as gas stations, door handles, bathroom faucets and before returning to your car.
8. Pay by card instead of cash to avoid touching money. Many people can manage bills and coins for a long time, providing many opportunities to transmit disease-causing microbes from one to another. Using contactless payment also helps maintain social distance.
9. It is safer to eat outdoors than indoors if you stop for a snack or lunch. This is because large amounts of air dilute the density of viral particles in the air. Evidence from a KOVID group study in Japan suggests that the chance of transmitting COVID is more than 18 times greater than inside.
Read more: How to stay safe in restaurants and cafes
When you arrive
10. Is your hotel or rental accommodation COVID safe? Ask the accommodation provider what steps they have taken to make the site less suitable for spreading KOVID. For example, did they introduce additional cleaning or disinfection?
11. Use wipes for disinfection in rented accommodation for high-touch surface cleaning, such as door handles, light switches, cupboard handles, faucets and toilet wash buttons. You can also put dishes and cutlery on a hot cycle dishwasher. This is because the virus can remain viable (capable of causing infection) on surfaces for many days.
Following these simple steps can help keep your trip memorable in the best possible way. Happy Holidays!