The thought of traveling during this time (and after) stirs up fear and anxiety for most people after COVID-19 proved just how quickly germs and viruses could spread. One of the biggest reasons this virus was able to have such a global impact is from traveling. Although we can’t avoid travel forever—not that many want to either, after being in Quarantine for several months—we can do everything in our control to protect and disinfect.
Yes—Airlines try to clean the planes between each flight, but we must remember that there are fundamental differences between being “clean” and being “disinfected.” We all know that COVID-19 is not visible with the naked eye, so it’s never safe to assume something is clean just because it looks neat and tidy. We must take precautions to protect ourselves and others around us.
Here are a few tips for how to stay safe on your next trip:
- Stop touching your face!
This one is HUGE because germs are always going to be around us, so it’s our responsibility to make sure we’re not letting that bacteria inside of our bodies, by avoiding the spread of germs. If you’re outside and can’t wash your hands, you can still prevent spreading germs by not touching others around you and your face. Dr. Milstone from Emery University says, “People should be more careful of touching something dirty then putting their hands on their faces.”
2. Disinfect hard surfaces around you on the plane.
A new essential that we will all soon be carrying is disinfectant. Having disinfectant wipes handy can be very helpful in eliminating viruses around you when traveling. It’s important to note that you should only clean hard surfaces since the fabric will remain moist for some time and, in result, may cause an environment for the virus to thrive. Cleaning surfaces such as the drop-down tray, armrests, and even the seats (if they’re not fabric!) Dr. Milstone says, “It’s not bad to wipe down the area around you, but it’s worth remembering that the coronavirus is not going to jump off the seat and get into your mouth.” Going back to the number one tip: stop touching your face. Viral particles must travel within mucus or saliva, so unless you’re using your hands to reach areas like your mouth and eyes, you can typically stay safe with proper PPE.
3. Grab a window seat!
Studies show that people who have window seats are less likely to come into contact with a sick passenger. “Book a window seat, try not to move during the flight, stay hydrated and keep your hands away from your face,” said Professor Vicki Stover Hertzberg from Emory University’s School of Nursing.
Ultimately, grabbing a window seat is not going to keep you safe from disease and viruses; however, each safety measure you take will make a difference. The most important thing is washing our hands vigilantly and correctly!
If you’re inspired to take a trip, once it is safe enough to do so, you should check out this amazing bucket list blog from our partners at Westgate: https://www.westgateresorts.com/hotels/new-york/midtown-manhattan/westgate-new-york-grand-central/