UPDATE: Do Not Go Anywhere. Stay Home!
In light of all the changes brought on by the coronavirus, it’s important that I post this urgent update.
The coronavirus is officially a pandemic.
Please do not travel and follow the basic prevention barrier gestures to keep safe.
Should you cancel your travel plans?
To travel or not to travel?
That’s the recurring question in light of the ever-changing epidemic coronavirus.
In some countries, you won’t have a choice. It’s imposed.
118 countries at the time of this writing are struggling with restrictions, confinement and overrun hospitals.
For example, Italy is in isolation until early April.
The US decided to suspend all entries coming from Shengen, including the UK and Ireland.
French residents aren’t allowed in over 100 countries and makeshift borders are coming back on the scene.
For those hard-hit countries, it makes sense to cancel your travel plans.
Airlines are changing their rules and working on refunds.
Also, this elusive virus brings on other dilemmas for the traveler—fear of getting quarantined, the problem with refunds, and dealing with other people’s panic and fear of getting sick.
And first on the list, actually getting sick.
SHOULD YOU CANCEL YOUR TRAVEL PLANS?
There isn’t enough information on whether the virus is here to stay or how it will affect certain countries.
But daily test results bring on daily changes, and most need to adapt, including travelers.
In some cases, you won’t have a choice but to cancel your travel plans due to the coronavirus running rampant.
As mentioned above, Italy is the first democratic country in Europe placed in quarantined to help curb the proliferation of Covid19.
It’s a radical choice, but perhaps the only one?
France, which borders Italy, has not yet taken drastic measures, but that could change today as it rises to a Level 3.
All sports and cultural events are canceled, shops, restaurants, and non-essential stores closed until further notice.
Only supermarkets, pharmacies and gas stations are open.
Each country has its set of restrictions or has put in place specific rules and requirements to contain this virus.
GET THE PROPER INFO TO KNOW IF YOU SHOULD CANCEL YOUR TRAVEL PLANS
I cannot speak about the evolution of coronavirus because I don’t work in the health industry.
However, please rely on the following sites to stay up to date. Check The Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the World health organization, rather than go on the internet and read unfounded sources.
If you’re in France, check for updates here on Gouvernement info Coronavirus.
The question keeps coming up, should you cancel your trip due to the coronavirus? But the answer cannot be a clear yes or no across the board.
If the virus is widespread in the country you’re visiting, then yes, you shouldn’t take any risks with your health.
On the other hand, if your destination is virus-free, then you could consider keeping your plans with a backup plan if anything changes.
Coronavirus is undergoing an ongoing evolution. Therefore you must check your destination to make an informed decision.
LEVELS 1, 2, 3 AND THEN WHAT?
Each country is at a certain level. The highest one being Level 3.
If it’s at Level 1, there is no need to cancel your travel plans, but you must still use simple gestures to protect yourself.
However, if you’re destination is at Level 3, then you should cancel.
Examples of Level 3 countries: China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea, France
Try to get a refund from the airline, but in any case, don’t risk your health.
Keep in mind that if you travel to a Level 1 country but have a layover in a Level 3 country, this could also cause problems.
You may get tested or be obliged to observe a quarantine.
It’s important to understand that a Level 1 today could quickly evolve in a Level 2 or 3 tomorrow.
If you do decide to travel elsewhere, then you still need to observe certain gestures and use common sense.
Best ways to protect yourself while traveling (and at home)
Yes, it’s worth repeating .. Wash your hands.
It is the single most effective gesture to protect yourself from the coronavirus.
Make it a point to wash them with soap and water for 30 seconds, including under your fingernails and wrists.
Do so before and after meals, when coming in from the outside, after sneezing or coughing and after using the bathroom
Tell yourself that you need to wash your hands every hour, it makes things easier.
And if you don’t have soap and water, use a hand sanitizer.
Where I live, they are all out of stock. So we made our own.
Simple gestures that can save you:
- Cough in your elbow and sneeze in a disposable tissue. Disposable means throw it away immediately after use!
- And don’t touch your face unless you’ve washed your hands beforehand.
- No shaking hands, no kissing as a greeting (which is very common in Europe). People are getting creative and using their elbows or feet to say hi.
- Avoid getting close to those who aren’t feeling well or show flu symptoms.
- Face mask: if you’re healthy, you do not need a face mask – it won’t protect you.
- only healthcare workers and those who are already sick should use face masks to avoid transmission
- If you’re feeling sick yourself, then yes, you should cancel your plans.
Coronavirus and opinions
Everyone has their own opinion about the widespread corona crisis. And everyone reacts differently.
At first, most people considered the coronavirus like the flu, comparing symptoms and believing it could do no harm.
Little by little facts show that although some symptoms are similar to the flu, it can also hurt those with fragile health problems as it attacks the respiratory system.
Today facts show that healthy people, even if they show no symptoms, can get the virus and still transmit it to others without even knowing it.
Some people let panic take over rather than searching for facts.
But it’s normal. When we’re faced with something unimaginable or an extremely new event, we tend to minimize it.
So as the virus spreads at an alarming rate, we keep asking if you should cancel your trip or not.
Please keep checking the facts and put them in perspective at all times in order to make informed decisions.
PERSON TO PERSON
The primary way the coronavirus spreads is person to person. You can’t catch it in the “air”. That’s why distancing from others is so important.
Transmission occurs from an infected person to a healthy person via tiny droplets from coughs, sneezes, kissing or just talking.
We thought that only older adults were at risk, but recent events have shown that anyone can get the virus, even without symptoms.
However, we can’t always tell who’s infected or not, that’s why it’s crucial to avoid close contact.
S0 should you cancel your trip?
Ultimately, to make an informed decision you should research what’s going on at your destination.
In addition, understand what happens if you are quarantined in that destination.
And finally, if you want to come back home, will that be possible?