Staying safe from the Coronavirus
- To help curb the spread of COVD-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued an instruction to all American citizens to avoid unnecessary trips to China.
- COVID-19 virus came on board in December 2019. Since then, over 75,000 infections have been confirmed in China.
- You can help limit the spread of the virus and other viruses by restricting contact with sick people, practicing good hygiene, and adopting other steps that will help to minimize the transmission and reduce the risk of infection.
In early February, many passengers on board the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship got into quarantine facilities after ten of the passengers tested positive to the COVID-19.
In the subsequent weeks, at least 600 of the over 3,700 passengers also tested positive for the coronavirus.
Some of the passengers have been sent to quarantine facilities in their home countries. Others are still undergoing the process of repatriation.
Many, are therefore concerned, and of course worried, about how safe it is to travel by cruise ship or any other means of travel.
People who intend to travel may be wary of contracting the coronavirus – they are also concerned about the risk, or should I say, chances of being quarantined in a foreign facility upon arrival (if their fellow travelers fall sick).
It is worth noting that everyone is on high alert, including ports of call, cruise operators, and public health authorities.
Several cruise lines have adopted somewhat aggressive strategies since the onset of the outbreak by boosting preboard health checks and screenings and of course, rejecting any crew members or passengers who have been to China within the past few months.
As an individual traveler, you can help limit the transmission and spread of the coronavirus, and of course other viruses, by minimizing contact with sick people, practicing good hygiene of the hands, and taking other measures to curb the risk of infection.
Take your risk of infection into consideration
Since the coronavirus was detected in 2019, at least 77,000 cases have been recorded there.
Outside China, at least 1000 cases have been confirmed. Most of the cases outside China are recorded in Southeast Asia and East Asian countries.
According to University Medical Center, Nashville, the risk of contracting the coronavirus outside China is quite low.
Whether you intend to travel or not, you must consider your risk tolerance. If your tolerance is low, then you should put off your travel until a safer time, or better still, travel to a safer location.
Reduce your exposure to sick people
Limiting your exposure to sick people can drastically minimize your risk for contracting a lung infection – the COVID-19 for instance.
However, it may be hard to limit your exposure when you are traveling on a cruise ship, a plane, or any other means of mass transit.
A Purdue University expert has said that the air conditioning systems in ships do not have virus filtering systems. The air conditioning systems of cruise ships are designed to mix inside air with air from outside. This helps to save energy. However, air conditioning systems are unable to filter particles that are less than 5000 nanometers.
Considering that the diameter of the coronavirus is the same as SARS, i.e. 120 nanometers, then it is possible that the air conditioning system will help spread the virus to all cabins.
Filtration systems in airplanes are more effective. But if you sit close to an infected person who sneezes or coughs, you’ll certainly be exposed to the virus.
You can play safe by wearing a face mask. It will help to reduce the risk of contracting the virus.
Handwashing is essential
You can reduce your risk of respiratory infection by practicing good hand hygiene. Handwashing is the most effective preventive measure.
As much as you can, avoid touching your nose, eyes, and mouth withy gloved or unwashed hands.
Travelers should wash their hands at least 20 seconds after touching or assisting a sick person. Wash with water and soap.
Also, wash your hands after making contact with surfaces or bodily fluids that might be contaminated.
If you don’t have access to water and soap, the CDC advises that you may use a hand sanitizer with 60-95% alcohol content.
Practice social distancing
Practice social distancing. Keep your distance from people, regardless if they have symptoms or not. Practicing keeping your distance will greatly reduce exposure to the virus.
According to WHO, you should maintain a distance of at least 3 feet from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
A better way to completely avoid and help curve COVID-19 is to just stay home. Keep yourself and family safe from exposure by limiting going out. You should only go out when you need essentials. Do activities that you’ve always wanted to do. Spend more time with your family. Binge watch TV shows. Learn many new skills in which you can learn online.
Some websites I personally use to learn skills are:
Just remember, we will all get through this. Just practice the above and we will rise above adversity.