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Warning: This is a personal opinion piece and should not be taken for medical advice.
I want to talk for a minute about staying healthy while traveling. I know since I am disabled and someone with several medical problems or to use the medical term co-morbidities, staying healthy while I am traveling is super important to me. Some of these tips are things I use and do as part of a healthy disabled lifestyle.
The first thing I want to say is the news and the government are trying to scare the public in the U.S. It may be due to it being an election year or some other reason that has yet to be determined but whatever that reason is, it is happening and it is needless.
When I was working and prior to all my problems I was a CNA. I had medical training and I know exactly what they are talking about in regards to the COVID-19 aka coronavirus. This virus is very similar to flu in how it spreads and how it moves. It resides in the droplets that humans spread.
When we talk, sneeze, cough, we disperse little droplets of saliva. EVERY TIME. This virus lives in the saliva and mucous we produce. And as we speak we release droplets into the air right around us. These droplets then fall onto the objects right around us such as counter-tops, handrails, your phone, the tv remote, computer keyboard, etc.
The reports are it can live for 6-9 hours on surfaces. So then if you touch a surface with a virus on it and then wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds you will kill it.
If you don't and touch your eyes, nose or mouth you could infect yourself with the virus.
While this virus isn't airborne if you are standing within 2 feet of someone that has the virus you could breathe in the droplets.
This is also how the flu virus and viruses that cause colds can spread. So whenever this situation with coronavirus ends these tips are still important especially when traveling.
So how do you protect yourself?
The first thing you can do and should be doing is wash your hands before you eat, as soon as you come in your house from being out, come up with a handwashing routine to wash them several times a day, after touching doorknobs, or any high traffic areas, and before touching your eyes, nose or mouth. If you can't wash your hands then use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Standing farther away from someone who is sick is also prudent.
Wearing a face mask IF you do not have symptoms will not help.
I will tell you why. If you are wearing a mask you may not breathe in the droplets BUT if you still touch an item that the droplets are on and then touch your face you can still get it.
If there are droplets on the outside of your mask and you touch the mask to remove it then the virus IF it is in the droplets will be on your hands and then say you are eating and DO NOT wash your hands...you could then get the virus inside your body.
SO you ONLY need a mask IF you have symptoms so that your droplets stay inside the mask and not get on surfaces.
Why Do You Think Medical Professionals Are NOT Panicking?
If you hear from a medical professional other then the government paid ones, they are NOT panicked. Do you wonder why?
Because this isn't really anything to worry about. Yes, this virus lasts a little longer than the flu. Yes, it's symptoms appear to be a little worse than the flu. But that really only matters IF you are elderly like over 70 or IF you have a compromised immune system.
So that is where people like me need to be a little concerned and more vigilant. I have always had what I call a crappy immune system. When I get a cold it tends to linger in my lungs. I stay sick longer than a normal adult. And I have to watch my breathing because I will get pneumonia if I don't.
Am I going to let this stop me from living? My answer is No. I would rather die than have to stop living, traveling and being me.
You have to decide for yourself if you will let it stop you.
I will be more vigilant when I am out. Like using hand sanitizer more often. Wiping down surfaces with Lysol. So I have Lysol wipes and hand sanitizer with me. But I am still going on my trip to Walt Disney World in June.
Of course, all of my plans are only good IF they release the travel industry from the death grip it that is currently holding it.