The number of cases of Coronavirus patients has multiplied exponentially over the past year. What started out as four known cases near the end of December 2019 has grown to millions.
As we know, no one is immune from Covid-19, however, there are many precautions we can still take to prevent and reduce the spread of the virus.
First and foremost, you should make your personal health a priority. When traveling anywhere, be sure to have hygiene supplies to help you disinfect anything that may contain germs.
Secondly, you should remain informed about any government alerts and warnings, especially if you’re planning to travel overseas.
Coronavirus Safety Travel Kit Essentials
From now until the threat of the virus diminishes completely, I encourage you to keep a virus prevention kit with you at all times. This kit should contain disinfectant supplies and other miscellaneous necessities to help protect and reduce your risk of exposure.
Be sure to include the following items:
- Disinfectant wipes for surfaces: Use wipes to clean off any surfaces that are touched frequently, such as light switches, elevator buttons, handles, doorknobs, seats, tabletops, and keyboards. It’s good practice to disinfect mobile devices daily since they get very close to our mouth and face every time we use them. After wiping down any surface, allow it to air dry completely so that the anti-microbial chemicals in the wipes have time to disinfect. The US Environmental Protection Agency released this list of disinfectants that work well against the Novel Coronavirus. Whether the wipes contain bleach or not is a matter of preference. Just check that the ones you pick match one of the approved disinfectants on that list.
- Hand and face wipes: Imagine all the things you (and hundreds of other people) touch every day when going to the mall, entering the metro, airport, or any other public place. Disinfect your hands multiple times throughout the day, especially prior to eating and drinking, and after coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose, and using the bathroom. Hand and face wipes are formulated to prevent skin irritation, so don’t use surface disinfectant wipes on your skin.
- Alcohol-based hand sanitizer: Hand sanitizer is ideal when you don’t have the option to wash your hands with soap and water. For the sanitizer to be effective, it must contain a minimum of 60% alcohol. Note that if you’re traveling by airplane, you should have the appropriate size container to be able to bring this item in your carry-on luggage.
- Hand soap: On occasion, you’ll go to a bathroom that has run out of soap. Have a backup ready in your kit. Carry a small, hotel-sized hand soap with you.
- Paper towels: Most bathrooms nowadays have an air-based hand drying appliance instead of paper towels. Because the virus is believed to be airborne, we should avoid using air hand dryers because they re-circulate the particles within their enclosed environment. Instead, have a few paper towels to dry your hands thoroughly. Use that same towel to open the door so your hands don’t become contaminated when exiting the bathroom.
- Pack of tissues: Travel-sized tissues are convenient all the time, but more so now with the sniffles going around. Experts recommend covering your mouth with a tissue when sneezing and coughing. Dispose of any used tissues safely in a trash can.
- Surgical face-masks: There are differing opinions on the effectiveness of surgical and N95 face-masks. As far as protecting you from getting the virus from someone else, there’s no hard evidence to determine that it will, but it might provide a minimal layer of protection if worn correctly. If anything, it may help you to reduce the spread of the virus to others if you have it without knowing it. Keeping a mask or two in your travel kit might be a good idea in case you’re traveling in an enclosed area with many people, such as in a metro or airplane, but they may not be necessary to wear when out in open spaces.
- Personal eating utensils: Use your own utensils when dining out. This will reduce the probability of eating with contaminated plastic and silverware, especially when dining in food courts and similarly crowded restaurants. Do not share your utensils. Be sure to wash them thoroughly with dish soap and water after each use.
- Vitamins and supplements: While there’s no specific diet regimen or vitamin that will prevent you from getting the Coronavirus, data suggests that those who experienced fatalities had weak immune systems and/or pre-existing medical conditions. By feeding your body the vitamins it needs to stay healthy, you’re improving your chances of surviving against any possible viral attack. Ask your doctor for the appropriate dosage of the vitamins and supplements you’re considering taking, especially if you’re already taking medication for something else.
- Basic medication: Taking fever reducers like ibuprofen or aspirin the moment you begin to feel flu-like symptoms might help reverse those symptoms faster. The longer you wait to take medication, the greater the chance that the virus might spread quicker throughout your body. If you’re taking prescription medication, have an extra supply of that too and copies of your doctor’s signed prescription.
- Snacks: Energy bars, nuts, and other snacks that are high in protein and nutrition are vital for maintaining your health. When traveling, especially in airplanes, you may want to avoid the snacks being served since you don’t know who touched them nor how they were handled before they got to you.
- Travel and health insurance information: It’s recommended that you postpone any nonessential travel at this time, however, if you must travel, you should expect to face disruptions at your destination—anything is possible, from quarantine to lockdowns to medical evacuations. Consider these options especially as the virus is expanding worldwide and government officials are taking active measures to reduce the spread. If you’re traveling overseas, carry proof of your international travel insurance and healthcare insurance along with your personal ID.
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In summary, think about how quickly our world has been changed from one moment to another. A flu-like event that sparked some attention just a little over a year ago has brought major disruptions to our day-to-day lives.
International health organizations, government officials, epidemiologists, and immunization microbiologists have been working tirelessly to provide the public with information and a solution to eradicate the virus.
While that is still a work in progress, it’s up to us to continue taking preventative measures, no matter how extreme they may sound. Your proactive actions to sanitize frequently touched spaces, properly wash and dry your hands, boost your immune system, and travel conscientiously are not only helping you but helping others too!
Thanks for doing your part!
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