Excited about touring in the course of the pandemic? Earlier than heading out, there’s a lot to think about, together with:
- Do you’ve got threat elements for extreme COVID-19, comparable to superior age or power medical circumstances?
- What about your co-travelers’ well being and threat elements? Are your co-travelers a part of your family or tight social circle?
- Is the virus spreading within the locations you’re going?
- Who’re you going to see alongside the way in which, and what’s their well being threat profile?
- If you happen to get sick whereas touring, will healthcare be obtainable? And do you’ve got the helps you want in case you must quarantine for 2 weeks whenever you return dwelling — or in a state you’ll be staying in?
Relying in your solutions, you would possibly determine it’s higher to remain dwelling! Or you might determine the dangers are acceptable given some preparation and precautions, as we just lately did.
Fly or drive?
“Please watch out whenever you drive out of the airport in the present day, as you start essentially the most harmful a part of your journey.” Ever hear a flight attendant say that when your aircraft lands? It means that driving is riskier than the flight you simply took. And the statistics assist that.
However this will not be true throughout a pandemic. Tight seating and publicity to a number of folks whose habits you possibly can’t management may be riskier than driving between cities. For a lot of, driving could also be safer than flying exactly as a result of you’ve got extra management over doubtlessly dangerous exposures.
We simply drove from Denver to Boston. We selected to drive somewhat than fly as a result of we’d be touring with our massive canine. Sure, he might have traveled within the cargo maintain, however let’s simply say that choice was vetoed. Having simply made the reverse journey from Boston to Denver in January, proper earlier than the pandemic started, it’s truthful to say the return journey was fairly totally different.
Getting ready for the journey
We fastidiously deliberate our route, selecting stopping factors that had open motels (some have been reserved for healthcare employees and first responders) and making reservations at a sequence that had a popularity for being notably conscientious about COVID-19 security. Thankfully, many motels are taking quite a lot of steps to maintain their lodgers secure in the course of the pandemic, as a recent article in Forbes notes.
Then we loaded the automobile up with
- hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, paper towels, and spray disinfectant
- meals and water, so we might keep away from stopping at eating places
- provides to permit toilet breaks within the woods, in case we couldn’t discover appropriate public restrooms
- the canine (in fact), alongside together with his meals, toys, and mattress.
Heading out into the world
As we left Denver, we knew some doubtlessly dangerous conditions can be onerous to keep away from. We’d must cease for gasoline, strolling the canine, strolling me (I wanted to stretch usually), and naturally toilet breaks.
Buddies advised us to “simply go within the woods,” however there are not any woods alongside a lot of I-70 in Kansas! We have been happy to search out loads of truck stops, relaxation areas, and gasoline station restrooms that have been clear and simple to make use of with out touching practically something (although we took disinfectant wipes in case a door deal with or cleaning soap dispenser needed to be touched). I additionally used disinfectant wipes to the touch gasoline pumps. As soon as again within the automobile, we used a number of hand sanitizer earlier than resuming the journey.
We did discover masks have been worn extra in some areas than in others. One mask-free man noticed our masks and requested us, “Do you actually suppose there’s one thing to this virus factor?” I mentioned sure, I believed there was one thing to it certainly! Clearly, there are a number of views on the seriousness of the pandemic.
The motels we stayed at appeared secure as properly. A number of wipes and sanitizer within the foyer, a protecting defend on the entrance desk, masks on all the staff, and a two-person restrict within the elevators. As soon as within the room, we wiped every part down: lamp switches, surfaces, door handles, toilet, and naturally, the TV distant. The resort gave us the choice of getting nobody enter the room (comparable to for maid service) throughout our keep, and we accepted.
It was simple to socially distance: there was virtually nobody within the resort or in close by streets, so going for a stroll appeared secure.
Midway dwelling, we visited household at an impartial residing facility. Waving and speaking by means of a glass door and sporting masks, our hugless greeting was far totally different from regular however a lot better than nothing. At one other gathering of six folks, we sat outdoors six ft aside and puzzled if beer might kill viruses. (It will possibly’t.)
The underside line
After 5 days on the street, we arrived dwelling weary however, hopefully, uninfected. We appreciated that the majority of our fellow vacationers and all of our hosts took the pandemic significantly. Whereas nothing is risk-free, our efforts and people of individuals we encountered made the journey really feel like a low-risk enterprise. If you happen to’re wholesome, symptom-free, and must drive a great distance, I believe there are methods to do it safely, even throughout a pandemic.
Observe me on Twitter @RobShmerling