For some, the anxiety of coronavirus could hamper with day-to-day working, more so for those who travel extensively. The rampant spread of infections across borders is making matters worse. During this phase of a global health emergency, here are a few pointers to keep in mind. By Bayar Jain
With the rise in reported cases of coronavirus around the world (COVID-19 has spread to every continent in the world except Antarctica), and death tolls rising at the speed of light, it’s only natural to succumb to bouts of anxiety and worry, especially for travellers across the world. The fear of a looming pandemic is often hard to shake off, while increasing media reports make matters worse. Here are some tips that we will help you stay and travel safe in the coming weeks.
1. Study, and study right
Sometimes being better aware of the situation helps cushion the worry. This becomes even more important when it comes to matters of healthcare. With coronavirus spreading almost like wild fire across the world, including reports of it having hit India, the need for being well informed is crucial. By understanding the various causes, symptoms, and side effects of the virus, you can gain an understanding of whether there even is a cause of worry. Moreover, it could even help catch anything astray early on. However, whenever you’re seeking information around this disease, do so through reliable sources such as World Health Organisation (WHO) and Red Cross or research websites. Falling back upon social media forwards and posts for information should be followed up with a thorough background check to ascertain authenticity. Often, being misinformed is worse than being unaware, particularly in matters of health.
2. Mind those hands!
In general, washing your hands frequently should be a practice you imbibe irrespective of a disease outbreak. However, if that’s not part of your system yet, be extra cautious to include it now. Try washing your hands with clean water and soap as regularly as possible. When on-the-go, alcohol-based hand rubs suffice as well. As travellers, the fear of catching a virus escalates, simply due to the unpredictable environments you are faced with. You can never be sure of who is sick, and neither can you control it. Simple steps such as not going to very crowded spaces, avoiding handrails on escalators, and avoid touching your face as much as possible. Your hands can be carriers of viruses due to the many surfaces touched. The hands if contaminated can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth, through which it can enter your body and make you sick.
3. Be Cautious While Travelling
Should you travel, check the destination’s travel advisory before carrying on with your journey and try taking the necessary precautions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a travel advisory, bifurcated as per countries and levels of disease. As per the advisory, all nonessential travel to China, Italy and Iran should be suspended. Older adults and patients with chronic medical conditions are advised to restrain themselves from travelling to Japan. CDC also recommends that all travellers should reconsider cruise ship voyages into, or within Asia at this point. When using public transport, wear a face mask and keep a hand sanitiser along.
4. Soothe your mind
One of the often-forgotten consequences of the current coronavirus outbreak is the turmoil it brings with it for the mind. In order to reduce your anxiety, consider limiting your news intake. It can be very beneficial to step aside from the constant bombardment of updates and seek respite. Instead, try focussing on the present. If your mind starts to wander into scary realms, try bringing it back to people and things around you. Doing this will work wonders in keeping you grounded, and refocussing your perspective. Talking it out with friends or family could also help calm your nerves. Remember, your mind needs the same care as your body.