This thing is real. Yes, the meme are funny on first glance, but when we consider over 114,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and over 3,500 deaths, world-wide, then, yes, the Coronavirus is more dangerous than influenza. The entire country of Italy is shut down. That’s not even a game. We need to be serious and take precautions, especially if you need to travell.
As a seasoned traveler, even I’m taking a seat back and looking at all possibilities and options. I mean, look, all those fabulous cabanas I’d love to be nestled in right now will be ready for me (and all of us) when this is all said and done. For now, our concern should be directed to our personal health and safety as well as our communities at-large. While it seems as though our elders are affected the most, and most of us will recover if we get it, we still want to be aware and smart.
From personal experience and from around the web of medial experts, here’s what you need to know if you’re travelling during the outbreak or are still considering collecting miles.
WHAT ARE THE AIRLINES DOING?
American Airlines announced that it will waive fees for passengers changing their flights due to the outbreak. Specifically, the airline will waive change fees for up to 14 days prior to travel for customers who purchase flights between March 1 and March 16.
Per Travel & Leisure:
“JetBlue announced that they are suspending change and cancel fees for all new flight bookings made between Feb. 27, 2020 and March 11, 2020 for travel through June 1, 2020.
As of yesterday, Delta Airlines said it will allow travelers with tickets to any destination in March and April to change or cancel their flight without paying a hefty change fee, regardless of when they bought the ticket. United and American followed suit, thankfully.”
“Airlines should enable consumers to adjust their travel plans – regardless of when those decisions are made or when a passenger’s ticket was purchased” — Sen. Richard Blumenthal in a letter to CEOs.
Per Travel & Leisure:
“Last week, Delta announced that is is decreasing service to Japan in addition to its prior announcement that they have also reduced the number of weekly flights between the U.S. and South Korea.”
If you have to travel, say for work or family emergencies, be vigilant. Take your wipes and wipe everything down. Avoid using the in cabin bathroom if possible. Don’t pass snacks and beverages that aren’t yours. While some Flight attendants are allowed to wear masks and some have now been asked to take three weeks of unpaid leave between March 1 and the end of June, you can’t ever be too cautious.
WHAT ARE CRUISE LINES DOING?
The scare on the Grand Princess which had passengers quarantined for 14 days and has finally docked in Oakland, CA, has all cruiseliners shuffling to adjust and even consider cancelling cruises.
Per Travel & Leisure:
“For future trips, Royal Caribbean announced a new policy where they’ll allow ticketholders to cancel within 48 hours.
“The ‘Cruise With Confidence’ policy allows guests on Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara and Silversea to cancel up to 48 hours before a sailing,” their announcement read. “Guests will receive a full credit for their fare, usable on any future sailing of the guest’s choice in 2020 or 2021.
Earlier this week, the U.S. State Department issued a level 4 — its highest level — warning, notifying Americans that they should not travel to China. The CDC also issued a warning against all nonessential travel to China. However, this does not include Hong Kong, Macau, or Taiwan.
Travel warnings for Italy and South Korea were increased from a Level 3 to a Level 4 on Saturday, advising Americans not to travel to infected areas.”
If you’re unsure about the travell restrictions, cancellations, options, etc, visit individual carrier sites as well as hotels. You definitely don’t want to get stuck with fees if you don’t have to.
BASIC AND COMMON KNOWLEDGE TO-DO
WASH. YOUR. HANDS. Repeat all day, every day. Period. This the most basic of basics. I’m a germaphobe by nature, so I am emphasizing this the way I hawk the weather in order to ride my bike outdoors. Do it for the greater good and safety of us all.
Carry and use sanitizer. Purell is out, apparently. You can make your own at home. Make sure it’s at least 60% alcohol. Aloe vera for texture. Essential oil for smell good.
Don’t shake hands. I know this may be hard in business situations, but look…. we all hear the news. It’s okay to shoulder and elbow tap. Make it fun… tap your shoes. And if you have to touch hands, immediately wash your hands and sanitize.
Stay home. If you’re sick or not feeling well (sneezing, coughing, fever, etc), stay home if you can. It can all wait, really. We’d all appreciate it.
Don’t use public bathrooms, other people’s phones, don’t put your hands to grab that one grape at the grocery store, don’t eat from buffets at the grocery store. Seriously. These areas and items are incubators for germs and bad bacteria.
There’s so much more you can do, but these are basic actions we should all know and do. It’s not just about us individually, rather everyone. This thing is spreading and has not been contained.
Basically, be smart. Carry wipes everywhere if you go. Wash your hands. Stay away from huge crowds, etc. You get it.
Stay safe and healthy good people. The world needs you!
Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.