The year 2020 will end in just a few short weeks. If you still haven’t decided on your holiday plans, there are some things to consider.
Gathering with others—probably the most universal holiday tradition—has never required so much meticulous forethought. It’s something that, in hindsight, we took for granted. The option to skip Christmas at home and hop on a plane to Disney instead is no longer a simple decision. Even gathering with grandparents is off-limits for many.
While there are many questions we ask that we never had to before, these are the questions whirling around in our heads as we approach the end of 2020.
- Should I travel for the holidays?
- What are the travel restrictions?
- What precautions will make it safer to travel?
Health and government officials are urging people to stay home and avoid non-essential travel. Social distancing is still greatly encouraged and masks are mandatory in many areas.
If you decide to travel, implement these suggestions.
- Double-check travel restrictions.
- Consider getting a flu shot before you travel.
- Always wear a mask, especially in public.
- Stay at least 6 feet apart from anyone who does not live with you.
- Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your mask, eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Know when to delay your travel. If you are experiencing any kind of symptom, it’s best to stay home.
If you do decide to travel, the CDC advises to get tested for COVID-19 first and quarantine about 14 days before you travel. Testing does not eliminate travel risk, but when combined with reducing non-essential activities and other precautions, it can make "travel safer,'' Dr. Henry Walke, the CDC's COVID-19 incident manager, said in a news briefing earlier this month. Driving will typically be safer than flying because you won’t be in close contact with dozens of people in a car. Don’t let your guard down, stay vigilant.
Scheduling time for a Zoom call with family may be the best option this year. It’s especially important to distance yourself from people that have an increased risk, like older adults and those with medical conditions. If you typically travel for the holidays and you have to stay home this year, it’s a small sacrifice to protect those you love. Enjoy staying home instead of battling crowds. Perspective can be everything!
Remember that each state does have its own restrictions; check those before making any plans. Regardless of whether you are staying home or traveling, boosting or strengthening your immune system should always be a priority as flu season is upon us. Check out our previous blog with tips on how to strengthen your immune system.
To read all of the CDC’s recommendations for travel, visit their website here.