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Traveling in a World Where COVID Still Exists

By Samuetta Hill Drew

We are now living in a post pandemic world, but plenty of people are still getting COVID. It is the new world reality that the COVID disease exists and did not go away. We simply have vaccines to help combat its severity.
Traveling will increase your risk of getting infected or spreading COVID to others. Do not allow this “new kid on the block” disease to ruin your vacation plans, but it should not be ignored. This “new kid” has to be taken seriously because it continues to be a problem. Therefore, it is essential you take the necessary safety precautions. This week’s safety article will highlight safety measures to remember when preparing for and during your vacation trip. These safety tips should help minimize your risks.
First, remember that getting vaccinated a few days before your trip will not work. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends you should get vaccinated at least one month prior to your vacation.
And, AARP writes that adults 65 and older should have had the two-dose COVID-19 vaccine primary series, plus at least one bivalent booster. If you have not had the booster, but you got the primary series at least two months ago, make an appointment now to get your booster. If you are part of the group that received the first bivalent booster, consider getting the second one.
Research the coronavirus restrictions in the city, county, state or country you will be visiting for any restrictions for visitors. The CDC has a health-related web page that covers many questions travelers may have when vacationing. It lists every country in the world and provides information on vaccinations, disease outbreaks and other health information.
Get tested prior to traveling especially if you are visiting people who may be at high risk or if you are not fully vaccinated. Keep COVID tests at home. Some private insurers may still cover the cost, and Medicaid expects to provide free tests for another year.
Have a travel plan which includes plenty of essentials such as hand sanitizer, face masks, sanitizing wipes, plastic bags and Paxlovid. Place your face masks inside your plastic bag so you do not have to place it on a surface or inside your pocket or purse. It makes it easier to sanitize your hands without touching everything in your pocket or purse.
Ask your doctor how quickly you can get a prescription for Paxlovid, if you test positive on a weekend or while on vacation? Paxlovid should be taken within five (5) days of symptom onset, even if you are feeling well. It is not meant to help you feel better, it is to help prevent death.
Hopefully these travel safety tips in a new COVID world will help you Keep an Eye on Safety while you are enjoying your vacation.