Airport Travel During Covid-19
Traveling is definitely different now, especially air travel. Airplanes are notorious for being crowded, cramped, and sometimes dirty. Six feet of separation is difficult to maintain in the airport, and is near impossible on the plane itself. The further along we get into this pandemic, the more people are starting to fly again and try to get back to “normal”. While I think air travel should be limited, and travel with large groups of people should still not happen, I think there are certain precautions necessary if you do decide to take to the skies.
Items to bring:
- Masks: not only are these now mandatory, but you would be dumb not to wear one. At the very least, you’re a little uncomfortable. At best, you prevent yourself from contracting the disease, or if you’re an asymptomatic carrier, you prevent getting someone else ill. I would wear an N95 mask beneath a surgical mask or a personal mask, just to be safe. Surgical masks, or tight fitting homemade masks, or N95s should be the only thing allowed in my opinion. True, wearing a bandana over your face is better than nothing, but masks are widely available now. Wear a real one please.
- Gloves: personally I did not use these much, but they can be nice for bathrooms and before wiping down your seating area. Just do not reuse the gloves, and do not touch your face or any of your personal items with the gloves on!
- Clorox wipes or alcohol wipes: Very useful for wiping down your plane seat, the terminal seats, your phone, your luggage.
- Glasses or face shield: in the hospital we have been wearing face shields since we began seeing more covid-positive patients. Finally the CDC has told the general public to do the same thing. Respiratory droplets from a cough or sneeze can travel and get on your face, increasing your risk of getting sick. Wearing glasses or a plastic face shield can help prevent this.
-Wear long, covering clothes such as pants, leggings, longer sleeves, etc. to prevent your skin from touching the surfaces as much as possible.
-Try your best to not sit right next to other travelers in the airport or the terminals.
-While in security or boarding lines, try to keep your distance from the people around you.
-Pack as much of your own food as you can. This will prevent you from touching and eating off of potentially contaminated items, and it will save you money as well.
-Check your flight seating ahead of time to see if there are open seats away from other passengers that you can change to.
-Try not to touch the railings on the sky trams or airport trains if possible. If not possible, don’t forget to wash your hands and wipe down the handles on your luggage afterwards.
I would not recommend flying a lot during this time, but we can only be scared so much. At some point, life will have to carry on. That does not mean go fly with your ten best friends from across the country to a bar-hopping weekend without masks in a city. But if you do fly, fly safe, be a germaphobe, and enjoy your trip!