Dec. 16, 2020 — With U.S. regulators on the cusp of approving a second coronavirus vaccine, there’s new hope that COVID-19 will finally be eradicated. However medical specialists warn that optimism may result in careless conduct within the coming weeks and are advising individuals to method holiday travel with the utmost warning.
Docs suggest having digital gatherings in lieu of intimate get-togethers, and touring provided that there’s an pressing want. If journey is completely essential, you will need to have wipes, hand sanitizer, masks — and to maintain your guard up.
“Sadly, the vaccines is not going to take away the necessity to take precautions throughout the holidays,” says Henry Wu, MD, director of the Emory TravelWell Heart and an affiliate professor at Emory College College of Medication. “This consists of masking, distancing, and hand hygiene.”
He provides: “The vaccines are extraordinarily promising and might be a game-changer. However we’re speaking about a number of months earlier than we see a rollout.”
Wu hosted a digital briefing Wednesday to offer security ideas when touring by air or automotive throughout the holidays. He famous the skyrocketing COVID-19 instances that resulted from Thanksgiving and warned the identical factor may occur after Christmas.
High U.S. infectious illness skilled Anthony Fauci, MD, has said he has the identical considerations about Christmas as he did about Thanksgiving — besides Christmas might show to be extra dangerous as a result of it’s a longer vacation.
As a result of the vaccines doubtless gained’t be given to most people till spring or later, they won’t ease any restrictions this vacation, Wu says.
Amongst Wu’s security suggestions for holiday travel are:
- Keep away from journey if it isn’t pressing.
- If you may be touring, hold gatherings small.
- At all times put on a masks.
- Carry hand sanitizer.
- Hold your distance from different vacationers.
If the precautions “are a headache and in the event that they take away the spirit of the vacations, take into account suspending,” Wu says.
He provides that touring by automotive is likely to be most secure, as a result of you possibly can management your surroundings. Whereas the air flow in plane make them a few of the most secure environments when it comes to COVID-19 danger, there are different points to fret about, like crowds and surfaces.
The excellent news, he says, is resorts and Airbnbs have been taking a number of sanitizing precautions, although he recommends wiping down surfaces within the room simply in case. However, he says, the risks of resorts don’t lie in particular person rooms — they’re on the entrance desk, within the foyer, and in elevators.
“The extra you possibly can keep away from these areas, the higher,” he says.
Wu referenced a large coronavirus outbreak at an Austrian ski resort, which contaminated 1000’s of individuals and worsened the COVID-19 unfold throughout Europe.
As soon as the COVID-19 vaccines are broadly distributed, Wu says, there could also be vaccine mandates created by airways. However till then, he recommends avoiding all journey — and in case you should, he says, get examined earlier than going wherever, and self-isolate after your journey to keep away from spreading the virus.
He additionally suggests following the CDC guidelines for vacation journey, which embody:
Extreme vacation journey may result in an much more overwhelmed well being care system, Wu says.
“There shall be a degree when our hospitals, our ICUs, and clinics shall be overwhelmed and simply have to show away people,” he says. “That is why everybody ought to do their half to take their precautions.”