Anything related to this COVID-19 (novel Coronavirus) changes incredibly quickly. In fact, I had most of this post written before the recently announced travel bans for flights from Europe. James summarized the breaking news earlier. But what does that mean? The lack of clarity in the initial announcement has led to much confusion, and hopefully things will clarify as companies and people react to these changes. I expect more cancelled flights and much more.
The spread of COVID-19
Here is a link to the latest information on cases of COVID-19 (image below) from Johns Hopkins. Beyond the tragic consequences for those afflicted, the disease is causing chaos all over. Full Disclosure: I am a biologist by training, including work in virology, but I am not a medical professional. This blog will continue to focus on travel. Here, a discussion of how COVID-19 is leading to much uncertainty for some planned travel.
Europe: Avoid Nonessential Travel due to COVID-19
Here is the latest from the CDC on travel in Europe. Now the countries listed below are level 3.
What countries are included in this notice?
- Czech Republic
- San Marino
- Vatican City
What about Ireland and the UK? While somewhat lower number of cases vs. other countries in Europe, I’m not sure why they are exempted from the ban.
Go/No Go ?
I previously mentioned my upcoming trip on Qatar Airways. This trip is for fun, and by many measures a rather unnecessary trip. It is good for blog content, and more importantly fun. I’m of two minds with this. What I choose to do with my vacation time is my choice. But I’m not going to travel if I’m sick, and if I become a carrier, I don’t want to pass it on to others. Since I’m connecting in Europe, and was hoping to do some European travel on both ends, this trip is probably not going to happen. As of this moment, I’m not cancelling, while waiting to see how it plays out, but the likelihood of this trip occurring as intended seems very low. Since things are changing so quickly, who knows what will happen in coming days and weeks?
I’m no germaphobe, but as a scientist, I’m conscious of keeping my hands clean etc. We all need to. Don’t spread this or any other disease from your own careless behavior. I haven’t always wiped down surfaces when on planes and other public spaces, but I definitely do now. I have several upcoming domestic trips, one for work, and another to visit family in the next 10 days or so. At this moment, I’m planning to fly, but that absolutely could change, as the situation changes. Clean hands and surfaces is relatively easy. So far my biggest struggle is not touching my face. I never realized how often I unconsciously do it. When riding a subway or something similar with filthy surfaces, I usually can adapt accordingly. Just need to expand that when out in public even more.
Wash your hands, practice good hygiene, and be safe out there. Or if things get really bad…stay safe at home.