Pandemic Travel: 9 Things to Have On the Go

Pandemic Travel: 9 Things to Have On the Go

( – It doesn’t matter if you’re running to the bank or dipping out of Dodge, you need to be ready to protect yourself from the coronavirus. Period. There may be no greater time for the saying “it’s the little things that count” to ring true. Because if you don’t pay heed to them, the big things won’t matter at all.

Viral Pandemics

A pandemic happens when a virus spreads throughout the world. That’s important to know, because a virus is different from a bacteria. Bacterias can be killed with antibiotics, and they respond differently than a virus does to things like temperature and some chemicals. Since it’s a worldwide issue, you can also assume it’s very easily spread.

While you may know this, some other parts of the population may not, and they might not be as safe about their interactions as you are. In fact, you’re best off to simply assume they aren’t taking any precautions at all — so you can prepare yourself properly.

Tools for Interactions

If you have to leave your house, it’s safe to assume that you’re going to be interacting with other people. Protect your most vulnerable parts by covering your mouth, nose and hands.

No matter what the effectiveness of masks is, even a bandana over your mouth and nose is going to limit what materials can get inside those areas. They also go a long way toward preventing you from sharing your bodily fluids as you speak, cough or sneeze.

Gloves aren’t necessarily the answer to protecting your hands. Why? Because people tend to use them for every action, rather than just one. So, if you do pick something up (and it’s bound to live longer on latex or rubber than your skin), you’re spreading it all over.

Instead of gloves, use disposable wipes of some sort — preferably sanitizing wipes that are safe for your skin. These offer multiple benefits. If something does get on them, as long as you’re using wipes with chemicals known to be safe to you but fatal to the virus, you aren’t just protecting yourself, but others too.

Let’s assume you have to use your credit card. Whether you have to sign the tablet or punch in the numbers, you can do it with the wipe. It’s killing anything that may be on your hands, but it’s also disinfecting the item you touch. And, if you do have to touch someone, you can do it with the wipe instead of your skin or a polluted glove.

Transportation Protection

Your vehicle can become a hotspot for transporting disease, if you aren’t careful. But it can also be your safe zone.

Always keep the following (along with any other helpful items) in your vehicle in a large sealable plastic bag.

  • Working pen
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Mask of some sort (even a bandana)
  • Disinfectant spray
  • Bottled water
  • Travel size liquid soap
  • Paper tablet
  • Self-defense item
  • Disinfected plastic shopping bags

Each time you enter your vehicle, wipe the bag down with a disinfectant wipe. The bag itself offers some protection from elements you may encounter, but it’s better to be overly cautious than not cautious enough. If you don’t have disposable wipes, keep a clean washcloth in the bag. Make your own sanitizing water by mixing a cap of bleach in a medium-size jar (think in terms of jelly or salsa jars).

When possible, visit drive-thru windows rather than going inside a place of business. Whether you go in or not, bring your own pen. It can double as a writing utensil and something for you to touch buttons with or, in some cases, even open doors.

Use your disinfectant spray to spray any items you intend to put in your car, before you put them in there. As an added precaution, leave those items outside or in a safe area before you bring them into your home. Check to see how long the virus can live on the materials you’ve purchased, and leave them outside accordingly. Then, wipe them down with disinfectant wipes when you bring them into the house and dispose of any unnecessary packaging immediately.

Bring your own disinfected plastic bags so you have something to carry your purchases in without having to use bags that have been sitting in a potentially infected atmosphere. They can also double as a limited form of protection for your hands, if need be. One should be left in your car to hold your registration and insurance information so that you don’t have to exchange germs with an officer, should you get pulled over. You can also use your notepad to write a note to the officer explaining why you are out and about, but offering your information, too. This may prevent you from having to roll down your window and unknowingly getting or giving an infection.

The soap and water are for you to wash your hands, or so someone else can wash theirs on the go. Liquid soap works best; you don’t want to waste a bar of soap, but also don’t want to exchange biohazards on it with someone else.

Fight On the Go

If you or someone else in the vehicle happens to be carrying the virus without knowing it, the air inside the vehicle could become infected. This is where it can be helpful to know some details about the virus. For instance, the COVID-19 virus doesn’t thrive in hot, humid environments. In such a case, even if it makes you uncomfortable, keep in mind it’s also making the virus uncomfortable when you crank up the heat with the windows closed.

Be smart, be prepared, and always be more cautious than you probably need to be. If you take all the precautions in the world, then use the pen at the bank and then get back in the car, you could have brought the virus with you and shared it on your steering wheel and anything else you touch. It’s that simple.

And please, wash your hands and doorknob as soon as you get home. Stay safe out there, folks. No one is going to look after you better than you.

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