Amid the COVID-19 pandemic when regions and countries are beginning to relax lockdown measures, guidelines persist to show us how to navigate our way through difficult times. Just because life starts to open things back up, however, the virus doesn’t suddenly go into hiding. What it does mean is that after all the education about what to do and not what to do, people are better prepared in how to deal with “the new normal.” Whether you’re traveling from one part of the country to the next by car, train, or plane, or taking the commute to work by public transportation such as the subway, there are things you can do in order to help you and your family remain safe.
Don’t Touch Your T-Zone
You have on your face what is known as the T-Zone that includes your mouth, nose, and eyes. This is where your mucous membranes are exposed to infections more than any other part of your body, and why you shouldn’t be touching your face. Studies have proven, however, that we’re constantly touching our faces. Different reports offer different statistics, but it appears that we touch our face from 15-23 times every hour depending on age and sometimes what we’re engaged in, such as attending a class or being at work.
While you can be trained into avoiding touching your face, it takes some getting used to, and in the meantime, you’re still exposed to the risks of COVID-19 or whatever other contagious condition happens to be doing the rounds when you read this. Studies prove that these movements tend to be stress-related. To reiterate, you can retain your body and mind to find other ways of relieving stress. Unfortunately, they’re likely aren’t going to work, especially when traveling under stressful conditions.
When Washing your Hands Isn’t an Option
Of course, every time you come into contact with a surface when traveling, it’s not always possible to wash your hands with running water and antibacterial soap. Alternatively, you could just trust that each surface you touch at your airport terminal, a restaurant, a hotel lobby, or a shopping center is safe. Of course, you can’t know that for sure. Fortunately, there’s a better alternative in the form of hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. That doesn’t mean that you should skip washing your hands with soap and water when you’re able to. Hand sanitizers kill viruses, but any dirt and potential contaminants that you come into contact with throughout the course of the day remain.
One of the places you should think about using hand sanitizer more than any other is on public transportation. Whether you’re taking a local MTA bus, subway car, or tram, or taking a business trip on a commercial airliner, hand sanitizer provides the easiest way to free your hands of any contagions. You can, of course, wear gloves. However, research shows that people still touch their face. In fact, experts have warned against wearing gloves, as it can provide a false sense of security.
If you’re planning on visiting a restaurant, you should definitely take your hand sanitizer with you. While you can wash your hands in the bathroom, there are plenty of temptations for you to touch your face. The most straightforward way of spreading a disease is by touching a contaminated surface before rubbing your eyes or placing your hands in your mouth. Furthermore, everyone else in the restaurant will be touching everything, too. When you enter the venue, you open the door, sit down, take the menu, and handle payments. Continually running to the washroom to wash your hands just isn’t practical. Instead, keep a travel-size container of hand sanitizer nearby for a quick wash.
Hotels and Motels
Of course, hotels have cleaners to make sure everything is left clean after one guest has left and before another arrives. Furthermore, most are improving their cleaning prices to ensure your safety. However, you should still keep hand sanitizer on you for when you come into contact with surfaces in the elevator or the lobby. Use an item such as a tissue to touch the buttons in the elevator, and if you forget, use your hand sanitizer immediately afterwards.
While you might be uncomfortable over the prospect of traveling during a pandemic, if you adhere to the safety protocol for the area you’re visiting, such as social distancing and masks, you’re doing what you can to protect yourself and your family, as well as meeting your business or other work responsibilities.