Traveling in the Midst of a Pandemic

Traveling during COVID-19 Pandemic

Scenario: It’s spring break of your senior year of college and you have a 10-day trip planned around the south and life is good.

Now throw in the international crisis known as COVID-19.

Let’s first discuss the major differences:
The man I sat next to on my flight was wearing a mask and have since seen an abundance of people wearing masks and surgical gloves. Then, if you’re able to draw your attention from that, you’ll notice that there are hand sanitizer stations placed every three strides.

For those who haven’t heard of it, which I highly doubt, it’s a super contagious cough and flu that is extremely harmful to elders and people with respiratory problems. However, its fatality rate is less than 1% with people younger than 50 (according to one of the thousand articles).

That being said… people are FREAKING OUT.

You cannot walk anywhere without overhearing a conversation about the Coronavirus or people rescheduling their vacations. It has taken a huge damper on our trip, but we’re taking our own approach to the issue by focusing primarily on the pros of the issue.

Pros:
Flights are cheaper than they will likely be in our lifetime. Lines at the airport are almost nonexistent. People are practicing better hygiene than ever before. Also, my classes will be online for the time being which means I can spend more time with my dog? Talk about a win.

Cons:
It’s very likely that I will come into contact, if I haven’t already, with the virus. Although I am not personally worried about this flu because I am always sick, I do fear what effect I could have as a carrier to other people I will come into contact with.
Oh- and my graduation might be canceled. But that’s okay because, with the economy in this state, I am significantly less excited to get into the workforce.

At this time, states are being put on lockdown and major national events are being canceled, but I wasn’t about to let anything cancel my trip. This was my last chance to explore with my friends before graduation. That being said, it’s stressful that every time I open my phone or look towards a TV, it’s flooded with information about the spread of the virus. An ideal vacation wouldn’t include carrying a bottle of hand sanitizer with you for every single interaction.

I understand that traveling during a pandemic is not the greatest idea, but it’s allowed a lot of additional opportunity to explore and interact with places I had never been to. I am hoping to continue on the rest of my trip and I sympathize with those whose plans were quickly canceled due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Here’s to spring break!

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