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COVID-19 Travel Recommendations for Students

March 23, 2020

By Jacqueline Pérez

When living (and traveling) during a global pandemic, it seems obvious that we should all use due precaution and make a conscious effort to limit our exposure to situations in which we might contract COVID-19.

Students, especially, have found themselves between a rock and a hard place. With mass campus closures, and a migration to distance-learning, students all over the world must arrive at a choice: stay where you are and limit social contact, or go home and finish the semester from there. Of course, the latter initially sounds like the best option, but many become hesitant due to the exposure that airports, train stations, and other methods of transport entail.

We must say that experts recommend a limit of exposure and travel where possible, but if you find yourself unable to avoid getting on a plane, a train, or any other form of transportation, then here are a few tips to keep you as safe as possible:

  1. Only travel if necessary. Stay in if you can.
    This goes without saying, but we recommend that you limit recreational travel, and only travel if it is completely necessary. Methods of transport such as airplanes, trains, ride-sharing services, among others, are known to present a high risk of infection.
  1. If you are showing symptoms, DO NOT travel.
    Please, for the well-being of all those around you, stay home if you have developed symptoms associated with COVID-19.
  1. Routinely check flight schedule and airline pages for updates.
    WE CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH. Because these are such uncertain times, and international borders are closing all throughout the world, it is important that you routinely check on the status of your scheduled trips for any changes.
  1. Check the CDC website for travel notices.
    Again, adding onto what we previously said, the CDC posts regular updates to the levels of alert countries are in, as well as the respective travel restrictions that accompany them.
  1. DO NOT use water fountains – even to fill your water bottles
    Let me break it down for you: water fountains + mouths = saliva = everything you’ve been trying to avoid this whole time.
  1. Wash your hands frequently, and travel with hand sanitizer gel and wipes if possible.
    Because travel means exposing yourself to frequently touched surfaces, make sure to disinfect the area around your seat if possible, and limit what you touch as much as you can. Obviously, this includes your face. Use hand-sanitizer or wash your hands frequently during your travel – set reminders if you have to.
  1. If it reassures you, feel free to wear a mask, but beware of unintended effects.
    Many health officials do not recommend wearing masks if you are not sick, as it has not been proven to prevent COVID-19. Additionally, people tend to fidget more with their masks and put their hands close to their faces when they do wear them. If you feel more comfortable wearing one, then please exercise caution.
  1. Be kind.
    This is the last, but by far the most important of our recommendations. In these uncertain times, the last thing we should lose is our humanity. Always remember that, first and foremost, we are all human, and we all deserve to be treated with dignity. Do not help spread behaviors of fear and xenophobia that are so detrimental to us all.

Be well, take care, and safe travels home.

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