Traveling During a Pandemic

Bella Saratore

The inconveniences and challenges of traveling with the constant reminder that a quick spreading disease is present at all times causes many to avoid the activity altogether. Many are advised to avoid traveling all together, but sometimes it is an activity that is unavoidable, and those traveling must prepare themselves for what is to come. If necessary precautions are followed, the experience is not as dreadful as it may first appear to be.

The airplanes themselves are one of the safest places, in relation to Covid-19, one can find themselves in. The air on the plane is constantly circulated and filtered, making it difficult for viruses and germs to easily spread. Every surface of the plane is heavily sanitized before each flight, which decreases the chances of becoming in contact with the virus through surfaces. Even though the plane itself is safe, the people within it are not always that way. CDC recommends people quarantine a week before traveling as well as have a negative Covid-19 test, but these two factors are only required for people who are traveling into the United States from another country. To help combat this lack of required quarantining and  testing, social distancing is challenging during this time, especially during longer flights, but the constant mask wearing requirement and the encouragement to sit near family as opposed to strangers are both helpful ways to combat this natural lack of distance in the plane.

The airport is a place that involves contact with employees as well as other travelers inside the building, as TSA and security measures still must be taken. Constant sanitization and mask wearing as well as social distancing are implemented by employees, which drastically decreases the risk of the virus spreading. Employees are constantly tested and are well informed of CDC social distance guidelines, and they use their knowledge to keep everyone traveling as safe as possible.

Saratore Family takes selfie together on a flight in pre-Covid January 2020
Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley takes selfie on commercial flight in July of 2020, which is a very different sight compared to January of the same year

Traveling is an example of an activity that does increase one’s chances of transmitting Covid-19. In reality, everything one does outside of their house can create a risk, just at different levels of severity. It is incredibly challenging for people to put life on pause, especially when one has a job that requires physical involvement and movement. What is really important is being as cautious and safe as possible if travel is absolutely necessary for an individual. Masks, social distancing, and sanitization are proven to work and increase safety, and we must trust those aspects as we all get together through this hard time. As citizens, following and respecting rules and safety measures are one of the most important things we can do during this time. We must all work together to prevent the spread of Covid-19 so we can start to see some normality return in our lives.