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Snippet of Covid-19 and Travel

Last Played: February 17, 2021
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A timely episode for travelers out there wondering about what decisions to make in light of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus that has caused a global pandemic in recent weeks. Through the voices of two experts-- Registered Nurse Emily Scott and public health emergency planner Kate Pifer-- we navigate both baseline information as well as the challenging nuance of what it means to be a traveler in light of recent world events, while walking away with the message that how and when you travel does truly impact the lives of others. Things feel very heightened right now when it comes to cancellations and travel restrictions, but we could see a time in the future where travel feels safe again even though COVID-19 exists in our communities. The reality is, we don’t really know. So if you’re listening to this episode, we encourage you to do so not only with the next handful of weeks in mind, but with a long-term mindset of what it means to be a responsible traveler and containing the spread of harmful disease, even you yourself don’t feel personally impacted. ** Please note that these interviews were both recorded on Sunday, 3/15 and news, public mandates, and what we know about public health best practices are all evolving rapidly as we learn more about COVID-19 and its impact on the world. This information can be helpful but should be supplemented with verified sources such as (but not limited to) the links provided here in our show notes.
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masks and gloves because we need them like we don't have enough at the hospital right now. And we are the ones that are, like, caring for these patients. Close up. I can't do social distancing from a patient that has Kobe 19 because we have to care for them. So I can't stand 6 ft away from a patient. You know, um, eso we need those supplies. And if we don't have them and all the nurses and doctors get sick, then I don't know who they're gonna get care from. On top of which, unless you have a certain type of mask or you're trained to use your mask appropriately, they really don't do you any good. So, like, if you imagine that you're wearing the mask because you think someone's gonna cough on your face and you'll get virus all over the mask, your eyes were still open. It's still getting your eyes. And it's also then, I guess, all over the mask. So if you're wearing that mask all day and touching it, I'm like pulling it up and down to take it off. Then the viruses all over your fingers, So, like in the hospital They're like supposed to be single use, like you take it off when you're not around the patient anymore and you discard it because it's contaminated. So, you know, unless you have this giant stockpile of masks which, if you do, I would really like if you could bring them to the hospital. Um, they're really not doing you any good and saying, you know, same with gloves. So how do you best prevent Contracting Cove in 19? I'm sure you've heard this by now, but washing your hands is the most important thing you can regularly. Dio was open water for at least 20 seconds. Emily and Kate both had good thoughts on this as it relates to road travel, including places you want to be extra cautious of when you're out on the road and every day, even when we're not having an outbreak of anything, the best thing you can do to keep yourself from catching anything is washing your hands. So the idea is that your hands are touching all kinds of dirty things all day and before you touch your face like the entry point for this virus is mucus, membranes, eyes, nose, mouth so before you're like reach upto like, you know, rub your eyes or pick up food and put it in your mouth, or blow your nose or whatever, like wash your hands if you before, after you've touched anything else, really, especially like common spaces like door handles. Or, you know, the sink knobs or anything like that. I mean, like gas gas handles at the gas station. Um, this will be a big thing for your listeners, for sure. Eso you're just tryingto break that chain of transmission, so any time you feel like your hands have touched something that is, you know, public, wash them before you touch your face. I always think about is my hand had wet paint on it, and I just started touching everything in my house or in my van, from the wheel to the sink to the door knobs. If I go to a gas station and I go for the pump of the gas station, the handle you know where my paint would go and then where that paint would end up on someone else's hand. So besides general hand washing in your van or at home, wherever you are, you can also just do very basic cleaning, so disinfect surfaces. So if you have even just a little kitchenette or kitchen, disinfect the wheel. Disinfect areas that you have been touching a lot because if you did bring in germs from, say, the gas pump into your car, those germs gonna stay on those surfaces. So you wanna make sure that you're practicing general disinfectant in your car, in your van, in your home, wherever that might be. So vaginal clinic help keep your surfaces as clean as possible. Okay, so hand washing check. But there are other considerations to make when it comes to a pandemic, like making sure you have enough food and other goods on hand. But how much is too much? We've heard reports of people buying hordes of bottled water, dozens of gallons of milk and clearing the shelves of common bathroom essentials and local grocery stores. So what do you need to stock up on? Really, I think they can leave the toilet paper in the store. I think what you want to prepare for is the same way as if you've got a terrible flu or a cold. Because 80% of the cases of Kobe. 19 are miles. So if you get this in your isolated at home and like I said, 80% of the time, it's not gonna be that bad. So you want, like Tylenol for a fever and your favorite cough, medicine and tissue and lots of water and depending on where you live, this is very different for different people in different situations, depending on higher living and where you're living. If you truly don't have anyone who could bring you food and just drop it off at your doorstep while you were isolated for a couple of weeks, then sure stock up on food. But I think other than that, I don't think there's any reason to, like, have a month's worth of food. You know, I mean, I like I live in Seattle and even though we're obviously, you know, on lock down like you can still go to the grocery store. Or if I got sick, I could have a friend dropped food off. I would hate to see my husband just went to the store and, like the entire frozen food section is empty, like people are gonna need food, so we have some for your neighbors, please. Emily's practical advice is useful to road travelers, especially as buying in bulk could be complicated by the fact that those who live on the road are more likely to have limited space anyway. Kate has some thoughts specific to road travelers to whether you're on a short term road trip. Find yourself in a car because of this pandemic, or live on the road full time by choice, especially for travelers on the road, you should have very basic emergency scare with you. So in general, not just for coronavirus. You should have extra jugs of water. You should have some extra food and cooking equipment that can stand on its own and not require electricity. You also wanna have really basic like a handheld radio. You wanna have flashlights, some sanitizer in life. You do wanna have the basics, especially if you're out on the road and you don't have act to running water to wash his hands, especially you don't wanna leave. Soak in our natural parks, you know, so making sure that you have those basics in place when you're on the road, especially during flu season. During this kind of virus you wanna make sure that your stocked up on basic over the counter medicines like Tylenol, Advil, cold medicine, cough drops, whatever that might be, so that you don't have to keep making those runs and you have those on hand and it sounds so basic, but making sure that if you're on the road and you're gonna be somewhere that is up the grid and need thio, you're not gonna have self service. You want to make sure that people one know where you are in two. It's important that you get the numbers of the local health department or of the local hospital or clinic, because if something happens, you want to know how to get there, how to navigate their even for any other kinds of injuries or for any kind of sickness that would require immediate medical attention. So having that emergency plan for if this situation goes south, what am I going to do from here is really important when you're on the road? Estimates are changing all the time. But needless to say, there's a good chance that a lot of adults over 20 will contract Cove in 19. And if you do get it and you're young and in relatively good health. Odds are also estimated that your symptoms are going to be mild, which you'll hear more from Emily on in a minute. But what do you do if you're living on the road and gets sick? Emily, give some advice on how to identify the virus and what steps to take if you think you have it. It's a sticky situation. If you are not set up to be, like, totally self sufficient, like I'm just thinking you could if you had a mild illness, like Go out. I guess I'm like if you're not having any contact with anyone and just like, get over it if it's truly mild and you don't have to get Thio Hospital and you obviously have the ability to get there if you need thio. But yeah, if you get sick right now, this is not a time to be brushing off mild symptoms. They know the symptoms were looking for a cough, a fever, which is a temperature of 100.4 or more, and or shortness of breath. And I encourage people to not be like, Oh, I don't have a fever and a cough. So I'm probably fine. Like, if you're coughing, isolate yourself because we don't have any way of knowing right now if you have a cold or the flu or Kobe 19. And like I said, we're only at this point at the time were recording. We're really only testing the sickest people. So you're not gonna be ableto walk up to your doctor's office and get a test. We're really kind of triaging who we contest because we don't have enough capacity to test unfortunately right now. So what you should do if you get sick? If you get sick at all, call your doctor's office. Call your doctor's office. Do not go into an e R. Unless you are truly having a health emergency. Do not go to your doctor's office unless you truly like need Thio. They'll run you through like if you really need to go to a hospital or if you really need to be tested for this and most likely what they're gonna tell you to Dio is isolate yourself until all of your symptoms go away for 72 hours because, like I said, you know, you may not know what this is so just isolate yourself and we're just trying not to put any extra stress on the medical system at all right now. So, like I said, don't go to the ER unless you really need Thio for your safety, because I'll probably pick something up and for other people's safety, because you might give them whatever you have and for the sake of the nurses and doctors that are already like, so swamped and then you know, if you are sick and you're living on the road, it's a good thing right now. Is there thinking about what you would dio, because you really need to at that point, protect others from you. So if you're coughing and you have a fever, I do not want you walking into public bathrooms or taking public showers at the gym or walking into a restaurant to get take out. So you're gonna need to make a plan for how you truly can isolate yourself. Do you have a friend's house? You can stay and they could stay somewhere else. This is definitely the time to like think about it. Pick a place, stick to that place. This is not the time to be like taking a road trip cross country like pick a place that has all the support that you need and stay there. If you do get sick while on the road or otherwise, you'll put yourself in the isolation, which is different from quarantine or self quarantine. Both of these air different from social distancing to a term that's been trending online these days due to the outbreak. It's been tough to untangle the difference between the three, so we asked Kate to shine a light on them for us, those terms air being thrown out a lot. So we hear a lot of social distance quarantine, isolation and these air specific terms that we use in public health to differentiate when we're talking about specific persons and what is required of them. So isolation is when you're separating sick people with a contagious disease or in this case with the virus from people who are not sick. So these individuals have symptoms. We know that they have this virus and we need to separate them that they don't spread it to other people. Quarantine, on the other hand, separates and restrict the movement of people who are healthy, what have been exposed to the virus in some way. What you're seeing with self quarantine right now is travelers, typically coming from areas of high elevated risk, like China, Iran and now adding a lot of European countries thes travelers, air coming back and being asked to self quarantine for 14 days. And in that quarantine, they are not going out in public. They're staying at home, missing your mustering the temperature and taking a look at their symptoms. And if they do become symptomatic, then they're presenting um, over the phone to the local health department or to their local health care, their primary care doctor. The piece that the majority of us Americans are being asked to do right now is the social distancing. You know, this is a term that we've used in public health, So it's not some new term that's all of a sudden just being coined at this time, closer distancing in this, the fact is, meaning that were asked to physically put space between us so that we have a less chance of spreading the virus to each other and in social distancing that goes as far as what we're seeing in many of our states and in the country right now where you put in what we call non pharmaceutical interventions or those preventative measures so that the virus won't spread. And that's everything from canceling large events, makes you sure that you're really washing your hands. Now you're covering your cough and your practicing those basic hygiene essentials that we're always asked to do but being much more aware of them. And so that social distancing is also asking us, Hey, we don't want you in a crowded area, for then you can spread this to another person or multiple people, and then that continues to spread. And so what a lot of our states and a lot of the country is asking is for people to find themselves where they're staying away from the crowds. But you doesn't mean that you stop interacting with people, and it means that we can continue our lives. But in a way that is not putting ourselves at risk or putting other people at risk of contracting this virus. Sit tight. We'll be
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