By Abbie Cornett
I don't know about the rest of you, but I can't wait to travel again. I haven't been anywhere in more than a year now. What's worse is my husband bought us a prepaid trip in 2019 for our anniversary in 2020 that we had to postpone indefinitely. Even though I am complaining, I know how fortunate I have been that I have not had to go anywhere. Unfortunately, not all people have been so lucky. Many people have had to travel for work, family emergencies or worse so they could to attend the funeral of a love one. The last is what prompted me to write this blog.
Last week, a dear friend contacted me. Her mother-in-law had just been killed in a traffic accident, and her husband was insisting on traveling home. While this makes perfect sense, she was furious he wanted to travel. At, first this may seem like she was being completely insensitive to his grief, but in reality, she was mad he wanted to risk his health. He has multiple serious chronic illnesses and had been advised not to travel. To make matters worse, his mother lived in a state that doesn't have a mask mandate.
She had called me because she thought I would take her side in the argument. Needless to say, I didn't think it was a good idea to take sides! Instead, I sent information to both of them on the guidelines for travel. 1
The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention currently recommends all people avoid travel unless necessary. If you are weighing your options, these are a few things you should consider before making up your mind:
- Are you, someone in your household or someone you will be visiting at increased risk for getting very sick from COVID-19? It is important to remember that even if you are not worried about your own safety, if you get infected you can spread the virus to loved ones. Are hospitals in your community or your destination overwhelmed with patients who have COVID-19?
- Does your home or destination have requirements or restrictions for travelers?
- During the 14 days before you travel, have you or those you are visiting had close contact with people they don't live with?
- Do your plans include traveling by bus, train or air, which might make staying 6 feet apart difficult?
- Are you traveling with people who don't live with you?
If you decide you must travel, the are following precautions should be taken:
- Wear a mask. Mask are required on planes, buses, trains and other forms of public transportation.
- Always stay at least 6 feet apart from people who are not in your group.
- Avoid crowds whenever possible.
- Wash your hands often.
- Do not travel if you feel sick.
- Do not travel if you know you have been exposed to COVID-19.
After I sent my friend the guidelines, she and her husband decided to ask the rest of the family to wait to make funeral plans until both of them were able to get vaccinated. They told me they have a celebration of life planned in a few weeks. All members of the family decided it wasn't worth risking the safety of anyone else.
1. Travel During COVID-19. Centers for Disease prevention and Control. Accessed at