I’m not afraid to admit when I’ve been wrong, folks. Several scientists I know and respect have called for social distancing to help prevent the spread of coronavirus strain Covid-19. Our new, improved plans for Spring Break include avoiding crowds and finding fun ways to encourage proper handwashing. That isn’t to say you should stay home, but you might want to rethink your plans. (Note: I am not a doctor, and what we know about this illness is constantly changing, so be sure to check with your healthcare provider if you have any concerns about a spring or summer vacation.)
What is Social Distancing?
Just like it sounds, “social distancing” means keeping your distance from other people. This is the reason museums like the Louvre are closed for now and why so many conferences are being postponed. When you stay away from crowds, you limit your exposure to germs. Just like vaccination and herd immunity helps communities from epidemics, social distancing helps prevent the spread of illness.
Does it stink that this is happening right when most kids have time out of school? Yes and no. Sometimes you have to focus on the positives, right? While Covid-19 might interrupt a few Spring Break getaways, for many of those travelers, that means they won’t be taking additional time off of work or school.
How to Handle Non-Refundable Reservations
One of my friends called me crying because their whole family has aonce-in-a-lifetime trip to Paris booked right now … with non-refundable tickets, rooms, activities, the works. She’d been so proud of herself for saving money and now looks to lose it all (because, of course, she didn’t get trip insurance). This site isn’t dedicated to air travel, but it’s important to mention a few things for people who are facing the same kind of circumstances:
- Non-refundable purchases can often be adjusted. You can’t usually cancel the sale and get your money back, but you can probably request future credit or pay a fee to make changes.
- Several airlines, hotels and other providers are offering no-fee cancellations, refunds and credits due to coronavirus risks. This also means that…
- Your provider might do the same if you take the time to ask.
- The payment method you used for your trip might offer travel coverage.
Increased Risks for the Elderly
The problem with a new virus is that people still have so much to learn. At the time of our last post on the coronavirus, the information didn’t seem so dire. The latest mortality rates for the elderly tell a different story. Even healthy people over 65, and especially those over age 80, have an 8 – 14 percent chance of succumbing to Covid-19. Again, that’s what we know right now. It might be different in a week or two, so be sure to talk to your doctor and do further research.
Our family decided it wasn’t worth the risk to take The Grandma into crowded places, but that is a choice you have to make for yourselves. Staying away from crowds will help you avoid germs of all kinds. Appropriate handwashing, the use of hand sanitizer with a high alcohol content and being mindful to keep your hands off your face will help you stay well.