Vacationing in the era of covid – L’Observateur

WASHINGTON, DC – To say the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted our lives is an understatement if there ever was one, and the current respite – while potentially short-lived – is a welcome glimpse of a return to normal. . For example, in the good old days of a virus-free world, many of us would be planning a summer vacation right now. It’s a good idea but it begs the question: is it safe?

Dr. Sara Suliman of the University of California, San Francisco, has a background in immunology and infectious diseases, and she gave the Boston Globe this advice: “Since the pandemic is unlikely to end and life must continue, it may still be worth making personal travel plans, while taking advantage of all available safeguards. People should weigh the pros and cons of travel and prioritize less risky modes of travel, such as cars, whenever possible. »

In the same article, Harvard epidemiologist Dr. William Hanage suggested that if you’re planning on booking a vacation this year, “book something you can cancel. Then reassess when your trip is closer. Remember, it’s not just about the risk of getting infected, but also about the risk of restrictions being implemented wherever you are on vacation. It wouldn’t be fun to quarantine a substantial part of your stay.

Another piece of advice is offered by Rebecca Weber, CEO of the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC]: make sure your insurance is up to date. “In addition to making sure that your health insurance will cover you, no matter where you travel in the United States and abroad, you may want to purchase travel insurance. It may also be a good idea to also consider purchasing a travel assistance plan. There is a difference. Travel insurance covers monetary losses you may incur during your trip. Travel assistance plans help pay for costs such as emergency medical evacuation and travel arrangements, an escort nurse, travel companion, and other emergency expenses you may encounter if you become ill or injured while traveling.It can even provide emergency cash advances .

As adventurous as you may feel, it’s a good idea to keep your travel plans as simple as possible and research the level of covid danger at your intended destination. For example, the Centers for Disease Control has an updated international list of destinations based on covid risk assessments on its website. Meanwhile, the non-profit coalition Act Now offers an online resource that monitors national covid risk levels.

AMAC’s Weber also points out that it’s first and foremost on your travel checklist that you get vaccinated against the covid virus and, of course, see your health care provider. He or she will tell you if it’s a good idea, from a health perspective, to go where you plan to go and how you plan to get there. At least it will give you peace of mind and help ensure a great trip.

One last thought. Arguably, among the safest vacation destinations you could consider if you are planning a getaway are the great outdoors. Especially for seniors who want to get out and enjoy the fresh air and scenic beauty, there’s no better deal than a National Park Annual Pass for $20 or a upgrade to lifetime for $80. Up to three additional people in a vehicle are admitted free with the cardholder. Passes can be obtained here.

As for the state of the pandemic, malaprop master Yogi Berra once said “it’s not over until it’s over”.

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