How to not be afraid and safely travel in times of COVID-19.
Updated: Nov 27, 2020
Travel during the pandemic has people asking basic questions; Am I safe, what is there to be afraid of? If you are not quite sure how to answer these questions this advice can begin to you. Keeping it simple, we are going to look at what you can do to add certainty to your choice and other common sense adjustments you may need to make.
What follows are tips about how to build immunity through lifestyle factors but immunity also involves mental health, if this is an area of concern for you seek professional help. Preparation is the point of most leverage when travelling a world with so much uncertainty. Prepare your immune system. To paraphrase Robert Silverman we can't control the virus, our next best option is to control the host. If you want certainty about reducing your chances of catching COVID-19 on the road take a deep dive into building immunity.
Lifestyle factors matter
Sleep and nutrition are two places you can create quick wins. Quality sleep is key (see my guest blog for the Business Travel Wellbeing Community here) for now lets look at nutrition, specifically supplementation. Choose the Orthomolecular nutrition backed by peer-reviewed literature and done with a specialist at your side. You want a specialist at your side because your immunity picture is unique and is telling on your overall health. Case in point, data suggests people with diabetes, obesity, hypertension, chronic autoimmune diseases, chronic neurological diseases and cardiovascular diseases are predispositioned to contract COVID-19. Those predispositioned have higher rates of inflammation, which denotes immune system compromise. You want to avoid added inflammation at all costs be it physical, emotional or mental stress.
I suggest the following for further investigation. N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC), vitamin C, and medicinal mushrooms. A 2020 published study of NAC may be of interest as it found NAC was effective in quelling the cytokine storm, which is a complication of COVID-19. Upstream of NAC is glutathione also known as the body’s master antioxidant. NAC can be used to synthesis glutathione. Glutathione itself has a melatonin synthesis pathway, so supplementing either has an antioxidant and immunity benefit. Of course there is a lot more you can do, but in a bind these recommendations can get you started. Addressing the safety issue is more straight-forward. Personal safety comes down to being extra vigilant flexible and cautious.
In the aviation industry there are departments regularly assessing threats against undesirable outcomes. Every traveller's to approach should include detailed contingencies for determining next steps in travel emergencies. The best way to guarantee your safety is to take it upon yourself to be cognisant of your situation. Practiced situational awareness is key.
Wise up to travel scams, scammers are equally creative during COVID-I9. They will always try to capitalise on your fears and anxiety. Keep personal information private. Unconsciously over-sharing for instance, in a hotel lobby or lift can be heard by undeserving ears. It’s never a bad idea to check with the Foreign Commonwealth office website updates to gauge the relative safety of the location you intend to visit or what may have changed.
Leaving a written note on your bedside table or dresser is low tech but a good thing to do in case someone needs to know your whereabouts in an emergency. If you have worried family at home you can opt for tracing apps that give your real-time location for peace of mind.
Project situational awareness especially, if travelling to a new destination. Act confident when you step out, confidence is projected through your body language more than anything else. It's the same trick confidence tricksters use, you can put it to good use to stay out of sticky situations. It's where your few words of a foreign language might help not come across as a complete novice.
Good food is often part of a good travel experience. If you ever over indulge or get caught out with food poisoning travelling with digestive enzymes or charcoal tablets can help you nip the discomfort in the bud. Remember food poisoning compromises immunity, you don't want to give sneaky COVID any way in.
In summary being fit to fly means being in the right mental health space and showing up with your immunity intact, as well as doing your best to keep it that way. Whether you are a solo-traveller, business traveller or leisure traveller it starts with the preparations you are prepared to make and making them habits for healthier and safer travel now and beyond this pandemic.