December 1, 2022
The author traveling wearing a mask.

Traveling in a pandemic: is it really safe?

Entering the third year of Covid-19 pandemic, do you ever feel sick staying at home? I’m sure you feel it every single time. Sure, nothing beats the comfort of your own home, but trapped inside for almost three years is not really something exciting, isn’t it?

Once in a while, all we want to do is to go outside and have fun. Back then, we can freely travel to places whenever we have to refresh our body and mind. These days… not so much.

With the pandemic still going on, people are afraid to travel. Even some people are still scared to go to the nearest convenience store! You might see a bunch of people traveling to other countries, but I’m definitely not one of them. Which team are you in? The brave ones or the paranoid ones?

They think traveling in a pandemic is not the safest thing to do, and it’s not worth it. Is it, though? There are several reasons why they believe this. You might want to take these into consideration if you are planning to travel in the near future.

Some people still live with their family

Happy three generation white family sitting on a sofa at home looking at each other, front view

Not all people live in a house or an apartment on their own. Buying or renting a place to live costs a lot of money and energy, and that’s not something that some people can afford right now.

If you’re someone with the same situation, you can definitely relate to this reason. Take me as an example. I still live with my dad and my grandparents. Even when I really want to travel somewhere, I can’t take the risk.

When you decide to travel in a pandemic, you know that there’s still this virus walking around freely, ready to attack you once it caught you off-guard. You also know that the Covid-19 virus has evolved into various types. Scientists say that the symptoms of the recent variant, Omicron, are similar to the symptoms of a common flu.

Imagine this scenario. You travel to many places and without you knowing, the virus has entered your body because you forgot to wash your hands after touching many objects. After you arrived at your house, you get sick and think it is just a common flu. Because it is your house, of course you will have a lot of physical contacts with your family. Maybe even share the same cutleries or other things. You won’t expect it, but the next thing you know, all of your family, including you, tested positive for Covid-19.

You may read somewhere that you don’t have to worry when you tested positive for Covid-19, especially when you’re in a young age. But now let’s rewind a little. All of your family tested positive. Have you ever thought about your parents? Your grandparents? Their conditions are not as fit as yours because of their old age, so congratulations, you just jeopardize their health. Not to mention if they have a severe medical history. That just makes everything worse, doesn’t it? Let that scenario sink in.

Sudden lockdown

A picture of a medical staff in a country that is currently in lockdown

This is another reason that I think makes sense. Sudden lockdown. This is another scenario, so bear with me, guys.

Let’s say you travel to a country without doing research in prior. It turns out that the Covid-19 cases in this specific country are experiencing an increase. This results to an order of sudden lockdown from its government. Other countries shut borders down and airlines start to cancel flights. Now you’re trapped in a country far away from home.

It’s even worse when you found yourself tested positive for Covid-19 in a country that’s not your own. You will be forced to quarantine for two weeks because of this. I think everyone agrees that getting sick in an unfamiliar place is never a pleasant feeling, let alone in a country far away from your cozy house, right?

After two weeks of quarantine, it is not guaranteed you can go back to the sweet embrace of your home.

You can’t predict when the lockdown will end or when the airlines will start their flights back. Whether you’re free from the virus or not, you are still not free from the lockdown trap. It’s like escaping from a trap, but then you realize there’s a bigger one waiting for you.

It’s simply not worth it

Another scenario coming up! Imagine you are traveling to your dream country. You got your schedule ready to visit the tourist attractions there. Everything has already been prepared to a T, then out of nowhere, you tested positive for Covid-19.

If I were you, I would bawl my eyes out. Think about the money you spent for this trip. It will go to waste because now you’re in quarantine, not checking the beautiful scenery of the country.

Your plan is completely ruined. Instead refreshing your body and mine, you put them into a dangerous situation. Your heart would feel devastated, too, because you have been waiting for this trip for a long time. You have been waiting to explore the country of your dreams. But now, all you can do is just mop inside of your hotel room, waiting for your quarantine lunch to come.

Breaking the virus chain

I know it is hard to hold the urge to splurge and travel to other country. We’ve been in the same situation for almost three years. God, help us. But if you keep ignoring the government decision to stay at home, when will this pandemic end? Do we need to wait for another three years? Six years? It’s a no from me, thank you. Let’s just stay in to help breaking the virus chain, alright? Alright.

There are so many activities that we can try while staying at home instead of traveling outside. Remember that hobby you abandoned when you were twelve? Try that again right now. Or maybe some new recipes that you found on TikTok? Cook that bad boy up for you and your family.

Here, I’m giving you some fun activities that you can do at home. Having fun doesn’t always start with traveling. Sometimes, the best moment of your life starts in your home sweet home. Thank me later!

Avoiding the crowd

A picture of a crowded place

As an introvert myself, sometimes I’m kind of thankful that the pandemic is happening (sorry!). I tend to avoid crowd as best as I can because it makes me feel a little bit anxious. The fact that I get to avoid the crowd without having to make a lame excuse is a blessing. I know some of you can relate with my situation!

Avoiding a crowded place is one of the new normal rules. Get away as far as you can from it so you won’t get Covid-19 from strangers you crossed path with.

And that is exactly why people don’t want to travel in a pandemic. They’re afraid of the crowd. Yes, we’re in the middle of a pandemic, but have you seen the news on the internet? Tourist attractions are still full of people from around the world. So much for a safe travel, eh?

Health is their priority

Let’s be honest. Health is everyone’s number one priority, no? Well, I completely agree. As much as I am bored with my own home and want to explore new places out there, being healthy is what I want the most. 

Most of the times, we take our healthy body for granted. Everybody does that. I bet you do that too. So, when that particular time comes around—us getting sick—we silently regret why we didn’t take care of our body carefully. Now, all we can do is just lay on the bed with a sore throat, a stuffed nose, and an excruciating ache all over our body. You will understand the term ‘health is expensive’ once you go through this state.

By traveling in the middle of a pandemic, you have to be aware that you’re risking your health. Who knows what will happen to you out there? This is one of the reasons why some people think that is not something worth risking for. You travel to have fun, right? Not to get sick or get the Covid-19 virus inside your body.

So.. what do you think? Do you still consider the idea of traveling in a pandemic worth it? Is it really safe for you to travel around while the virus is still here with us? All those reasons above, there must be some part of it that stuck on your mind, haunting you every second you think about your travel plan. 

Nope, I’m definitely not scaring you. Just giving you a friendly reminder with a lengthy, reasonable explanation. Right, friends? Right…? However, if you’re still adamant about going somewhere in the middle of this pandemic, you do you! Only God knows how much you need this holiday to refresh your body and mind from the stress.

But (yes, there’s always a but. You already know), make sure to carefully craft your holiday plan. Don’t forget to bring the pandemic essentials, too. Also, keep your body energized while travelling because you need it to explore the various places you’ve been wanting to visit. Try to find places that are not very crowded with a lot of people. There are many breathtaking hidden places you can find to avoid the crowd. If you wanna travel abroad, definitely go to a country with lots of open spaces, like mountains, spacious beaches, etc.

Last but not least, don’t ever forget to follow the government rules (vaccination, quarantine, Covid-19 test). Rules are not meant to be broken, especially in a pandemic! Everything needs to be perfectly prepared so the virus won’t ruin your holiday. Have a safe and fun trip, buddy! 

Author: Shafa Arlene Salsabila

Word count: 1635

Reading time: 6 minutes

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