The whole world has somewhat come to standstill at this moment due to the COVID-19 virus; everyone is affected but probably the most affected are all types of travelers such as globetrotters, adventure travelers, frequent flyers, holidaymakers, pilgrims etc. So we’ve come up with this post which not only enlightens on you everything about this coronavirus, its after-effects, safety measures and precautions, but also put out its positive side along with some effective tips to make the most of this pandemic time.
WHAT IS COVID-19 OR CORONAVIRUS DISEASE 2019?
Barring Antarctica, COVID-19 has hit almost all continents. This alone speaks the volume of its unprecedented spread, which presumably has originated from one of China’s food markets at Wuhan in December 2019. In approximately four months, more than one million confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported world wide, with close to 70,000 deaths. So what really is this deadly virus and disease?
COVID-19 is a kind of respiratory illness, caused due to SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2). As its name indicates, it comes from a family of coronaviruses that are usually seen in animals, mammals, reptiles etc. While the chances of coronavirus transmission from animals to human are rare, the previous cases of coronavirus outbreak were reported in 2003 and 2012, with SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) respectively.
The animal source of the virus behind COVID-19 is still controversial;however this would have possibly originated from bats, pangolins, or snakes.
COVID-19 – SPREAD, SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
COVID-19 is a communicable ailment which usually spread from people to people via respiratory droplets that come from an infected person who are in close contact with another person within a radius of less than three feet. Another possible cause of this virus is when a person touches an infected object or surface.
Once it enters the body….
When this coronavirus comes in contact with your body and enters through mouth, nose or eyes, it moves through your nasal passages and then to the respiratory tract, causing infection in your lungsas well as other organs depending on its severity. It has an incubation period ranging from two to 14 days.
- Low to high fever
- Continuous cough
- Shortness of breath and breathing complications
- Sore throat
- Body ache
IS THERE ANY MEDICINE OR VACCINE FOR THIS DISEASE? CAN IT BE CURED OR IS IT LIFE-THREATENING?
As of now, no specific medicine or vaccination has been developed to combat or treat this disease. When it comes to whether it’s curable or life-threatening, this depends on a variety of factors. With isolation and excellent support care to treat its symptoms, this disease is mostly curable in the case of healthy adults and kids. However, elderly people above 65 years plus people with a medical history of lung diseases, heart ailments, cancer, liver and kidney diseases etc are most at risk to develop severe complications including pneumonia kind of symptoms and multiple organ failures which sometimes even lead to death.
HOW CAN I PREVENT OR KEEP MYSELF SAFE FROM THIS DISEASE?
The most recommended way to avoid the spread of this infection is via social distancing or by limiting your interaction with people who show symptoms of respiratory illnesses. Following strict hygiene or sanitation practices also help you to keep this disease at a bay. So here are a few things which you should consider in order to protect yourself from this disease.
- Make sure that you wash your hands (using any soap and warm water) on frequent basis for at least 20 seconds.
- If you’re not able to wash your hands, you can use a hand sanitizer, preferably with 60% alcohol content in it.
- Avoid touching your face, nose and mouth with your dirty hands.
- Maintain a distance of at least six feet when you speak or interact with other people.
- Skip any kind of physical contact such as hugs, handshakes, kisses etc, especially when you greet someone.
- Use your bent elbow or a handkerchief or a disposable tissue in order to cover your mouth / nose while sneezing and coughing.
- Wear mask and a pair of hand gloves when you step outside.
- It’s advisable not to share your personal items (such as cups, cutleries etc) with anyone.
- Clean and disinfect all objects / surfaces which possibly can be the carrier of this virus / disease, such as your phone, computer, keyboard, mouse, tabletops, kitchen countertop etc.
- After shopping, be sure to disinfectant all items / products which you brought from the store.
- Eat healthy and opt for foods that would help to boost your immunity. And avoid outside food as far as possible.
- If you’ve any kind of flu like symptoms or discomfort, it would be prudent of yourself to self-quarantine or self-isolate from others.
- If the condition becomes worse, get medical assistance immediately.
COVID-19 & TRAVEL UPDATES
Due to the fast and unparalleled spread of this virus, most nations across the world have imposed lock downs with travel bans, thus closing all air pathsas well as land borders. This has forced most people to either cancel or postpone their already booked or confirmed holidays. That apart, the health officials and government agencies worldwide have warned people to completely refrain from any kind of contact with people who have already traveled to the most infected regions / countries. What’s more; most major tourist attractions plus restaurants, leisure attractions etc all over have been now closed for an indefinite period or until the situations become better.
Now if you’ve an upcoming travel which is urgent or unavoidable, be sure to make a thorough research to ensure that it’s safe to travel before you apply for an international visa and carry on with other travel arrangements. Moreover, take a look at the website of World Health Organization (WHO) for more reliable updates on this disease. It’s also wise to check if your airline / accommodation service provider offers any help / special fee waiver policy in the event you’ve to cancel or face any trouble that may emerge due to the outbreak of this disease.
COUNTRIES MOST / LEAST AFFECTED BY CORONAVIRUS
Al though first identified in China, this virus has spread to over 200 countries in different parts of the world, from South Asia and Middle East to Europe and America. Currently, the United States (USA) tops the list of countries that are most affected by this pandemic (with over 330,000 confirmed cases), followed by Spain (over 135,000 cases), Italy (128,900 cases), Germany (100,000 cases), France (over 90,000 cases) and China (over 81,000 cases). That said, there are luckily a few countries which have escaped this disease and still coronavirus-free, such as Angola, Barbados, Botswana, Fiji, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Syria, Tonga, and Yemen.
POSITIVE SIDE OF COVID-19
Amidst all chaos, fears and pandemonium, there is also some heartening news as a result of this pandemic.
- The number of new cases has begun to decline in the place of its origin: Yes, China with its effective preventive measures has now managed to bring down the effects of this disease, with almost no new cases reported in the place in recent times.
- Majority of infected people recover: As per the reports, more than 95% infected people (including elderly people) recover and return to normal life.
- Nature is at its blissful best: With almost no vehicles in the land, water or air, this has significantly reduced the carbon emissions, allowing the nature to breathe, heal itself and of course thrive.
- Wildlife too has now got a new lease of life: The root cause of this pandemic is believed to be wild animals. And the good news is that China has now declared that the trade or consumption of wild animals is illegal.
- The iconic, always-packed landmarks look even better and more peaceful: Take Venice’s canals, Paris’ Eiffel Tower, California’s Disneyland Resort, Dubai’s traditional souks, or the Roman Colosseum – they all are now deserted but absolutely pollution-free and seem to appear more exquisite in their tranquil version.
FINALLY, HAVE A LOOK AT SOME INSPIRING TIPS TO KEEP YOUR WANDERLUST ALIVE
Missing travel? Then these following suggestions would help your love for travel and wanderlust intact.
- This is the best time to revisit your cherished travel moments. Flip through the old travel images, start a travel blog or jot down your unforgettable adventure / travel memories in a diary or a notepad.
- Make a virtual travel to a country or experience a new culture by reading some of the best travel books like On the Road (Jack Kerouac), Seven Years in Tibet (Heinrich Harrer), The Beach (Alex Garland), Into the Wild (Jon Krakauer), and Vagabonding (Rolf Potts).
- Try new hobbies or brush up your long-forgotten skills, may be practicing music / Yoga, try cooking innovative dishes, or learning new language (which may prove helpful to your upcoming travel).
- Most of all, keep yourself connected to the world by watching movies, documentaries and television / online series themed around nature, culture, new destinations etc.
- Some of the world’s most celebrated museums, galleries etc have now launched virtual tours means you can now discover or know a place in-depth from the comfort of your home or couch.
While it’s now wiser to cancel or put off all your travel plans until things get right, don’t stop yourself from researching planning and updating your travel wishlist or bucketlist. Yes, make the absolute best of this time to de-stress yourself, de-clutter all negativities from your life, and prepare yourself to get back to your normal life more refreshed yet sensible, Once the planet gets moving again, we’re sure that all these would help you to admire and appreciate the cleaner restored-version world from a new light.