Should You Go on Vacation During the Coronavirus Pandemic?

July 23, 2020
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    Despite the coronavirus outbreak, summer is in full swing and many Americans are eager to get out of their homes.

    But, should you go on vacation during the COVID-19 pandemic?

    Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News chief medical correspondent, told "Good Morning America" that it depends on various factors.

    Ashton said there are certain things you need to think about, such as whether or not you are at risk. People should consider if they or anyone in their family has preexisting medical conditions.

    The destination of where you are traveling is also crucial as "you are going to balance the risk to the individual, the risk to the activity, vacation, environment.”

    The chief medical correspondent said all of those would be different case-by-case and would have to be balanced against the benefits.

    When deciding on a vacation, Ashton said you should think about five things:

    ·      Risk of going

    ·      Risk of not going

    ·      Benefits of going

    ·      Benefits of not going

    ·      Alternatives you might have

    Ashton explained how people can’t sterilize the environment and live our lives in a plastic bubble. However, she said people can take steps to lower or mitigate their risks.

    If you plan to go on vacation, Ashton said it is best wear a face mask, make sure you are at least six feet apart from other people and wash your hands frequently.

    “Those are the three most powerful weapons we have right now in our arsenal to help reduce the risk to ourselves and to others of becoming infected with COVID-19,” Ashton said.

    As for traveling on a plane, Ashton said flying is a lot safer than what people think. She said while people may come in close contact, there are more reliable ways to do it. On a plane, people can try to space themselves out, wear a face mask and not move around too much while on board.

    Driving comes with its own set of precautions.

    “The fewer people in your car, the fewer stops you make along the way, your exposure is lower, therefore, your risk is lower,” Ashton said.

    Ashton said if you are staying in a hotel, you should consider bringing your own disinfecting, sanitizing and cleaning wipes.

    "You just need to use the best information at your disposal, discuss that amongst your group of people that will be traveling with you, and make the best decision for you that you can at this point," Ashton advised.

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