Sanitisers have become synonyms with the lockdown. Why wouldn’t it be? It is one of the things that helped us minimize the risk during these tough times. Who would have thought that the novel coronavirus would change the world in ways we never could imagine? But, unfortunately, it did and is still doing it. We all have seen the tremendous impact it has on various industries, corporates, manufacturers, technology, while travel and tourism are the ones closest to most people. People are legitimately concerned to put travel on cards, primary reasons being safety concerns, risks associated with travel, and not to mention travel restrictions across domestic and international borders.
More than a lot has been said about travelling during the lockdown; the most important fact remains: don’t travel unless it’s urgent. Yes, that is important.
Before I begin sharing my travel by air story, I wouldn’t encourage you to travel unless you can’t avoid it. Airlines have a compact close space that makes it easy for coronavirus or germs to breed on various surfaces. If in contact with the asymptomatic Corona patient, it’s difficult not to get affected or catch the infection. Therefore it is advised to avoid unnecessary travels, maintain social distancing, avoid crowded public places and follow regional guidelines to follow safety protocols.
MY UNFORGETTABLE EXPERIENCE
I have been working in Mumbai for a while now, and much before I could plan and fly back to my hometown in Lucknow, the nation went into a complete lockdown. With some ease in restrictions in time, the flights were to resume from 25th May 2020. I didn’t know if I was ready to travel after spending 3 months in lockdown all alone, furthermore knowing the risks attached. Considering the situation and safety issues, I didn’t immediately book my tickets when flights were back in operation. I took some time to analyze the situation as the news of positive cases among the flying passengers was all over the news channels. After waiting for some time, I decided to book my tickets for 17th July 2020 as my family was worried and I had to get back to Lucknow. Their concern was natural, and me being in Maharashtra, which was and unfortunately still is the epicentre with the highest number of corona positive cases in the country, I could understand their worry, especially when the neighbours and relatives son’s daughters’ were starting to return to their families. As much as I wanted to be home, I also was scared of the probability of carrying the virus with me. However, I knew I had to go, and that risk will be there no matter what; I made up my mind but made sure to plan my travel, keeping in mind the safety guidelines and all that I could do to protect myself while travelling.
Questions I asked myself – Is the travel too urgent? Is it worth taking the risk? Am I ready to safeguard myself and others around me by taking full precautions?
Things I told myself– I will have to maintain 14 days quarantine, I will have to be careful towards elders as the risk of catching the virus is too high for them. I will inform the health experts in case I feel sick. I will continue maintaining safety and hygiene practices advised by the health experts.
Do not forget – Your diet and eating habits play a huge role in keeping you fit. Intake of good and healthy food to continue building your immunity. Take good quality sleep. Stay in touch with your people virtually. Stay positive. Consult a health expert if required.
I have thoughtfully compiled all the necessary precautions, points to note, and safety tips that I followed to ensure my safety at every check and exit point, keeping in mind the government and health experts’ safety guidelines and hand, respiratory and environmental hygiene.
POINTS TO NOTE WHILE PLANNING FOR THE AIR TRAVEL
Check while booking air tickets – refund and cancellation policies, social distancing practices, hygiene practices, etc.
Choose the mode of travel transport considering the distance, time of travel, safety or any other important factors in your case.
Make a list of the safety tools – I pre-ordered everything from amazon right from a PPE Kit, a box of gloves, face masks, face shield, alcohol-based sanitisers, disinfected wipes and a pack of dry tissues; after all, an ounce of protection is worth a pound of cure.
Consider booking a direct flight if given a choice. The lesser you stay out, the better and safe. I had to come to Lucknow, so I preferred waiting to get a direct flight than booking the flight via Delhi for obvious reasons.
Wear comfortable and light clothes. I like to keep it super casual with almost zero accessories when I am travelling, so I wore a t-shirt and a pyjama.
Pack less and travel light. Avoid carrying too much luggage.
Check State Wise Travel Guidelines; all states have different travel guidelines, don’t forget to check it out before starting your travel.
POINTS TO NOTE WHILE AT THE AIRPORT
Install Arogya Setu App – Airport staff might ask to register and answer the questions in the app, so keep it ready.
Keep a good distance from people: it’s mandatory and will keep you safe.
Be patient and cooperate with the airport staff when asked to follow a safety protocol. Don’t panic.
Carry a separate handy pouch or bag which only has your protective tools like spare pair of gloves, masks, sanitiser and tissues.
Keep your documents handy so that you do not have to dig deeper and search back and forth.
Avoid eating outside as it is not safe and might add to the risks.
Carry your tiffin – don’t forget to wrap the food in a style where you can dispose of the box right after eating. Wash your hands properly before and after eating. Sanitise your hands and wear a new set of gloves.
Avoid touching surfaces unnecessary as it can be a spot for infected droplets to breed. Also, avoid touching your face, nose, eyes and masks again and again.
Please wash your hands with soap and water when needed and make sure to cover your nose and mouth the whole time unless it becomes a problem.
POINTS TO NOTE AT THE TIME OF ARRIVAL
Dispose of your safety wearables in closed bins.
Wash your hands with soap and water. Sanitize your hands if required.
Wear new gloves and a mask.
Stay at a distance while waiting for your luggage.
Avoid taking a shared cab or local bus.
Book a prepaid taxi or call someone to pick you up.
Sanitize again before you begin your journey from the airport to the house or X place.
AS AND WHEN YOU REACH YOUR FINAL DESTINATION
As you enter the X place, make sure not to touch anything or anyone.
Self isolates yourself and avoid coming in contact with anyone.
As you enter, sanitize your luggage and everything. You can wipe your gadgets using a cloth or a tissue.
I would highly recommend you take a good shower before you plan to sit or lie down after that hectic day.
14 DAYS QUARANTINE
As per guidelines from the Ministry of Health Affairs 14 days, quarantine is mandatory from exposure time.
It might get difficult to control your emotions and not hug your mom & dad and your loved ones, but you still need to follow 14 days of self-isolation for your as well as everyone’s safety.
Minimize as much contact as you can with people depending on the space available and follow it seriously. If you can have a separate room by yourself, it’s best to spend your quarantine with the least risk.
Do not entertain friends, neighbours or anyone for 14 days. People will understand.
In my case, I kept my utensils separate and washed them by myself in quarantine.
You can feel suffocated or uncomfortable in a closed room; in that case, you can take a walk on the terrace or go out on the balcony. Make sure you are alone or at a minimum of 6 to 10 feet distance from people.
Get your temperature checked after 7- 10 days.
If the temperature is fine, you can continue your 4 days isolation or contact your nearby doctor immediately in case of Corona symptoms.
Once 14 days are over, still get your temperature checked for safety concerns.
I thoughtfully took my 14 days quarantine seriously and continued following the hygiene practices even after that.
Thankfully, it’s been more than a month, and I am safe, and so are my people. THANK GOD. I would like you to understand the seriousness of the situation and suggest you follow strict guidelines to ensure safety. Still, now more than ever, it’s worth taking extra care of yourself in every way possible.
I hope you find this article informative and helpful.
STAY ALERT, STAY AT A DISTANCE, STAY CLEAN AND STAY STRONG.
I shall pray for your safe travel.
Disclaimer: The content provided by The Artmired is for general informational purposes only. The blog’s purpose is to share my lockdown travel experience and offer a little guidance along the way. All information on the Site is provided in good faith; however, we make no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability or completeness of any information on the Site. Under no circumstance shall we have any liability to you for any loss or damage of any kind incurred due to the use of the site or reliance on any information provided on the site. Your use of the site and your reliance on any information on the site is solely at your own risk. If you seek a professional opinion on how you should travel during the lockdown, please consult a professional.