We're still in the early days of the COVID-19 epidemic, and many of us are asking ourselves the same questions: Is it safe to travel now? Will it be safe in the future? Am I staying home forever? These are issues best answered with rational thought and critical analysis, not fear and panic. So we turned to Dr. Jennifer Haythe of Columbia University Medical Center for expert advice. In this episode, she explains how viruses travel and offers tips for staying safe and healthy — right now and always — when traveling.
Have a listen:
Links and Info We Mentioned on the Show
Dr. Haythe's Medical Precautions for Travel During the COVID-19 Outbreak
1. If you take medication, make sure you take a 60-day supply with you. You never know when you will need extras, or how much you will need.
2. Never check your medications. Always have them in your carry-on.
3. If you have a chronic disease, find out — before you leave — the location of hospitals at your destination. And ask your doctors if they know doctors nearby.
4. It’s a good idea to use a sanitizing wipe to clean your seat and tray table on an airplane.
5. Remember the basics when keeping a healthy immune system: Try to minumize your alcohol intake. Don’t do drugs. Get a good night’s sleep
Dr. Haythe's General Tips and Medical Go-Kit for Staying Healthy While Traveling
1. I get a good night's sleep when I travel so I don’t feel overtired.
2. I use sanitizing wipes in public places — something stronger than baby wipes, with a disinfectant.
3. When I go overseas, I always bring a medical prep bag with:
- Extra medications.
- Tylenol and ibuprofen.
- Eyedrops in case someone gets pink eye.
- Benadryl: Diphenhydramine is great if you develop a rash or have trouble sleeping. It also helps suppress cough at night.
- Immodium in case anyone develops diarrhea and has to get on a plane.
- Finally, discuss with your doctor if it's appropriate to bring a general antibiotic like ciprofloxacin (to treat UTIs and some diarrheal illnesses) and an antifungal like fluconazole. The doctor will need to prescribe both.