The COVID-19 pandemic forced us all to stay inside our homes for the past year. Due to how easy it was to contract the virus, people were advised to go out as little as possible, postponing all kinds of gatherings and even halting the process of working on-site and studying in physical classrooms. With this, our lives for the past year have been plagued with feelings of isolation and boredom.
But now that the world has somehow adjusted and accepted that the existence of the virus may already be a part of the new normal in this day and age, we can once again go out of our homes with only a few safety measures to keep in mind. One of the popularly missed activities from before the pandemic hit is traveling with all the joys and hassles that come with it. Being able to travel again, we have to think of the best kind of transportation that we can take to protect ourselves from the deadly disease.
The Best Way
The best way to protect ourselves is to not travel at all in the first place. Following safety protocols can only go so far while we are reintegrating ourselves into society. Even with the added protection of the vaccine, some of us may still be infected. So continuing to minimize the trips to the outside world should still be maintained, especially if our reasons for going out are not that important.
Personal and Private Vehicles
However, if traveling can no longer be avoided as more businesses are reopening and recalling their employees (or just because an out-of-town vacation is of the essence for your mental health as a whole), traveling in a private vehicle is the best way to go. Using your personal vehicle will definitely lessen your contact with strangers. Traveling with the people you live in the same house with will promote your safety as a group instead of using public transportation. Whether you use a van, a rented bus, or a personalized motor coach, you will be safer by riding a separate vehicle from strangers. But do keep in mind that the frequency of the stopovers that you will make can still put you in contact with other people.
Traveling by plane may be essential for those distant trips abroad, but how safe is it during this pandemic? Although riding a plane is still a kind of public transportation that will force you to travel with many others, it is still relatively safe as more and more airlines are taking the initiative to uphold the best safety measures in their operations. Most airlines in the country will thoroughly disinfect the entire premises before and after every flight. Some even limit the number of passengers by closing off rows of seats to maintain social distancing. You may even opt to purchase business or first-class seats to limit your contact with attendants instead of other passengers.
The Rest of the Public Transportation System
Public buses, trains, and cabs may be the least safe options to travel. Most of these modes of transportation are less regulated by authorities, considerably putting the passengers at risk of contracting and spreading the disease. Although safety regulations are still up, some people continue to ignore wearing face masks and maintaining the appropriate distance from other passengers. Some public rides are even starting to become saturated with people once again, forcing many to stand side by side in transit just to get to their places of employment.
But compared to the risks that it had last year, public transportation is safer today as more people are getting vaccinated. Just like how we move around in supermarkets and other public spaces, we can still take steps to keep ourselves protected at most times. Public transportation operators are also trying to do their part by enforcing the safety rules themselves and deep cleaning and disinfecting thoroughly during some point in the day. With all of this, commuters still have to take it upon themselves to continue the advised safety measures of wearing facial masks and frequently disinfecting their hands and other possessions.
We don’t know when this pandemic will end but upholding safety measures will give us a certain level of protection while traveling. While not traveling at all is the best way to keep ourselves safe, choosing the best mode of transportation can prevent us from contracting the virus when we do have to go out. Let us all continue to protect ourselves and our families as we await the day that the virus is finally eradicated from our society.