The COVID-19 outbreak remains an unprecedented disaster in most countries. It has become the biggest global health emergency since the influenza pandemic of 1918. The pandemic has been catastrophic for every single industry. Travel, in particular, has been one of the most affected, and the economy built around it has seen a decline since the very beginning of the crisis. Those infected by the COVID-19 virus may suffer both short and long-term health problems, financial distress, and even long-term mental health issues. The uncertainty of what is happening to the world today has caused a chain-reaction that makes travel seem like an unusually dangerous and problematic endeavor.
What is Covid-19? How does it affect travelers?
Coronavirus disease, known as COVID-19, is a highly transmittable disease caused by intense acute respiratory syndrome SARS-CoV-2. It had a devastating impact on the world demographics resulting in more than 5.3 million deaths worldwide. The first case of this predominant respiratory viral infection was reported first in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China; in late December 2019. SARS-CoV-2 rapidly spread across the globe in a short time, forcing the World Health Organization (WHO) to proclaim it a global pandemic on March 11, 2020.
Covid 19 has numerous signs and symptoms that go beyond respiratory issues. In the beginning, it was thought that many of those infected had no symptoms at all. Individuals with Covid 19 developed mild to moderate symptoms, though the illness would become severe if not effectively treated. Now it's understood that some of those with no visible symptoms of the disease, may have had other complications that were simply thought as not related to COVID-19. The most known symptoms of coronavirus are:
Some individuals present other more severe symptoms that require hospitalization. Some severe signs of covid 19 are pneumonia, Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), sepsis, and septic shock. Some Covid 19 emergency warning signs that require immediate medical attention include:
Travel Restrictions and their effect on travelers
There are numerous ways in which the pandemic has affected travel. Due to the pandemic, different countries had travel restrictions in place to contain the spread of the deadly virus. These restrictions became bans and bans caused certain areas of tourism to be forced to shut down entirely. Though the world is recovering from the damage caused by the pandemic, travelers can still feel its effects. Here are some of the ways the COVID-19 is still affecting individual travelers and the tourism industry in general:
RISK MANAGEMENT PERCEPTION: We all like to have a certain amount of safety when traveling, be it for business or leisure travel. As humans, we mentally assign a threshold as to how much we're willing to risk in achieving our goals. That is often referred to as risk management. Whether it's touring famous destinations or traveling to a meeting in Florida, we assess our risk before we jump into a plane, cruise, or other method of transportation. Because of the Covid 19 pandemic, there's an inherent risk of catching a disease that may directly or indirectly impact us, our work, and worst of all—our loved ones. This has changed our behavior as a social species. Before the pandemic, crowded destinations where acceptable and posed no major risk in our collective psyche. Nowadays, to prevent the spread of the virus, we've seen how individuals and families have opted to spend their time in less crowded places. This is due largely in part to the combined efforts of various institutions, such as the CDC, to reduce the spread of this deadly virus.
MENTAL HEALTH AND TRAVELERS ANXIETY: Travelers now experience an abnormal amount of stress and anxiety over what seems to be a never-ending stream of ever-changing travel restrictions. Everyone has a different threshold when it comes to their travel risk management. To some, facing flight cancellations due to the travel restrictions and other requirements for visitors, could possibly be the biggest deterrent of all. To others, it could be the lack of access to public transportation, or the temporary or permanent closure of businesses and attractions we they wanted to visit. This all leads to negative emotions, such as anxiety, and dismay– which we naturally never want associated with our travels.
ECONOMIC IMPLICATIONS: The consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic have antagonistic effects on the tourism sector and the world economy. A few countries imposed strict travel bans to contain the pandemic spread. Countries such as Barcelona, Rome, and Bali are tourist attractions that have suffered an economic breakdown. The United Nations World Tourism Organization announced that the global predicament caused by COVID-19 in the tourism industry led to the loss of US$300–450 billion.
How to safely go back to traveling?
As a traveler, you also have a role to play in reducing the spread of Covid 19, so the world will not face another lockdown. You do not have to be a health practitioner to know the effects of the disease and its impact on our lives and our quality of life. By testing for COVID-19 you can detect the virus early and report yourself to health workers for adequate treatment. This action can help prevent the spread of the virus and ensure that we can keep the pandemic under control for long enough to see the restrictions lifted and our ability to travel (and enjoy traveling!) restored.
The good news is that every traveler can now perform their own Covid 19 Rapid Test at their convenience and the comfort of their own home. Remember when we all had to travel to COVID testing locations? some near you, some way too far away—(and, oh the lines!); well, those days are gone. The introduction and FDA approval of At-Home Self-Test Kits has changed everything. They became the go-to for those wanting to travel and the method of choice accepted by airlines, cruises, restaurants, and tourist destinations.
Which COVID 19 self test kit is the best for Travelers?
Two of the most popular kits highly recommended for their accuracy are the BinaxNOW COVID 19 At-Home Antigen Self Test Kit and IHealth® Covid-19 Self Test Kit. Both kits have been approved by the FDA and guarantee same-day results. These kits efficiently detect covid virus infection with the accuracy expected from a lab, without the uncomfortable feeling of getting your nostrils swabbed by a 3rd party. You can test all covid 19 variants with the kits in under 15 minutes.
Convenience and Comfort: Both of these Covid 19 self-tests require no prescription, and they come with an instruction card you can easily follow, with the option to download an app to watch their instructional videos. They promise zero discomfort, and you can do the test any time of the day.
Accuracy: Each Covid 19 self-test box comes with 2 test kits for repeat testing. You only must test yourself twice within three days or at least after 36 hours. Frequent testing is one of the best ways to stop the virus from spreading and increase the accuracy of your results. Human error still plays a big part in the accuracy of these tests, which means that you should always exercise caution when performing and reading the test results to avoid false negatives or false positives. Taking your time and thoroughly reading the instructions included will improve the chances of an accurate test result significantly.
Where to buy BINAXNOW and IHealth® COVID 19 AT-HOME Antigen Self-Test Kits?
Since these test kits do not require a prescription, you can get them over the counter or you can purchase them from the comfort of your home by ordering it online from a trusted and authorized online supplier.
Early detection of the virus prevents the spread and keeps you from developing more severe symptoms. It means you will receive early effective intervention to keep you and your loved ones safe and healthy. It's a small action that can have such a big impact in recovering from the pandemic so we can embark on travel adventures once again.
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