Summer is here! School is out! Restlessness abounds.
Tonight, as I write this, I am at the Phoenix airport, heading to a conference. My first in person conference since last March.
The airport is teeming with passengers, most but not all wearing masks, many of them not correctly and not anywhere near the social distancing recommended for these days. I am not a germaphobe, but I cannot help but feel appalled as I sit in the waiting chairs at my gate. People are pulling their masks down to eat, talk on the phone, sip their coffees, breathe.
I am wary. The idea of being in a place overflowing with people makes me feel unsafe. I still cringe as I pass people on the trails in Forest Park, even though it feels good to breathe the fresh chilly air and see people’s faces without the awkwardness of a mask. But at the airport or grocery store or even in a restaurant, I am not sure if I am ready. I think that I have Post Viral Stress Syndrome. I do not trust that we are out of the woods.
On the other hand, I plan to travel with my 17-year-old this summer to look at schools and just to get out of the house after being stuck inside for so long. I feel like our mental health requires it. And we plan to get on airplanes and going to cities and public places. We are going stir crazy.
So, how we can we travel in a safe way and limit our exposure and spread of this life altering virus?
Here are a few helpful tips that I do:
- Wear a thicker mask (or two thinner ones). Wash them when you arrive at your destination.
- Eat before you leave rather than on the airplane or at the airport. If you must eat while travelling, bring yourself a meal rather than purchase it.
- Wash your hands, sanitize frequently throughout your trip.
- Wear clothes that you change out of and wash when you arrive at your destination.
- Shower and wash your hair when you arrive as well.
- Try camping instead of hotels or vacation rentals. Drive if that is an option.
So many of us are aching to go back to life as usual, to see friends and family that we have missed, to travel and see the world. To just hang out together. But let’s be careful too. Remember a little caution may save a life – yours or someone you love.
By Dr. Jennifer Means, ND, LAc
Image by www.freepik.com/free-photo/woman-with-medical-mask-using-smartphone-airport-during-pandemic