It’s impossible to predict with certainty where the virus will show up next or where it may die down, which makes planning vacation and business travel trickier than usual. Countries around the world are having newly discovered cases of the Corona Virus surge virtually overnight heading toward a pandemic (To be clear, a disease outbreak can become a pandemic without being especially severe or fatal.)
It is disappointing to cancel plans to travel, attend large gatherings, or go without business meetings because of the threat of exposure. In this time, it is always good to care for ourselves and others, including a little grace with unanswered questions and possibly unnecessary restrictions. (Ironically, these ‘Unnecessary restrictions’ may be just the thing to keep this from becoming a big deal, and afterwards whining about all that we gave up, for what turned out to be not a big deal! ) We don’t know where the virus is and where it may be lurking or spreading. Should schools be closed over this? Churches advised not to congregate? What about my spring break plans? It’s hard to tell, because we don’t know much about the virus.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Also help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, by practicing everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread including:
- Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. For information about handwashing, see CDC’s Handwashing website
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
These are everyday habits that can help prevent the spread of several viruses. CDC does have specific guidance for travelers.