The spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) has dominated media across the globe for the last few months and has been classed as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation. As a result, preventative measures are impacting on all areas of modern life including the economy, education, social and sporting events and of course, travel.
While it’s easy to get swept up in the panic and uncertainty such a disease and its fallout create, it’s important to remember that life still goes on and while we all have to adapt for the time being, it is important to remember that as well as looking after ourselves, it’s still possible to have fun.
Bearing that in mind, let’s take a look at some travel-related things you can do that will both sate your wanderlust and help keep your fears and concerns about coronavirus in check!
1 – Get a head start planning your travel for later
With more and more countries shutting their borders to contain the spread of the virus, travelling at the moment seems like a no-go despite the current bargains for flights to be found online. Seems a shame to let so many good deals go, doesn’t it? Especially London to New York for as little as £250 return… so rather rather than dwell on that, get planning for the future! Lock-downs and outbreaks don’t and won’t last forever. Take advantage of these bargains now by booking up for the future once everything has settled down – it’ll give you something to look forward to as well!
2 – Explore your own country!
UPDATE: As the situation is evolving, this option is rapidly becoming inadvisable. Do not go outside unless completely necessary. Stay Home. Stay Safe!
As going abroad right now is inadvisable, why not become a tourist in your own country? Though the temptation may be to hide away from the world at the moment, as we said life goes on and it will do your mental-well-being good to distract yourself and be outside. Even exploring a little in your home city at the moment will provide a startling contrast – working and living in Central London, I’ve noticed how visibly quieter the city has been these last few days. Now might be the perfect time to get some photos of your favourite landmarks without the usual hordes of people, or just enjoy a little quiet time in the spring air!
If you do venture outside, remember to follow the advice set out by your local government (such as washing hands frequently, avoiding large gatherings) and take sensible precautions. If you are displaying any symptoms that could be the virus such as fever, a cough and/or shortness of breath, please do not risk infecting others and self-isolate as directed. In your case…
3 – Do something travel-related at home!
If you are unwell or need to self-isolate and can’t go outside, then use these days as a chance to pamper yourself, relax and don’t stress about things. Treat yourself by doing something you wouldn’t usually do or have time for. Read that book about the next destination on your travel wish-list. Make a photo collage or scrapbook from all those ticket-stubs and postcards you’ve saved like you said you were always going to. Learn a couple of phrases in that language that you’ve always wished you could speak. Enjoy cooking? Try and recreate that dish you fell in love with on the road! There are so many things you could do! Be creative and have fun with it!
It may sound silly, but having some kind of project to focus on will help you keep your mind busy and stop you fretting. Trust me, it really will help!
4 – Consider limiting your time on Social Media
We live in a world where Social Media is very much a part of our existence and while it has many upsides and we enjoy using it, it’s also important to take steps to guard our well-being – especially in times such as these. I’m not suggesting avoiding Social Media all together for the near future, but consider what you are looking up and why. If you can’t get through the day without checking out Instagram for all those pics of far-flung destinations and that makes you happy, then do it! But if you know that reading Twitter is just going to make your blood boil or send you into a blind panic, then don’t do it! You may even wish to snooze friends who like to share negative or unhelpful stats and scare stories. They’ll never know, and you won’t have to be alarmed by anything they share!
Yes, it is important to keep informed – but make sure your chosen news outlets are 1) trustworthy 2) as accurate as possible and 3) not just click bait articles that are deliberately scaremongering. Do this and you’ll be surprised how much better you can feel, and how quickly too!
5 – Be Kind – to yourself and others
No really – be kind. People are frightened right now and it’s making them act erratically. A little patience, empathy and kindness will make it easier for everyone to manage this unsettling time, including yourself. Keep calm. Be kind.
Many of us travel to have experiences we wouldn’t usually have at home. So treat the fallout from this virus as just that – an experience you wouldn’t usually have! Yes, it’s not an experience any of us would actively seek out and can be upsetting and frightening, but remember that this too shall pass and will one day just be an interesting episode from your life that you remember.
Going forward Day-Trippers, remember: Be sensible. Be safe. And take care of yourself and others.
Author: James Scanlan
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