Covid-19 has caused a lot of strife for people all over the world from different backgrounds and countries, some more than others. I’m speaking from the perspective of someone living in a developed country (Canada). Sure the pandemic hit us here too, there are 122,000 confirmed cases (as of August 2020) and 9034 deaths. Covid has also closed many businesses, schools, and stores. I witnessed the death of a lot of small businesses and our economy is definitely hurting.
That being said there are lots of people in the world right now struggling to feed their families and keep a roof over their heads all while keeping themselves and their loved ones safe in the midst of a worldwide pandemic. Many other countries have an extremely higher death rate and no way to escape it. I’m writing this article acknowledging that it comes from a place of privilege and there are many others in the world who are still on lockdown and couldn’t possibly be traveling right now.
Traveling or wanting to travel in 2020 comes with a lot of hurdles and a lot of guilt. If you asked me in April if I saw myself traveling in August I would have said no way. I felt guilty for even leaving my house, we were being told to stay home and only go out for necessities, which is the safe and responsible thing to do, no doubt. As time passed and quarantine restrictions lifted a little, some businesses opened and people were allowed to return to their lives, albeit a very different life than before it was at least something. The initial thought of traveling had me riddled with guilt. How could I possibly enjoy traveling when there is a serious risk of spread to those I come in contact with? And how extremely privileged it is of me to even be able to travel in a time like this? I had more questions than answers.
Obviously, the best thing to be doing is to stay home and minimize the possible spread of Covid-19 but at some point, you have to factor in your physical and mental health. You need to begin to take “necessary risks” to maintain your physical health (such as working out) and mental health (such as visiting friends and family).
Now that Canada is mostly in phase 3, I see lots of people traveling locally and within their own province, and for the most part, adhering to the guidelines set out by each city, town and business they visit (for the most part… WEAR YOUR F***** MASK).
I decided it was safe enough to start going out and enjoying my own city, and the smaller cities in Southern Ontario, from a social distance. I figured it was a good idea to put some money back into the local economy and support local businesses as long as im doing it safely. (I’m going to write some articles about the places I visited with an excerpt from the top about how I kept my travels Covid safe).
Here are some ways to keep your local travel Covid-19 safe:
- Travel with friends or family who are in your safe circle and maintain a social distance from anyone else you come across.
- Wear your mask in public spaces (coffee shops, stores, patios) or when you can’t be socially distant.
- Encourage everyone to wear a mask.
- Wash your hand frequently and use hand sanitizer when you can’t.
- Wipe down the inside of any rental car with a disinfecting wipe before and after you use/return it.
- Wipe down points of contact in Airbnb or hotels with a disinfectant wipe when you arrive.
- If you are visiting a city in which patios are open, choose to sit outside
- Avoid spending a lot of time in stores and indoor spaces where you are near other people (shopping malls, stores, grocery stores, etc).
- If you are hiking or visiting natural spaces, allow at least 6ft of space between anyone you pass along the way (and bring your garbage back out with you).
Let me know if you have any other Covid safe travel tips in the comments!