Since Flying Is Out Of The Question, Can You Travel By Car?
By Kelsey Marie
As each day passes, more and more cities and states are urging residents to stay at home with the expectation that not traveling and staying at home will help significantly flatten the curve.
We know about the dangers of flying during this time, but does this mean we also shouldn’t be traveling by car?
According to Dr. Krutika Kuppalli, Vice-chair of the Infectious Diseases Society of America’s global health committee, “It’s not necessarily about getting in the car. What really matters is what you’re going to do when you get somewhere.”
Whether or not you’re allowed to travel by car is determined by which city and state you live in. For example, in Charlotte, North Carolina, residents have to stay at home and the rules will be enforced by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department until April 16th.
It’s important to know the rules of our state and any states you are thinking of driving through/to.
Dr. Kuppalli tells The New York Times, “Given the strain we already have on our health care systems we don’t want people flocking to one place, getting sick, and then placing even more of a strain on the health care system.”
If you don’t have an essential reason for traveling by car, then don’t.
Rachel Patzer, director of health services research at Emory University School of Medicine tells The New York Times: “Traveling longer distances by car is not advisable right now unless it is of a more urgent nature. If it is far enough that it requires you to refuel or stop for food, this may be more difficult to practice social distancing and could put you or others at risk.”
“If you got sick and were far away from home it may be important for you to know where to get care, which may be more difficult if you are on the road traveling,” says Patzer.
If you’re going on a short ride, it’s still important to practice social distancing. You should stay at least 6 feet away from other people at all times.
Of course, you need to travel for food and medical supplies but, as Patzer puts it, “We all need to go to the grocery store and get food. And that is another opportunity for crowds and exposure. It would be wise to try to limit the number of grocery runs. Where in the past maybe you went every other day, try to go just once a week or once every other week and plan ahead for what you might need.”
If you don’t have a car, you should avoid public transportation and instead use Uber or Lyft.
However, “Both driver and rider should take precautions because there are still some risks of transmission since the driver and passenger are within close quarters,” says Patzer to The New York Times.
If you have to use a taxi, Uber, or Lyft, remember to use hand sanitizer and avoid touching your face.
Kelsey-Marie is an NYC girl who currently lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. You can keep up with her on Instagram at @kelseydashmarie