Although the holiday season is beginning to wrap up, many travellers are still looking to return home. Furthermore, with travel beginning to pick up again, we are seeing a large increase in air traffic - both in the form of passengers and flights. However, with the ‘Tripledemic’, how can we travel safely?
New York Times author Tariro Mzezewa recently wrote an article discussing precisely this, and she opens the article by discussing why we need to be cautious while travelling. Although we’ve been living with COVID for nearly three years, we have recently seen a rise in other viruses such as R.S.V and flu.
With a lack of masking mandates on flights and public transport, this triple threat of viruses is making travel a worrisome task. Thankfully, there are some steps we can take to minimise our risk of catching R.S.V, flu or COVID.
Of course, the most important step is masking. Although there are currently no mandates requiring masks on public transport, the CDC recommends wearing a high-quality mask or respirator both on public transport and in transport stations and centres.
Although planes have air-filtration systems, these are not active while the plane is grounded. Since even to-schedule flights often take 30 minutes to fill to capacity, this leaves ample time for travellers to become infected. As such, masking, even on planes, is highly recommended.
However, what type of mask should you be wearing? Well, Dr Marr, interviewed for the article, states that a high-quality mask such as an N95, KN95 or KN94 is the way to go. They are more effective than cloth or surgical masks and are widely available.
Masking isn’t our only form of protection. Using COVID tests and ensuring your vaccines are up-to-date also helps. However, there is no denying that wearing a mask while travelling is the most impactful way to protect ourselves.
Want to read more? Check out the full article on the New York times.