· 5 min read
Summer break is usually a time when families and college students flock to beaches around the world. But even though we’re all going stir-crazy and itching for a welcome escape after a year in COVID-19 lockdown, you may be asking, “Is it safe to travel to the seashore and other long-distance destinations?”
“Not yet,” says Jessica Malaty Rivera, an infectious disease epidemiologist with the COVID Tracking Project. Daily metrics are trending in a positive direction, “but we're also at a crossroads right now, where it's a race between the variants and the vaccines. I wouldn't say somebody should look at the daily data and say, ‘Oh, it's safe for me to travel.’”
The good news: You really can create a getaway experience. The ultimate summer break can be in your own backyard.
Follow these tips for a safe and fun staycation:
Staying physically active is one of the best ways to keep yourself and your family healthy, relieve some stress and get some fresh air. Consider parks, picnics at an arboretum, playgrounds, and biking and hiking experiences, along with other places close to home — but with a new lens for health and safety.
Here’s what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says you need to know if you plan to head outside:
Every parent knows that traveling near or far always includes the cry for a potty stop. After using public restrooms (or spending time in a public place), wash your hands with soap and water, scrubbing for at least 20 seconds.
If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
When fueling up, wear disposable gloves or use disinfecting wipes on handles and buttons at the gas pump.
After fueling, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. When you get to your destination, wash your hands with soap and water, scrubbing for at least 20 seconds.
If venturing a little farther than your own backyard, packing a picnic meal and snacks is essential for your outing. The safest option is to bring your own food. If you don’t bring your own food, use drive-through, take-out and pick-up options. Also keep in mind that warmer weather can create the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. To help protect your family from foodborne illness, here are eight tips for a safer picnic:
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