Traveling during COVID

Junior+Brooklyn+Luscomb+and+her+aunt+practice+social+distancing+while+horseback+riding+in+Turks+and+Caicos.

courtesy Brooklyn Luscomb

Junior Brooklyn Luscomb and her aunt practice social distancing while horseback riding in Turks and Caicos.

As the world gets used to life in this pandemic, more and more people are beginning to try and resume their daily lives and travels, but is it safe to do so?
Junior Brooklyn Luscomb is an avid traveler and has visited the Turks and Caicos Islands and Mexico this past month. She says that many precautions have been added to assure the safety of travelers.
“Turks and Caicos require a ton of COVID precautions for travelers including a negative COVID test, travel insurance, and background health information to be allowed on the plane to travel there,” Luscomb said.
Luscomb said that Mexico’s travel restrictions differed from Turks and Caicos which could explain why the latter country has much lower cases than the former. Since the pandemic hit, Turks and Caicos has only had 736 cases and only 6 of which resulted in death which Mexico has had over a million cases with over 100,000 resulting in death according to JHU CSSE Covid-19 data.
“Mexico was less strict, we just had to fill out a questionnaire but both countries required temperature checks at customs, and they both had very strict mask mandates,” Luscomb said.
Junior Emma Vermette traveled to Florida in November and she said that the mask mandate there was not nearly as strict as it is in Michigan or where Luscomb traveled. In the United States, mask mandates vary from state to state which is why in Florida, wearing a mask is recommended but it is not required like it is in Michigan or in the countries that Luscomb visited.
“The South is really different from how everything is here, there were not nearly as many safety measures as there are in Michigan and in some of the places we went, masks weren’t even required,” Vermette said.
Vermette’s family drove to their destination for multiple reasons but a major factor in that decision was to avoid airlines because of the number of people in one area.
“We chose to drive there for a few reasons, the first being that we wanted to see all the states on the way down, and then second, we just thought driving would be safer than flying right now,” Vermette said.
Luscomb said that she was surprised by all of the extra precautions that the airports and airlines she traveled with took. She mentioned that hospital-grade air filters were installed on each plane and the middle seat in each row was left open for social distancing.
“I felt very safe while flying because the plane crew was really strict about the mask policy,” Luscomb said.
On the airline that Luscomb flew with, Delta Airlines, masks were required to be worn correctly at all times or the offender would be banned from the airline.
Yet, junior Dominic Barrett has a very different view on the pandemic.
“My family is very strict about staying inside and being safe right now, we have not gone anywhere since this started in March, so I feel like it would be a lot safer if there were more restrictions on traveling right now, no matter how many precautions are put up it is still going to spread,” Barrett said.
The differences between our student body are unparalleled with how we view this pandemic. As Barrett has preferred to stay home for safety while Luscomb and Vermette have chosen to continue their travels with additional precautions for their safety. According to the CDC, staying home has the lowest risk to contract Covid-19 and those who travel will be at a higher risk to contract the virus.
“I think that it is important to keep traveling because you only live once, and in a few years I will have a full-time job and I won’t have these opportunities anymore,” Luscomb said. “I think that as long as people are staying safe and taking extra precautions while traveling, they should continue to do so.”