8 Sensible Health Tips for Commuters During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Increasingly, for many people, a big part of the so-called “new normal” amid the continuing COVID-19 pandemic is finally going back to school and work. This means stepping out of the safety of our homes and braving again the outside world, where we used to never think twice about anything. While risky, resuming a semblance of our pre-pandemic lives is also crucial to help jumpstart the economy and ease the mental health burden brought about by being cooped up inside the house for too long. We just need to approach the situation with an abundance of caution and care.
For instance, it pays to keep in mind some of the following sensible health tips especially, for those who require a daily commute to and from school or the office. Here are just some you can take into consideration beginning today.
Get the Jab Done
Medical experts cannot emphasize enough the benefits of getting vaccinated against COVID-19. Initial studies indicate that patients filling up hospitals these days with severe cases of the disease are those who have not been vaccinated. While getting the vaccine will not prevent you from getting infected by the virus or developing COVID-19 altogether, it has been shown to limit the severity of the symptoms and the risk of dying from the disease.
Keep Wearing a Mask
Even if you have been vaccinated, it is still a wise decision to wear a face mask when going out in public, especially if you’re taking public transportation vehicles to commute to school or work. A cloth mask, especially a reusable one that is made of special antimicrobial fabric, provides you with a reliable barrier against pathogens that may be circulating in the environment. This type of mask prevents bacteria and viruses from thriving on the fabric, and thus it’s more sanitary and tends to be a better companion to a surgical or medical mask when you’re double masking (i.e. wearing a fabric mask over a surgical mask). If you are wondering where to buy antimicrobial masks of this kind, you can check out online stores and specialty personal apparel shops.
When you are out on your daily commute, you cannot help but come in contact with communal surfaces such as door handles, railings, elevator buttons, and the like. Thus, it is important that you carry with you hand sanitizer or alcohol that you can use to frequently disinfect your hands with . You can also employ disinfectant wipes to quickly clean down subway handrails, bus seats, or public toilet seats. Also consider wearing a hand protector that you can cover your hands with when you need to touch or hold a communal object.
Another way to avoid getting into contact with too many public or shared surfaces is to avoid paying for your fare in cash. Instead of fumbling around for coins and bills, opt for contactless options, which could come in the form of smart cards or even smartphone-based apps. Not only are these more convenient, but they are more sanitary as well.
Carpool with Care
Gone are the days when you can take in as many passengers as you can in your carpooling sessions. At this time of a COVID-19 pandemic, it would be prudent to limit the number of your carpool mates, as well as limit them to those that share the same household as you. It would be a good idea to improve air circulation inside the vehicle by opening the windows, as well as to have each passenger wear a face mask during the entire trip.
Limit Your Exposure
Whereas before, you might grab some coffee and donuts on the way to work or drop by the laundromat after you pick up your kids from school, try your best to avoid these kinds of detours while on your daily commute. By limiting the time you spend outside of your home, you also help decrease your risk of exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Plan your trips well and in advance, and keep your commute as straightforward and as quick as possible.
Keep Your Distance
While social distancing may be difficult to observe while out on your daily commute, you can still take measures such as not crowding into a public transport vehicle. Be patient to wait a bit longer for the next empty bus or train rather than squeeze into a packed one. Even if you were just walking outdoors, it would be prudent to keep a few steps away from people in front of you and to avoid contact with others as much as possible.
Don’t Bring the Virus Home
After a long day at work or school, it would be a good habit to leave your shoes at the door, to chuck your clothing immediately into the hamper or wash, and to take a quick bath. Similar to hand washing, such personal hygiene practices help prevent the spread of the virus in case you’ve gotten into contact with it in the course of your daily commute.
We all long for the day when we can go out and relish our daily commute the way we used to—greeting people we meet along the way, stopping for a quick drive-thru meal, passing by the grocery on the way home, or even catching a quick snooze on the bus or train. However, for now, we still need to contend with health and hygiene protocols as the majority of the world is still grappling with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. These health tips for commuters are a big help in the meantime.
*This is a collaborative post