Special edition: 3 practical tips on traveling internationally during #COVID19
Did you know that this corona virus is a "new type" of what already existed? Practice what is reasonable and considerate for others, and you'll be getting through immigration and customs in no time!
I used to travel internationally all the time, my home base being Tokyo for a while and then Osaka recently. However, with the global pandemic, seemingly everything related to flights, travel, moving around, going out, and socializing stopped! We haven't seen this type of pandemic before, but let's review what's going on so we don't get too stressed out about what we're facing.
This is a new type of virus, but the corona virus is not completely new in a way.
As the name 新型コロナウイルス or "the new form of the corona virus" in Japanese indicates, this is really not something we haven't seen before in a sense. If you don't trust my words, I encourage you to read medical journals and get in touch with the local authorities as necessary to get comfortable. Another official name for this virus is SARS-CoV-2, and as many of you know, there was a SARS outbreak before in Hong Kong.... pay attention to the "2" in the name here. The data coming in can be new, and the way we track updates make it unique.
The "unknown" for any aspect of life, business, health or anything really can make you feel anxious or afraid. I recommend that you keep talking to different people, hopefully from diverse backgrounds and parts of the world even, to maintain some sanity. When you learn that one practice is acceptable in a certain region, you may be curious to see how that same practice would apply and be accepted in your community, perhaps. This is a critical time to make sure you don't lose human connection.
In my case, I take pride in being relatively healthy and a happy person. With the government shutting down in Japan, I did not know what to expect in the spring of this year, but that phase has passed! Now, my challenge was to see if I could visit my family in California.
I was able to finally find reasonable flights this month - fhew!
Read and research the fine print for each airline, because according to the region, both your outbound and inbound destinations, can be very different and may require quarantines. In my case, coming from Japan and going to the US does not require any quarantining - surprising enough, but true. This is because I am not sick or feverish :)
Be aware of what your body temperature is. I remember my mother gave me a thermometer when I went off to college (because I studied abroad in the US) - so I've made it a habit to know what my body temperature is most of the time, and this helps with managing my health in a larger sense. Do you know what your average body temperature is? How high does it get in the summer or winter? These are things you can watch out for and you'll be able to tell if you are feverish, for example.
Be considerate and if you have questions about policies, don't be afraid! Ask around and make sure you're updated on the latest regulations because that will make you feel confident that you know what's going on and you are always learning that this fluid situation can and will change as time passes.
In Southern California, outdoor dining has reopened relatively quickly, so if you want to eat out at restaurants or have coffee at a cafe, choose a spot with outdoor seating and a terrace. You'll most likely be asked to wear a mask inside when you make your orders, but once you're outside, you don't need to wear a mask.
For more information about safe travel, don't forget to check the World Tourism Organization website. They have highlights and updates on what the latest numbers look like for tourism arrivals and opening up of country borders on a global scale.
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