Do I wear a mask on the plane? Latest on staying healthy.

By now you will have seen the picture of the guy wearing a tent on his plane to protect himself from the corona-virus. Impractical, and uncomfortable but necessity is mother of invention! I cannot see them being sold by airlines as part of their onboard merchandise!

tent

 

As someone who lives in Asia and travels extensively, I am following the news of the current coronavirus  now known as COVID-19 very closely. Here is as much info as possible to assist fellow travellers which does not include selling you a tent.

What is COVID19

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COVID 19 under a microscope- Science Alert

COVID 19 is an infection of the nose, throat and lungs. It appears to be killing abut one percent of those infected-  generally and tragically people who are already unwell with respiratory issues.

The virus is spread from an infected person through:

  1. respiratory droplets generated from coughing or sneezing
  2. close, prolonged personal contact with an infected person eg,  touching or shaking hands
  3. touching something with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands

Should you travel?

Authorities are united in saying do not travel to China. You cannot get into or out of the affected areas around Wuhan (unless you are evacuated by your government). Many countries have told their citizens living in China to leave.

There are no official warnings for  travel to Hong Kong,  Macau, Taiwan, Singapore or Japan but plenty of mixed messages on whether you should still go or remain. I was just in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand and have been more careful than I normally am with where I went and with more hand washing.  I have a transit through HK next week,  I am more nervous of and am watching situation closely.

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In Malaysia recently

Do not travel if you have compromised immunity or a respiratory condition.

If you feel ill

If you feel have traveled or are traveling from or in  mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau in the last 14 days and are experiencing cough or fever or shortness of breath  do not travel further, do not go to work, do not go to school, do not go to your doctor.

Call your local emergency health number, doctor or hospital. Do not travel to your doctor.

Protecting your Health

There are currently no vaccines available to protect people from  COVID-19.

The obvious way to protect your health is to avoid close contact with people who complain of flu like symptoms.

Hand washing- most effective tool

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds:

  • regularly through the day
  • when you have been in a public place like store, cafe, train station or airport
  • before and after going to the lavatory
  • before eating
  •  after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose
  • after handling a package
  • if your hands are visibly dirty

If soap and water aren’t available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol but this is not superior or a replacement

If you sneeze, sneeze into a tissue, dispose of immediately and  wash your hands.,

Do NOT touch your face or hands

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Handling objects and Surfaces

There is a small chance they can be transmitted by you touching an object and  then your face. Coronaviruses do not survive long on these objects, however.   Just to be safe, I cleaning my bag surface, laptop and mobile phone more regularly.

I try not to place my bags or clothes that have been outside on a table or food surface. This is good practice all the time.

Markets and animals

In KL, last week, I kept away from a fresh market as authorities are suggesting keeping away from animal markets or animals (alive or dead)

If you are cooking with meat, wash your hands before and after cooking.

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Pets

Masks

Everywhere I am traveling, some people are wearing various types of masks and others are not.  Who is doing the right thing? World Health Organisation  says you only need to wear a mask if you are actually coughing and sneezing or are taking care of a person with suspected 2019-nCoV infection. This suggests wearing one on a pane is not necessary. This video explains more:

masks-3Before putting on your mask, wash your hands with soap and water (or alochol based rub). If you or someone else touches a mask, wash hands again.

The mask must cover your mouth and nose with no gaps between  face and the mask.

Replace the mask with a new one as soon as it is damp and do not re-use single-use masks.

To remove the mask: remove it from behind (do not touch the front of mask); discard immediately in a closed bin and wash your hands again.

Public Places

In China, they are advising people to not go to cinemas, karaoke bars and clubs. In Hong Kong, many churches are meeting virtually. The Church of England has asked people who are sneezing not to participate in communion or passing of the peace. My transit in HK includes  a hike outdoors to reduce contact.

Stay well and stay safe.

Whilst I have checked the info carefully, I suggest you double check. I  take no responsibility for any problems you encounter with or resulting from  this data

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