Tips for Safer Travel During the Pandemic
If you are considering inpatient treatment now, it’s essential that the facility you choose has a qualified and quality medical staff on-site to oversee patients for their treatment as well as if coronavirus is diagnosed. So, it is also important to choose a treatment center that is following the state and federal guidelines to reduce the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak. For these reasons, you may need to travel to get treatment for your addiction. Coronavirus shouldn’t be the reason that you don’t seek treatment. Here are some tips for safer travel during the pandemic.
Driving to Inpatient Treatment
If the inpatient treatment center you are going to requires traveling a long distance by car, there are several things you can do to improve your chances of having a safe trip:
Plan the Route
Preparation is the key to ensuring there are as few disruptions as possible along the way. Even if you have traveled the route many times, you’ll need to take extra measures to avoid things such as temporary road closures. When considering your route do some research to find out if COVID-19 is spreading through the city where the inpatient treatment center is located as well as in the towns where you may need to stop for fuel, food or restroom breaks. Try to locate the exits for rest stops along the way; this will allow you to avoid going inside busy establishments for restroom breaks. Make sure the vehicle you’ll be driving is in good shape and have it serviced if you are concerned. When mapping your route, be sure to check for areas that may have travel advisories.
Packing for the Trip
When packing for your stay at the inpatient treatment center, be sure to pack a “COVID-19” bag as well. This bag should contain extra masks, hand sanitizer, wet wipes, disposable gloves, tissues and disposable plastic bags. Remember you may be required to wear a mask to enter all public places that you may stop at, including gas stations and restaurants, so bring extras. In case you stop somewhere that doesn’t have soap and water available, it’s also beneficial to pack a small bag to keep inside the vehicle that contains hand soap, bottled water, paper towels and extra hand sanitizer.
Food and Fuel
If possible, it’s best to get meals through a drive-thru instead of going inside to eat. If this isn’t an option, make sure you wear your mask, go to the restroom and wash your hands before sitting down. Avoid touching hard surfaces, such as the seats in a dining booth, door handles and menus; carry disposable gloves or a plastic bag with you for opening doors; and ask the server for recommendations for food. When pumping gas, wear disposable gloves or put a plastic grocery bag over your hand. Use a debit or credit card to pay for gas and food; not cash. This helps to eliminate interactions for a cash transaction and you can clean your card with a disinfectant wipe afterwards.
Staying in a Hotel
If you need to stop overnight, choose a reputable hotel and don’t hesitate to ask about their sanitizing and disinfecting procedures. After checking in, use your own sanitizing items to ensure high-touch surfaces are clean. High-touch surfaces include the television remote, bathroom light switch, faucet and countertop, tabletops, microwave handle, and doorknobs. Only take in the items you need for the night and don’t forget to bring a plastic bag to put your personal items in, such as your toothbrush.
Flying During the Pandemic
If the drug or alcohol inpatient treatment center you chose is too far to drive and you must fly, the risk of getting sick varies depending on the number of passengers, the length of travel exposure and the cleanliness of the plane’s interior, including the air filtering system. It is essential that you maintain a safe distance from others on the plane and in the airport, and that you wear your mask throughout the flight. When scheduling your flight, choose a window seat when possible, because it will help you to better avoid other passengers and the flight crew who are moving up and down the aisle. Avoid using the restroom while in flight, unless absolutely necessary. If you do, make sure to thoroughly wash your hands upon entering and before exiting. Use hand sanitizer throughout the flight, especially after touching any surface, including the arm rests and overhead bin.
Regardless of the pandemic, at the end of the day, addiction is a disease and it is extremely important that regardless of how far you have to travel, you get the treatment you need. With the right precautions, you can travel safely to your destination to get the help and inpatient treatment you need.
Author Bio: Patrick Bailey is a professional writer mainly in the fields of mental health, addiction, and living in recovery. He attempts to stay on top of the latest news in the addiction and the mental health world and enjoy writing about these topics to break the stigma associated with them.