Schools are open, restaurants are serving at reduced capacity and cooler weather is on the horizon. For many, that means a cautious return to travel. Adventures near or far call for the same precautions.
Having a disability does not put you at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19, however some people with disabilities may have underlying medical conditions that increase their risk of severe illness from COVID-19. If you have underlying medical conditions, the CDC recommends extra precautions.
When choosing your type of travel, consider which method allows the most control over your environment. An RV or van rental is considerably less risky than a plane, for instance. Likewise, accommodations like boutique hotels or an Airbnb mean less proximity to large crowds of people and highly-trafficked communal spaces.
If you have to use public transportation, wash your hands and your wheelchair frequently. Ask anyone providing you assistance to wear gloves and a mask and to clean any areas of your wheelchair they touched. Pay special attention to:
- Joystick or handgrips
- Key fob
- Vehicle and ramp controls on your accessible vehicle
- Wheelchair straps
In addition to hand sanitizer and soap and water, the EPA provides a list of approved disinfecting products here.
Determining your location is also key to safe travel. The New York Times provides an interactive map and list of COVID hotspots. If possible, choose sites from states with low COVID-19 spread. This will limit your chances of getting infected and spreading the virus when you get back home.
Also, if you are traveling abroad it is important to consider travel health insurance. Even though you have insurance here in the United States, it likely will not work abroad.
Even the best laid plans can go awry. After traveling, a two-week self-quarantine will guarantee that you do not spread the virus outside your home.
If you need any special accommodations at your travel destination, make sure you plan ahead and ask questions. The last thing you want is to arrive and not have your needs accessible.
Purchasing a scooter might be a great way to get around, or maybe renting an accessible van can make your life a lot easier. Advanced Driving Systems is here to help you find the best solution for you.
Lastly, before you travel make sure to consult your doctor.