It’s a Pandemic, But Can I Travel?

By Paul Riegler on 11 April 2020
  • Share

‘The Life You Save May Be Your Own’

Readers of The Green Car Driver were always on the go, until of course they weren’t, a trait now shared with the rest of the world.

While most of the population might think such a question as the one posed in the headline is frivolous, given the place that travel has in so many of our readers’ minds, we take it seriously although we do rather emphatically suggest remaining home.

There are several reasons for this, including that 25% of those infected with the novel coronavirus don’t present any symptoms or become ill, yet are still able to transmit the disease to others, a fact confirmed by Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Dr. Redfield told reporters last week that it’s these asymptomatic carriers who appear to be contributing to the rapid spread of the virus worldwide.”

Meanwhile, more and more governments have put restrictions on visitors and travel, hoping to control the spread of the virus.  The restrictions run the gamut from Australia and Austria to Cuba to Georgia to Israel to Russia to Zimbabwe.

Even within the United States, where it is illegal for one state to restrict entry to residents of another state, many states are asking those arriving from coronavirus hotspots to quarantine.  Rhode Island’s governor, Gina Raimondo, tried and failed to have the state police stop all cars with New York license plates at the border and order the driver and vehicle occupants to quarantine themselves for 14 days.  New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, publicly blew a gasket, which in part is why the police now have to stop every car with out-of-state plates.

Keep in mind that the states with the worst coronavirus outbreaks are New York, New Jersey, Michigan, California, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Louisiana, Florida, Illinois, and Texas if you are planning a trip.  Residents from those states in particular should consider limiting their movement and it’s clearly unwise to plan a holiday weekend in any of them while the novel coronavirus is still out there, lurking.

Aside from normal border traffic, where residents of New York go shopping five minutes away in Connecticut because it’s closer, it’s a far better idea to stay home.

Take a cue from the U.S. military, which has curtailed domestic travel for service members and their families.  They clearly know what they are doing.

If you must go, regardless of down the block or to another state or country (if you can find a flight), please practice social distancing.  While the official number is to keep at least six feet or two meters from others, some studies believe that the aerosols exhaled by a cough or sneeze can go as far as 27’ (9 m) so use that as a guide.

To borrow from the title of a short story by American author Flannery O’Connor, the life you save may be your own.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)