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Coronavirus thoughts from a Nurse/Travel Blogger

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It has been a crazy week and a half. As I am sure you all know. Coronavirus seems to be taking over the world in a sense. 

Toilet paper is literally out of stock in every store, March Madness and the NBA have a shutdown, Disneyland is closed, countries are on lockdown, and now schools are closing and doing online classes. 

Toilet paper shortage

Travel bloggers and people with online businesses are struggling. I personally have seen a huge dip in my blog analytics from the coronavirus. 

The fact is people just aren’t really researching travel blogs as travel is banned in a lot of areas currently. Instead, they are researching when the next shipment of toilet paper is coming in.  

But, even though my blog is struggling I am extremely thankful over here. 

I am thankful because I am sitting here with job security. Now, I don’t say that to brag. I say it because I am an Emergency room nurse and the hospitals are being inundated with patients.

I am about to start a new job in a hospital as an ER nurse in San Diego and I wanted to come here to give you a few practical tips and some knowledge about the coronavirus from a nurse’s point of view. 

Nurse during the Coronavirus

But first, I want to put one thing into perspective. There are traffic and lines upon lines to get into places like Costco, but, the nurses are remaining calm.

I don’t say that statement lightly as I know there are people are sick and are dying, but please realize people how calm these nurses are remaining during this time of crisis. 

That is probably a controversial and unpopular statement, but it is different coming from a nurse’s perspective. We are the ones living in the hospitals. We come in contact with the coronavirus face to face. 

Anyways, I wanted to come on here and give you guys some practical ways to remain healthy (from a nurse), tips for travelers and travel bloggers, and just overall thoughts. 

FIRST THOUGHTS ON CORONAVIRUS

To be honest, I am hesitant to write this article as the Coronavirus is changing on a daily basis. I still feel like a lot of my thoughts are all over the place.

But, I wanted to get my current thoughts and words out and do my best to help the public both from a traveler’s perspective and a nurse’s perspective. 

A little bit of background information about me. If you don’t know, I am a registered Emergency Room nurse. I have worked in the ER for the past 7 years. I have worked in the ER through Ebola, H1N1, Zika, flu season, a measles outbreak, a meningitis outbreak and now the Coronavirus.

Lastly, I am also a part-time travel blogger and just an overall lover of traveling. I help curate content for all my readers like you! So, during these times of virus outbreaks, I have traveled to New Zealand, Peru, Croatia, Hungary, Prague, Poland, Australia, Bali, Argentina, Chile and many places within the US. 

So, to say I have experience being a nurse during these virus outbreaks and traveled during them as well is an understatement. 

CORONAVIRUS HEALTH TIPS FROM A NURSE

First thing I would like to note as a disclaimer. Please be kind to your fellow nurses and doctors. They are being overworked. They are coming face to face with the virus. There is not enough staff or beds to manage the influx being seen-especially in other parts of the country.

Be kind and love them. Maybe send a little coffee their way to show your appreciation. 🙂

Let’s start with a few basics.

How is the Coronavirus spread? It is currently known to be spread through direct contact with droplets from someone with the virus. Example: through a cough or a sneeze

How is most at risk? Those at increased risk are the elderly, immunocompromised, and those with comorbidities.

The latest data is encouraging: It states that approximately 80% of people with the Coronavirus will show no or very mild symptoms. 

Here are some tips directly from a nurse:

  • Wash your hands after touching things. You need to wash your hands for 20 seconds at least though for it to be effective 
  • Don’t touch your face or your mouth
  • If you cough or sneeze do it into your shirt or into your elbow
  • Disinfect surfaces if possible
  • Stay home if you feel ill
  • If you feel you have symptoms of the Coronavirus please call your local hospital first. They may have someone who can come to your house and assess you there (as long as you are not immediately dying of course)
  • Do your best to remain healthy and avoid the elderly if possible considering they are more susceptible 
  • Eat healthy-eat those veggies, avoid sugars and take your vitamins. Vit D, Vit. C, zinc, and magnesium are all great for the immune system! 

This is a great chart about the Coronavirus and I hope that it may help put some of you at ease

If you don’t know how to wash your hands properly then check my Coronavirus highlights over on my Instagram @myexplorewithme. I give you detailed instructions on how to wash properly.

THOUGHTS AND TIPS FOR TRAVELERS DURING THE CORONAVIRUS

If I am being completely honest with you, my initial reaction to this was to tell you to go travel. 

Live your life to the fullest. You don’t know what tomorrow will bring. Flights are cheap just avoid the large crowds. 

However, as each day goes on I feel more convicted and feel as if this would be the wrong decision. 

This is really hard for me to say. But, after talking with fellow nurses and doctors and reading what they have to say I think it may be irresponsible of me or anyone to travel during this time. To be honest, I am not concerned about my safety or my health, but I am more concerned about how I can affect the health of others. 

Think about it this way. I may have the virus and not even know it. I head out on a trip and come in contact with an elderly person. Now they may get the virus and it could have some serious effects on them. 

Or even if I try to avoid coming in contact with the elderly and immunosuppressed I may come in contact with another young person who then goes home to their Grandma and passes on the virus. You never know who you could be passing it on to. 

You really need to weigh your options out and consider the following:

  • Is there a travel ban on where you plan to travel
  • Is the anxiety and stress worth it
  • You could contract the virus and are putting yourself at risk
  • You are also putting others at risk 
  • What does the CDC recommend?

Regardless of what you choose to do, there is no judgment here. All I ask is that you be safe and take the necessary precautions mentioned above.

Also, I am not saying to not buy a flight to go somewhere for a month from now. Flights are insanely cheap right now. Most airlines are even allowing you to book a flight and change the flight if needed up to the day before the flight. 

I am even considering this. We have no idea what Coronavirus will be like in a month, so I personally don’t think it is wrong to book a cheap flight now and change it if needed. 

And to be honest, I don’t think it is quite necessary to change your travel plans if they are a month away. Again, we don’t know what Cornoavrisu will be like in a month. I honestly think just take it day by day.

Have a backup plan, call your airline and see what they are offering. Then when the time comes for your trip you can make the decision then based on how things are in our country as well as other countries.

The best resources to turn to are the CDC and the World Health Organization

WHAT TO DO IN THE MEANTIME?

This is a great question! 

There are so many options! If you still want to travel then this is a great time for a road trip! 

Take a road trip: If this is a possibility for you may be renting an RV or use Outdoorsy and go on a long road trip! There are lots of great places in your own backyard. Just try to avoid crowds. Maybe choose a hike?

Start a blog! This is a perfect time to start a blog-especially if you are required to quarantine yourself or not go into work. I have tons of great resources for you.

Current travel bloggers: If you already have a travel blog then this is a great time to do the following:

  • Optimize old posts
  • Engage with other bloggers 
  • Create new fresh pins
  • Find new affiliate programs to join
  • Write some new articles on how to safely travel maybe?
  • Create an email list

Have a staycation: Enjoy a little getaway in your own town with the Getaway cabins or help support your local hotels and do a night away. 

Get some fresh air-it is good for the soul! Go for a hike! But stay socially distant.

Get to know your spouse or significant other on a deeper level with this newfound time. Click here for some date night ideas.

WHAT’S NEXT AND HOW CAN YOU HELP?

As you can imagine many companies, small businesses, hotels, places built off tourism have suffered during this now pandemic virus. Millions of jobs and even the economy have and will have been affected. 

So, what can we do to help?

Honestly, I think travel may be the answer once all this is over of course. Especially to the places that live and breathe off of tourism. There are some countries that tourism is their main source of income. Maybe think about how you can help those countries who have really suffered from this virus. 

But in the meantime, you can support small businesses and companies to try to help keep them afloat. I made a little chart that you can fill in and share on Instagram!

Tag me and I will repost it!

I also urge you to help others in need. Those who need groceries picked up for them, meds picked up from them, a google coffee hangout. There are lots of options!

FINAL TIPS AND THOUGHTS

All in all, I think what stuck with me the most was what one of my old coworkers said. She is an older RN and her husband has COPD. 

“The younger generation is blowing the COVID-19 off and not taking it seriously. Most young people will not get the symptoms that older people will face. The older people are counting on the younger people to take this seriously because it affects them.”

I think that stuck with me. When I think about my grandparents who have comorbidities. I think it is partially my responsibility to do my best to protect them and their generation.  

It is everyone’s responsibility to stop the spread of this virus. Young and old. 

I am going to leave with these final thoughts. Please remember that the media mostly cares about ratings and not YOU specifically. It is best if you only check media once a day to keep yourself from stressing.

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There is no help in being anxious and freaking out. It only causes more hysteria. 

Try to live in the present. When you start to fear and worry you leave the present and become susceptible.

Protect yourself and remember to try to find some good in this situation. It is amazing how quickly our world can come together in a time of crisis. Just imagine if we all put these same types of efforts towards things like climate change.

Would you guys be interested in me keeping you updated on what it is like to be an ER nurse from the frontlines during this Coronavirus pandemic? Comment below and let me know!

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