Even though many people are cutting down non-essential travels due to the unfortunate outbreak of the Coronavirus, COVID-19. I’m sure many people are asking “is it safe to travel amid coronavirus period?”. Well, I would suggest heeding the government advice and avoid making non-essential travels, but there are people who need to fly during this period and are concern about maintaining good personal health while travelling. Some concerned travellers have asked me for advice on this topic, and I thought about sharing my personal tips on how to maintain good health when travelling! So here are my 10 travel tips to reduce the risk of getting sick. This article is purely my personal experience on how to maintain good personal hygiene, boost your immunity and reduce the risk of getting sick when travelling. it is definitely not about a full proof solution against the Coronavirus (aka COVID-19).
The products and medication mentioned in this article are purely based on my personal experience. Please consult your physician, or other health care professionals before taking any medications or supplement products. The recommendations in this article are provided for information purposes only and are NOT intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition, particularly the Coronavirus, Covid-19. The information provided herein should not be considered as a substitute for the advice of a medical doctor or other healthcare professional.
First up, you may be surprised that I am not putting Vitamin C first on my list, but my first important tip is on Probiotics! Previously there was a period where I fell sick easily, due to various reasons like lack of sleep, having a considerable amount of stress at work and a busy schedule that created an unhealthy lifestyle. As a vegetarian, I have a consume a healthy amount of vegetables and fruits, so I am pretty sure that I have sufficient Vitamin C in my diet! I later learnt from my doctor that having a healthy vegetarian diet is not good enough, she prescribed TS6 (a blend of 6 probiotic strains) and explained that probiotic is also needed to boost metabolic function and stimulate our immune system.
In layman terms, a healthy gut will give you an excellent regulated immune system. Subsequently, I’ve tried some cheaper options for probiotics (TS6 is very expensive for regular intake) and true enough my immune system improved significantly!
I’m sure there is stock right now in any pharmacy or supplement shops, please do not hoard them. Spare a thought for others, please. 🙂
2) Hand sanitisers are very useful for travel
I’m very confident that everyone knows the importance of hand sanitiser, that is why it is out of stock in most parts of the world during this COVID-19 period. Initially, I couldn’t find one during my recent trip, but thankfully a kind-hearted merchant sold her last pack of HospiCare 70 (alcohol wipes that contains 70% alcohol) to me before my flight and 70% alcohol is the recommended percentage to kill the viruses! I had to settle for alcohol wipes as I could not find any hand sanitiser. My advice is to get your hands on a hand sanitiser for your travel as some doctors are concern with the effectiveness of wet wipes and claimed that they are better as cleaning environmental surfaces rather than your hands.
When you are on the plane, try to clean your seat handle and in-flight entertainment screen with wet wipes before sanitising your hands. Remember that hand sanitiser is for our hands, don’t waste it cleaning the seat and in-flight screen! Also take note that the plane seats are coated with fire-resistant material and the use of alcohol wipes or sanitiser, it may destroy the fire retardant! Also please do not use alcohol to destroy the plane’s screen system. Here are some tips for you to keep yourself healthy on the plane.
Some flight hygiene tips:
- Never walk barefoot or with socks, imagine the number of germs stuck underneath your feet. (OMG)
- Try NOT to touch the seat pockets. Imagine, I once saw fingernails inside!
- Ask for bottled water, if possible.
- Avoid touching your face, if you have an itch, use the soap and wash your hands first before touching your face.
- Bring your own travel pillow.
- Bring your own jacket instead of using the plane’s blankets. You never know!
- Use your own headsets or earpiece.
3) Surgical Masks
I believe this item is now out of stock everywhere in the world. I don’t think you need any advice on this! While the Singapore Government says “Masks are generally not needed for people who are well”, so if you are unwell, please wear a mask! Our government is doing a good job to set by example. That being said, I have seen an inconsiderate passenger who didn’t wear a surgical mask even when they are sick! The flight attendant offered but was rejected by the passenger! So please be considerate and wear a surgical mask if you are not feeling well, as it is not just about spreading virus or germs to others, but also to protect yourself from further virus or bacteria attack as your immunity is already low!
If you cannot get your hands on a surgical mask for your trip, make sure you have a bottle of hand sanitiser with you. Whenever you want to touch your face, make sure you sanitise your hands first! But seriously avoid touching your face, if possible. Use soap and wash your hands frequently whenever necessary!
4) Vitamin C
This is a no brainer. Vitamin C is the most obvious supplement to take when you travel. Besides boosting immunity, Vitamin C contains many health benefits like being rich in antioxidant to reduce chronic diseases, help battle high blood pressure, lower the risk of heart diseases, prevent gout attacks, prevent iron deficiencies, protects memory and improve white blood cells function, good for collagen, tissues, bones, teeth, blood vessels and many more! My advice is to get your daily dose of Vitamin C from fresh and natural vegetables (e.g. broccoli, cauliflower, green and red peppers, spinach, tomatoes, etc) and fruits (e.g. Oranges, Lemon, Guava, Blackcurrants, etc) rather than pills. But if you need the convenience and a booster, a Vitamin C pill is still a good option!
When you have a dry/sore throat or you are struggling to curb a cough, sucking lozenges will help ease and relieve the symptoms. It helps to increase saliva production, which reduces the dryness which will help reduce the cough reflex caused by a dry/itchy throat! Some medicated lozenges also have additional ingredients to cure sore throat and coughs! I personally find the Watermelon Frost Spray and Lozenges are good for me to reduce sore throat or infection.
Another medicine I find it useful to curb throat inflammation is Serrazyme! It is a type of anti-inflammatory enzyme that helps to reduce inflammation and pain reliever. These enzymes help bring oxygenated blood to damaged tissues and remove the metabolic waste that causes inflammation and pain. I have this convenient medicine on standby in my travel medicine pouch whenever I travel. Please consult your doctor or other health care professionals before using Serrazyme!
Note: Sore throat indicates an infection and is one of the symptoms for Coronavirus, COVID-19. Please see a doctor if you have a fever, flu-like symptoms such as coughing, sore throat, fatigue or shortness of breath!
If the above is unavailable, drinking coke with salt can be your last resort! It is a possible alternative to stop the inflammation in your throat, but I realised it usually causes phlegm and cough for me. Not a good idea of transferring your problem to another. So this leads to the next point.
71% of our world and 60% of our body is made of water! This shows the importance of our relationship with water. Water is the best therapy for everything. We shouldn’t dehydrate ourselves, especially when we travel. As water plays a vital role in our body system, I practice water therapy to regulate my health and bowel movement.
Water Therapy is about you drinking one litre of water as soon as you are awake in the morning, wait for 15 minutes before going to the toilet or brush your teeth. The very first thing you do, before you even brush your teeth. I realised by practising water therapy, it helps to cleanse the toxin in my body, regulate my bowel movement and helps prevent constipation (happens when you travel at times), prevent dehydration and ultimately improves my immune system. I have personally recommended some family members and friends to try this and it worked for them. Try it and see if it works for you.
7) Herbal Tea Pack
The lack of sleep, disrupted meals routine and an unhealthy diet when you travel could make you fall sick easily! The Oldenlandia Herbal Tea is an excellent product to bring along to relieve symptoms such as common cold, fever, sore throat, husky voice, heaty, cough, headache and relieving constipation as well. It is not as fast-acting as Paracetamol, but it does its work well in a more natural manner with the benefits of the Oldenlandia herbs. Remember, it is to relieve the normal body heaty, not a remedy against virus or bacteria!
Note: Please see a doctor if you have a fever, flu-like symptoms such as coughing, sore throat, fatigue or shortness of breath!
Sorry to the party people! Sleep is one of the most essential condition to maintain good health. Due to jetlag, extreme travel conditions or unfamiliar environment, our sleep patterns may be disrupted. On average, we need at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep. When your situation is not ideal, you might want to consider the items I bring below.
One of my favourite items to bring on my travels is the “Cocoon 100% Silk Insect Shield Travel Sheet Liner“. There are plenty of materials or brands you can choose from, but I use the Cocoon brand after doing some research, and pick the silk material as it can keep me warm up during cold temperature and cool me down during hot temperature! The travel sheet offers a hygienic sleep environment ideal for a rough and tough or not so hygienic environment found during camping, staying in hostels or budget hotels. The INSECT SHIELD provides insect protection and repels mosquitoes, ticks, ants, flies, fleas, chiggers, and midges. There are many brands out there, so do your own research and find the one that works for you!
Besides, having your own travel pillow is a good option to avoid resting your head on the plane seats or dirty pillows.
Check out the product here: Cocoon 100% Silk Insect Shield Travel Sheet Liner
Personally, I only take vaccines when it’s mandated by the local government for travellers but my sister insisted that it helps to boost her immunity against seasonal flu or cold. Depending on where you go and which season you are travelling in, it is always a prudent option to get vaccines before you travel. It makes it safer to travel amid Coronavirus, but do consult your doctor before getting any vaccination!
10) Positive Mindset – Psychological & Mental Defence
Panic can cause more harm and disorder than the Coronavirus or any other viruses! Before the virus gets to you, your body immune system is weakened by your anxiety and unnecessary stress therefore keeping a positive mindset is very important! We must build not just our physical defence, but also a strong psychological and mental health too. Going crazy, panic buying and hoarding food items, sanitised solutions or toilet rolls will not prevent you from the Coronavirus! Instead of keeping good personal hygiene, eat well, sleep well, shit well, and play well will keep you healthy and happy!
We should be thankful to the Government for setting up the right communication platforms in Singapore. A good initiative by the Ministry of Health’s WhatsApp posts and engages every citizen by updating us with the correct information, advising us to keep calm, giving us instructions at times. We should also be socially responsible and sieve out fake news or fallacious rumours that will cause unnecessary social disorder to the public! Watch out for scammers and price gouging, and report these unscrupulous sellers to the authorities. These will keep everyone informed on the real situation/news, and keep our society calm during the crisis. I believe many Singaporeans are proud and have confidence that we can win this battle against the Coronavirus, COVID-19! #SGunited #TogetherWeCanOverCome
My kudos and salute to the front line medical staff who are at the forefront to defend against the widespread of the Coronavirus, Covid-19. Not forgetting the backend warriors such as Government personnel from the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) to help those in need, such as low-income families who are affected by quarantine order in Singapore. These are the real warriors who worked day and night for the country and such sacrifices are not widely reported or known! Thank you so much!
My Heartfelt Feelings: A Compassionate Heart, A Merciful Diet – Vegetarianism
While everyone is blaming China for the outbreak of Coronavirus, COVID-19, citing the food that they eat is disgusting! “They eat all types of disgusting wildlife animals etc”. I want to point out that the word “disgusting” is actually subjective. For example, in Peru, some locals eat Guinea Pigs, in Thailand people eat insects, in France people eat snails, in Australia, some locals eat Kangaroos, in Africa, people eat Field Mice in summer, in the Middle East, people eat Camels, in Italy some locals eat Horses, and in some parts of Indonesia, there are people who eat Cats, and many more. For me, I eat vegetables! to be honest, it is also tough for me to watch people eat chicken drumsticks, steaks, hams, sausages, fish heads, with all the drops of blood. By the way, all living creatures including human’s blood are the same colour – red!
While everyone is putting their blame on China, think about the hundreds of thousands of people who are infected, and think about the pain that thousands of families went through when they lost their loved ones! Many are innocent as well! Within a month, children become orphans, and parents lost their children. Many sad stories about losing their father, mother, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, lovers, best friends and colleagues! Recently, a doctor who postponed his wedding to work at the frontline died from Coronavirus, Covid-19 infection! The virus started because of human greed and desire, but it can be resolved with love and empathy! Let us all pray for the world to overcome this as soon as possible!
We should also reflect what we put into our mouth in future! There are far too many zoonotic transmission diseases over the past few decades for our references. Ebola (Bats, Monkeys, Baboons, Chimpanzees from Africa), Mad Cow Diseases (Cow obviously from UK + Europe), H1N1 Swine Flu (Pigs from Mexico), H5N1 (Birds from China), MERS (Camel from the Middle East), SARS (Civet Cats from China), COVID-19 (Bats from China). If humans do not stop eating meat, I believe for sure, there will be more zoonotic diseases and viruses in the future. How many more of such blows can we take?
A vegetarian diet is a merciful diet that can help save our environment! The animal agriculture contributes on a “massive scale” to global warming, air pollution, land degradation, energy use, deforestation, and biodiversity decline. You are what you eat! A classic example “You can stop using straws to save fish, but will not stop eating fish to save fish?”. Check out more on Travel Inspiration 360‘s Vegetarian Inspiration 360 or the article: “10 Misconceptions About Vegetarians“.
Open your mind, and your heart before you open your mouth!