Perhaps the most critical aspect of all when traveling in times of COVID-19 as a senior is the practice of proper safety measures. Safety begins before you leave home by getting vaccinated if possible. Vaccinations are proving to not be completely effective in preventing some people from contracting COVID-19.
Symptoms in vaccinated people are significantly lessened by the presence of the vaccine in their systems, however. Many vaccinated people who still get COVID-19 are asymptomatic as opposed to afflicted or impaired.
Seniors 65 years of age and older who received the full Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccination experienced a 94 percent reduction in contraction risks. It is impossible to know which people around you are truly vaccinated or not, however.
If you have a condition or take medication that weakens your immune system, the vaccine may not fully protect you. You should continue to take precautions as if you are unvaccinated, like wearing a mask.
Because you are a senior at a higher risk level, you should continue to wear a mask when traveling, especially while using public transportation, such as a bus, train, or plane. It also includes riding in taxis or another ride-sharing service such as Uber or Lyft.
Continue to social distance as much as possible. Your travel destination might also have protective mandates and safety protocols in place. Following those rules helps keep you and the people you love protected.
The longer you are around random people in public locations, the more likely you will contract COVID-19 as a senior, even asymptomatically. Therefore, reduce your interactions with as many people as possible, especially for all indoor activities. Maintain six feet of distance between you and others whenever possible.
Wash your hands thoroughly after activity in a public place. Frequently scrub your hands with a potent hand sanitizer (65 alcohol or higher). By avoiding touching your face, mouth, nose, or eyes with dirty hands, especially in a public place, you can minimize the risk of getting sick.
Practice normal coughing and sneezing etiquette by covering your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze and then washing your hands immediately afterward. Get into the practice of sneezing and coughing into the crook of your elbow rather than your hands directly, as you may not have immediate access to a sink while traveling.
Finally, ask questions about safety protocols in place where you are staying if you have any doubt about their efficacy. Information is essential when traveling during a pandemic as a senior and can even save your life.