Is it safe to take a road trip during the pandemic?

is it safe to go on road trip during pandemic
Photo via TimOve/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
  • No
  • You may spread coronavirus to others
  • You may be asked to quarantine upon returning home

Is it safe to take a road trip during the pandemic? The short answer: no.

Public health officials are still asking people to stay home and social distance to avoid spreading the coronavirus. The virus spreads between people, meaning that if someone travels across the country as an asymptomatic carrier, a flat tire could be the least of their problems. 

While some parts of the country, including entire states, have opened back up, that doesn’t mean the pandemic has gone away. Maintaining social distancing measures and abstaining from nonessential travel, such as a vacation, is how the average rate of new infections in the U.S. declined. States like Texas, which opened up sooner and has allowed greater social interaction, have increased infection rates after reopening. 

The CDC lists many reasons to avoid traveling in general this summer. To name a few, you may get sick while traveling, you may be asymptomatic and spread COVID-19 to others, and some states may require you to quarantine for up to two weeks when you return. 

Despite the appearance of road trips as a “minimal-contact” vacation, an increased level of preparation will be necessary for those who wish to carry on with their travel plans. Some states are employing checkpoints at their borders, a traveler would need to depend on laundromats to clean used homemade personal protective equipment, and there might be fewer rest stops and open hotels.

“I think no one should be traveling,” special pathogens expert Syra Madad told the Washington Post. “All nonessential travel shouldn’t take place. If this is not something that you need to go do for your own safety, then maybe it’s something you could do at another time.” 

Is it safe:

Sources: Washington Post, CDC, USA TodayUS News, Austin-American Statesman

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