Travel during COVID: As cases are gradually subsiding, we are all thinking of travelling again. Considering that we haven’t had the opportunity to visit a new place in the last couple of years, we might all want to take a break from work and go on a vacation with family or friends. But is it safe to travel during COVID?
It is still a risk given the new developments and it’s best to be aware of them before you venture out. Here are five reasons to avoid travel during COVID-19 pandemic
1. COVID-19 third wave is on its way
2. The vaccination drive is not complete yet
On June 21, 2021, the first day of free vaccine drive, India made a global record with highest single day vaccinations. It administered over 86 lakh jabs in a day. But a few days down, the rate of vaccination dropped by a massive 68 per cent according to the data provided by the Union Health Ministry.
On June 27, the number recorded was the lowest in the last few weeks. Only 17.21 lakh doses were given on that day. That was a drop of 80 per cent from the June 21 numbers.
There has been a constant fluctuation in the data since then. The authorities too are struggling to ensure availability of the vaccine and as responsible citizens, we too must first consider investing our time, money and energy on getting our vaccine jabs timely before we plan our trips. Also, even after we have taken both the doses of the vaccine, we cannot bear to do away with the basic guidelines laid out to us.
3. How far is the vaccine effective on Delta and Delta Plus variants?
The Delta variant (B1.617.2) of Coronavirus has slowly dominated the other variants. According to a study, neutralising antibodies against this variant were not found in 58.1 per cent of serum samples collected from those who had received one shot of the Covishield vaccine. They were also not found in 16.1 per cent samples taken from those who had received both the doses of the vaccine.
The Delta plus variant might have a similar degree of reduction in efficacy against the vaccines currently in use. However, detailed data regarding this is not available yet. We know that the Delta and Delta Plus variants of Coronavirus were highly responsible for causing the second wave of the pandemic. In order to curb the transmission of these variants, it is essential for us to stay indoors at the moment and step out only once these variants cease to exist.
4. The second wave horror
When the second wave of COVID-19 hit our country, we saw a tremendous decrease in the shortage of hospital beds and oxygen cylinders. Several deaths were reported due to the lack of proper treatment of COVID positive patients at the hospital. Our social media feeds flooded with requests for ventilators, oxygen and hospital beds.
As of May 5, 2021, The Wire reported 178 deaths due to the lack of Oxygen in hospitals. In another 70 death cases, the family of the patients alleged that the immediate cause of their death was the lack of Oxygen. However, the hospital authorities denied all allegations. At that time, celebrities, influencers and even the common people tried doing their bit and helping people in need. We certainly do not want to see a similar horrific scenario once again in our country. The best way to prevent it is to avoid travel during COVID. If we move out of our cities, we may unfortunately become the carriers of virus strains and end up affecting ourselves as well as others.
5. Use the ‘urgent’ filter
Due to the unprecedented situation, the government has now issued travel restriction policies. It is not so easy to travel now as it was earlier. Flights and trains are now limited and allow limited number of passengers to travel. If we avoid going on vacations right now, it might be convenient for people who have to attend important business meetings or medical emergencies. If we avoid travel during COVID, we can enjoy our time without any hesitation once the disease stops affecting people in large numbers.