The past few weeks have been stressful, anxiety-inducing and downright confusing. The first time most of us heard about the coronavirus was some time in early January: A flu-like infection was spreading in China, and it appeared to be deadly.
When I first heard about the virus, it didn’t even have a name. I remember hearing the words “a deadly virus” over and over again on the news; it sort of sounded like a news segment out of a doomsday movie. Soon after the virus was given a name—but it was far from reaching American soil at the time. On January 22, I purchased a ticket to fly to Bangkok, Thailand in May, a trip I had been planning for over a year with two friends.
Fast-forward to today, the coronavirus has spread to dozens of countries around the world, resulting in over 126,000 confirmed cases and at least 4,600 deaths. That includes at least 1,282 cases in the U.S. across 44 states. Here’s a map of the coronavirus cases in the U.S. for your reference.
Last night, President Donald Trump announced he’d be suspending travel to the U.S. from Europe starting this Friday, the boldest move yet in combating the coronavirus’s spread in the U.S..
As someone whose freelance career and online business has close ties to the travel industry—as well as someone who has more than six domestic and international trips planned this year—I’m doing my best to keep up to date with the facts about coronavirus. Not only is the virus impacting my business and travels, but it’s also impacting the everyday lives of my family members, friends and fellow travel bloggers.
Because of this, I want to share with you the resources I am using to stay on top of the latest news (and facts). Check them out below:
My Go-To Coronavirus Resources For Travelers
As I previously mentioned, I have a number of trips planned this year, some of which are coming up in April (Portland, Oregon) and May (Bangkok, Thailand). These are the top coronavirus travel resources I am checking on a weekly, if not daily basis to decide whether or not to proceed with my travels.
For finding out where the virus is (and isn’t):
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is updating a global map daily showing countries with confirmed coronavirus cases: find the map here.
- The CDC is also updating its U.S. map showing the number of cases confirmed in each state: find the map here.
For people who are currently traveling internationally:
- The Department of State issues country-specific travel advisories on its website. Be sure to check it out before traveling to any destination: find the database here.
- And here you can find important information related to coronavirus in specific countries: find the list here.
For people like me, who have an international ticket purchased for a future date:
- Aside from checking the two links above on a weekly basis, I’m also checking my airline’s website for updates. Most airlines now have a coronavirus notice on their homepage; I’m flying Qatar Airways: find Qatar’s updates here.
For people flying domestically:
- Many domestic airlines are waiving trip cancellation and change fees; you can find updates on most of their websites.
- The CDC created a new advisory page specific for travel within the U.S.: find it here.
For an information on whether or not you should be traveling at all right now:
- The NYT put together an F.A.Q. on this exact topic: read it here.
- The CDC also has a helpful F.A.Q. on canceling or postponing travel due to the virus: read it here.
For staying up-to-date on what’s happening in your city and state:
- Visit your state’s official department of health website: find New York state info here.
- Some more advice: Read local news and follow your city and local officials on Twitter. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has been tweeting daily updates.
This morning, we are closing two co-located schools, the Laboratory School of Finance and Technology and South Bronx Preparatory: A College Board School, due to a student’s self-confirmed positive case of COVID-19.— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) March 12, 2020
For a deeper dive into how the virus is impacting the U.S. overall:
- The New York Times put together a map as well as a concise, easy-to-read analysis about how the virus is impacting the U.S.: find it here.
For a one-stop shop on everything coronavirus related:
- The World Health Organization has loads of updated information and resources on the virus: visit the website here.
- WHO releases daily “situation reports” detailing the spread and containment of the virus globally: find those reports here.
For a podcast that does a good job breaking it all down for you:
- I’ve been listening to The Daily by the NYT every morning. Aside from campaign coverage and other significant news, the podcast has a few episodes that help break down the latest coronavirus news on a national and international scale: download it on your phone, or listen to the podcast online here.
I hope this post is helpful. Please reach out to me with any questions, comments or concerns. Stay safe, everyone!
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