EDITORIAL: Thinking of getting away? Not just yet.

ERICA MILLER/THE DAILY GAZETTE A JetBlue Airways plane arrives at Albany international Airport from Orlando on Monday.
PHOTOGRAPHER:

ERICA MILLER/THE DAILY GAZETTE
A JetBlue Airways plane arrives at Albany international Airport from Orlando on Monday.

By this stage of the winter, we all get a little antsy.

Unless you’re into skiing or ice fishing, mid-February probably isn’t your favorite time of the year. And if you’ve been cooped up with the kids for the past few months, you’re definitely in the mood for a get-away.

With all you’re seeing on the news about declining covid rates and the states finally starting to get a handle on how to distribute the covid vaccine, now seems like the ideal time to hop on a plane and go somewhere.

But as much as you might be tempted, your best option for helping prevent the spread of covid in your own family and to others is to stay home.

The covid crisis is far from over. Only 38.2 million Americans have gotten the first dose of the vaccine and only 14 million have gotten the second dose out of 328 million people, a small fraction of the population.

On Monday, there were 6,500 new cases nationwide (more than in mid-April of last year) and over 1,000 new deaths.

Plus, new strains of the vaccine from the European Union and Africa enhance the health threat and make travel even more potentially dangerous. And even if you’ve been vaccinated, there’s no guarantee you can’t carry the virus and spread it to others.

Maybe you just want to sit on a beach for a couple of days. What’s the harm in that?

Regardless of the safety measures in place, traveling by plane to a destination still comes with a great risk of exposure.

You’re inside a building with many people, then inside a stuffy flying tin can for at least a couple of hours, maybe sitting near someone who might be carrying the virus.

When you get off the plane, you enter another airport, then maybe a car-rental place, then a hotel, and then finally the beach.

That’s assuming your plane isn’t grounded due to winter weather, which will get you stuck in a crowded terminal with other potential covid spreaders.

Unless you’ve done significant research, you don’t know how well other states are managing the crisis.

You don’t know whether they’re reporting their cases and deaths accurately. Look at New York and it’s phony nursing home numbers as a warning sign.

Do you think other states don’t fudge their numbers or overstate their precautions so as to look good to tourists?

Even if you and your family get home miraculously unscathed by covid, it’s not over for you.

Anyone traveling to a non-neighboring state for more than 24 hours has to get a test before entering New York and then enter a 10-day quarantine upon return.

If you’re forced to quarantine, that means you’re likely to miss work and your child will have to stay home from school if it’s open to in-person learning. Some vacation.

If you must travel, say to visit a dying relative or for a mandatory work assignment, then take all the precautions necessary.

But cabin fever isn’t a good excuse for putting yourself and others at risk.

It’ll be spring in just a couple of months, and we’ll all be able to enjoy getting out of the house again.

Play it safe and stay home. Or maybe take up ice fishing.

Categories: Editorial, Opinion

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