• Cruising Cocoa

Keep Calm and Practice Good Hygiene

I started getting emails on this virus since January. But of course, nobody thought an illness that began in China, would spread so quickly. It went from an isolated case to entire countries being put on lock down. Sporting events and concerts are being cancelled. People in supermarkets buying everything in site like the world is ending. Is it? Based on the information I've been given as a TA and from my own personal research this is what I could tell you;

When did it start?

I feel this video, just under 10 minutes, properly explains how this started in the first place. From the very beginning...

What is the coronavirus and What is the difference between coronavirus and COVID-19?

Coronaviruses are diseases of animals communicable to humans. It's a large group of virus strains. Some of the virus strains cause sickness in people and some cause sickness in animals. Human coronaviruses is common and are usually related to mild sicknesses, similar to the common cold. SARS-CoV-2 is the virus strain. The disease caused by an infection with SARS-CoV-2 is called COVID-19, which stands for coronavirus disease 19.

Who does this affect?

People of all ages can be infected by COVID-19. HOWEVER, Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease) are more likely to becoming severely ill with the virus.

Where is affected at this time? As of March 13, 2020 at 11:30am sourced from foreignpolicy.com, there has been 136,555 confirmed cases.

How does this virus spread?

COVID-19 is not an air-borne disease. Human coronaviruses is an infection of the nose, throat and lungs. They are most commonly spread from an infected person through:

- respiratory droplets generated when you cough or sneeze

- close, prolonged personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands

- touching something with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands

Why you should Keep Calm and Practice Good Hygiene?

Right now there is no vaccine for COVID-19 or any natural health products that are authorized to protect against it. HOWEVER, Proper hygiene can help reduce the risk of infection or spreading the infection to others;

- wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the washroom and when preparing food

- use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water is not available (since it's sold out everywhere try DIY Hand Sanitizer Gel + Spray)

- when coughing or sneezing, cough or sneeze into a tissue or the bend of your arm, NOT YOUR HAND! Thank you.

- dispose of any tissues you have used as soon as possible in the garbage and wash your hands afterwards

- avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands

- clean highly-touched surfaces (toys, toilets, phones, electronics, door handles, bedside tables, television remotes etc.) frequently with regular household cleaners or diluted bleach, 1 part bleach to 9 parts water.

Now, how does this affect your travels going forward?

Based on the emails I've been receiving from our travel suppliers, whether they provide tours, lodging, flights etc. they have all been consistent in making sure we, the travel agents, are equip to provide you, the travellers, with as much information on how to proceed with travelling going forward. Our partners have been closely following the World Health Organisation updates on the development of CONVID-19. WHO is a specialized agency made up of the United Nations, that are concerned about world public health. Your options as a traveller depends on where you are traveling to and how high risk that country is.


Should I cancel my trip due to the coronavirus?

It depends. Where are you traveling? Are you at risk for developing severe cases of the coronavirus? Are you concerned about a possible quarantine when returning home? The coronavirus has caused travelers to question whether it’s safe to take their pre-planned trip or even travel at all. The Government of Canada responded to the coronavirus outbreak by advising to avoid non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice. Consult with a current travel advisor for their intended destination and make an educated decision that’s best for you.

How likely am I to get the coronavirus if I’m traveling?

This greatly depends on where you’re traveling to. Check your destination for its travel warning, and you can make an educated decision to travel or not based on any travel warnings you may find. As stated, those most at risk for experiencing severe cases of the coronavirus include the elderly with pre-existing medical conditions.

Is there a greater risk of getting the coronavirus on an airplane?

WHO informs travellers that plane cabins are not more dangerous for contracting the coronavirus. Since the virus is not spread through the air, sitting on a plane with circulating air will not increase your risk of getting the coronavirus. You can always take precautions for guarding against sickness, including proactive hand washing and disinfecting surfaces.

Should I wear a mask to protect myself against the coronavirus?

WHO recommends that those showing respiratory symptoms of the coronavirus, coughing and sneezing, should wear a protective mask. HOWEVER, they do not say that wearing a mask will aid the unaffected to remain healthy. If you do wear a mask, you need to make sure it’s the respirator kind and that it fits properly.

Can the coronavirus live on surfaces?

The CDC informs travellers that coronaviruses are unable to survive on surfaces for very long. At this time, it is not clear as to how long the COVID-19 virus can live on surfaces just yet.

Can I cancel my trip due to the coronavirus if I bought travel insurance?

It depends. Travel insurance providers generally exclude trip cancellation coverage for epidemics, an outbreak of a virus, or a travel advisory. The only circumstance where travel insurance could reimburse you for a portion of your lost trip cost would be if you purchased a specific type of coverage called “Cancel for Any Reason.” To qualify for this benefit, you must have purchased your policy within 14-21 days from your initial deposit date and meet certain requirements.


With all this hysteria going on, let me bust some myths to put your mind as ease..

Myth #1 Everyone who gets the coronavirus will die.

A majority confirmed cases resulted in mild symptoms, especially for those in children and young adults. Those at a higher risk for contracting serious-to-fatal cases are the elderly and those with severe and chronic underlying medical conditions. The risk of dying from the coronavirus shows to increase in those with pre-existing medical conditions such as cardiovascular issues, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases, hypertension, and cancer. Those without pre-existing medical conditions who get infected by COVID-19 show a 99% chance of survival.

Myth #2 Wearing a mask keeps me safe from the coronavirus.

Surgical masks worn by your typical dentist will not protect you from the coronavirus, so cut it out! Even if someone has the right type of mask, many regular folks do not know how to wear them properly. Healthcare workers often wear a N95 mask, which acts as a respirator. It’s proven to filter foreign particles with 95% efficacy. HOWEVER, if the mask is to work properly, you need to fit the mask to your face. When medical professionals use these masks around sick patients, they undergo tests to ensure it fits properly and the seal isn’t compromised. Otherwise, the mask will not help protect against illness. So there's that on THAT!

Myth #3 I could get the coronavirus from a package sent from China.

Research shows that COVID-19 acts similarly to other strains of the coronavirus, which means it does not live for very long on surface. John Hopkins and the CDC agree that you are not likely to contract the coronavirus from a package sent from China. The virus is most likely to get transferred through infected water droplets from coughing and sneezing. SO WE COULD GET BACK TO SHOPPING ON ALIEXPRESS LADIESSSS!

With all that being said, make sure you know the facts regarding the coronavirus and travel before you make a decision. Know who’s most at risk and which areas have the most confirmed cases. Due to current travel restrictions over the coronavirus, you will want to be cautious regarding traveling to your destination. Research the location you’re heading to, and always, be safe. Let me know if this was helpful to you.

If you are interest travel insurance click to receive a quote for your next trip. If you have any travel related questions, you are welcome to send me an email to kjohn@narat.org.

Thank you for reading,

…keep Cruising with Cocoa :)


These sites are some of the Best Authoritative Sources for Coronavirus Updates

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

World Health Organization (WHO)

Government of Canada Travel and Tourism

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