Road Trip Safety for People Suffering with Chronic Illness

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If you have been suffering from a chronic illness for a while now, then you must already know the ins and outs of your conditions and how best to take care of your health. However, the COVID-19 crisis has unexpectedly thrown a curveball for many, but especially those who are already contending with different illnesses and conditions.

If you’re planning on going on a road trip during the pandemic, here are some safety reminders and precautions you need to take note of to keep yourself healthy, while at the same time allowing yourself to have peace of mind.

You can never over-prepare.

Here is a basic checklist of what you might need to prepare before your road trip:

  • Consult with your doctor or primary care provider to confirm if you’re healthy enough to go on the road trip.
  • Once you get your doctor’s go signal, ask them for a list of medications and medical supplies you might need to bring on top of the ones they’ve already prescribed. Make sure you have enough meds to last you for the duration of your trip so you don’t have to make unscheduled stops to the pharmacy.
  • Bring sunglasses and a visor to protect your eyes from light sensitivity. The sun, it’s glare, and the visual stimuli of being in the car all day can be higher than your daily life, so make sure you’re prepared to protect yourself from the glare of the sun during your trip.
  • Keep your primary care provider’s contact information in your person at all times. You must be able to contact them in case your symptoms flare up and you have a question, like help for low thyroid or how to instant relief for high blood sugar.

Find someone who can alternate-drive with you.

At the end of the day, you’re the only one who knows what your body can and can’t handle. It’s okay to admit if you get tired easily, especially while driving. Don’t hesitate to bring someone you love and trust on your journey with you; someone you can take turns driving with—not only will it be a big help to you physically, but it will also allow you to enjoy the scenery as a passenger.

Plan your stop-overs and activities wisely.

Woman by the road with car

There’s nothing wrong with a bit of spontaneity, but maybe not in the time of COVID-19, especially when you never know how crowded restaurants and rest stops will be. Before you hit the road, make sure you’ve planned your itinerary down to the most minute details—down to the specific hour of the day you have to take your meals and medications.

Let someone your trust know about your itinerary.

Let people you trust know about your itinerary, so they have a general idea of where you are and where you’re going on certain days. It’s also an extra layer of protection for you, in case you run into some inconveniences like car troubles or getting lost. If you’re so inclined, you can also download an app that will allow a trusted friend or family member know where you are at all times.

Practice COVID-19 safety guidelines.

At the same time, it’s impossible to not go on stopovers at all. So if you must go to the restroom or buy food from a convenience store, make sure to keep a physical distance of no less than six feet from other people, especially if they’re not wearing masks. Keep a small alcohol-based sanitizer in your person at all times, but make sure to wash your hands with soap and water before and after you use the restroom.

Your condition should not preclude you from going on an exciting adventure. Just practice every safety measure you can and ask for help from people you trust.

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