TO The new season is here, and with it the seedlings of vacation getaway plans to some sun-drenched beach or snowy mountain ski slope. In view of the passenger data of the United States and the United Kingdom, air travel is on track to recover from the fall of a pre-vaccine Covid-19 pandemic, despite the rise of the Delta variant.
But does that mean it’s a good idea to buy that plane ticket, even if it’s vaccinated? And if you feel comfortable taking some degree of personal risk, is it unethical to do so?
Kelly hills: The short answer is that it depends on where you live. Are we talking about a country with a relatively successful public health response where 80% or more of the eligible population is completely vaccinated and Is there a low overall incidence of Covid-19 both where you live and where you travel? So no, it is not unethical. But that doesn’t describe most of the world.
[As well as] By following whatever public health guidelines exist, I believe that people should think in terms of better avoiding “moral harm,” which is what we call the psychological harm that occurs when they violate their own moral or ethical beliefs. So, is there a risk of physical or moral harm from taking or not taking this non-essential trip? I think this more accurately captures the diversity of situations that people can find themselves in.
Thomas tsai: I see it as less of an ethical question, right or wrong, and more of a public health question about how best to minimize risk to yourself and others. As a vaccinated traveler, it is still important to follow airline and local jurisdiction guidelines on masking, screening, and testing (in locations that require it).
Traveling unvaccinated puts yourself and others at risk. We are in a stage of the pandemic where the focus is to collectively take actions that can reduce transmission to ensure that schools, workplaces, and public places can remain open and minimize the risk of Delta variant infections.
Saskia Popescu: I would encourage people to consider where and from where they are traveling and the levels of transmission in the community. [in both places]. Make sure you are prepared to continue practicing infection prevention efforts, such as wearing a mask and reducing the time you spend unmasking indoors. Also, if you are traveling after an exposure or are not feeling well, I would advise against it: we must be good stewards of public health.
Even though I’m vaccinated, is it wrong for me to travel somewhere that has low vaccination rates?
Tsai: Again, I would think of it as maximizing actions that are known to reduce the risk of Covid transmission. With more than a year and a half of travel deferred due to Covid, there are very real reasons why people may want or need to travel even to areas with low vaccination rates, to see family members, for example. As a public health researcher, I view offsets as a risk.
Traveling to an area with low vaccination (and high rates of Covid-19 cases) is inherently risky. While you cannot control the risk to yourself from the surrounding community, you can control the risk to yourself and the risk to others by making sure you are vaccinated, wear masks in appropriate places, and do not travel when you have symptoms or if you have a recent exposure. and get tested frequently with antigen tests.
Saws: Should you take an entire vacation for fun in a country that has a low vaccination rate because they literally can’t get any vaccinations? No you should not. If that is not the case, it is helpful to assess the situation in terms of physical and moral hazard.
it’s okay. How can I do that?
saws: You may ask yourself: who is in danger from my trip, where am I going and where will I return? What is the risk for hourly employees within an airport who will serve me during that trip? Is there a high vaccination rate where I go? What is the current rate of Covid-19 infections where am I going and where am I coming from?
Also consider: what kind of risk am I taking when I arrive at my destination? (Spending time in the family home with your parents is less likely to be risky than spending several days at a theme park, for example.) Is this trip what should happen now? How will I protect the people around me while on vacation and during the quarantine period when I return?
Asking these types of questions and answering them honestly will help you answer the question of whether is trip now It is ethical for you to take it.
If I decide to travel, are there any activities that I should avoid once I reach my destination?
Popescu: I think it is ideal to avoid crowded indoor environments with inadequate ventilation. I try to focus on doing things outdoors and being aware of local transmission rates where I may need to take other precautions.
Tsai: The activities depend on the transmission at the community level of the place you are visiting. If you are outdoors, it is generally safer; if it is indoors, it is generally less safe.
saws: Individuals must follow the strictest public health guidelines available, regardless of whether or not local public health officials have the same recommendations. If people have decided that they are going to travel, it is up to them to take responsibility for their actions and do the best they can to minimize the spread of disease.
Now with all that being said, I want to emphasize: the only reason we as individuals even have to wonder whether or not it is ethical for us to take non-essential flights (or do many other things) is because public health has failed. How to manage a pandemic is not, and should not be, a matter for individuals. In that spirit, I even offer guidance on how to make these decisions ethically. Because when it comes down to it, this is not the kind of individual ethical choices that we should be. I have to make.
Check your local COvid-19 travel rules here:
USA: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/travela 0000-ies / ea / covid-19-information1.html
United Kingdom: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism