With the stressors of 2020 weighing us down, we all need a break. But should you go on vacation for that break or create a staycation in the comfort of your own home?
There are two things to consider, according to Dr. Reagan Anderson, a combat doctor in Iraq and author of Universal Death Care: A Solution for Healthcare in the Age of Entitlement.
Determine Your Risk
1) What is your risk? Do you fall into one of the CDC’s categories for those with increased risk of severe complications from COVID? This list includes those over 65 years of age (8 out of 10 deaths from COVID occur in this age group) and those with underlying medical conditions like chronic kidney disease, lung disease, heart disease, obesity, immunocompromised, type 2 diabetes, or sickle cell anemia.
Basically, if you are younger than 65 years of age and have no chronic health conditions, then your risk of serious complications from COVID are reasonably low and a destination vacation is not out of the question—if you practice the appropriate safety measures.
2) Can you get home easily if more restrictions are instituted?
“I recommend not going on vacations where you could be stranded if more restrictions are instituted,” says Dr. Anderson. “Always have a back-up plan to get home so you are not stuck on vacation for months on end. The vacations I am taking this year are all within driving distance so that if conditions worsen, all we do is drive back home.”
Find Your Happy Place
Regardless, do take a vacation this year—even if it is local or even if you decide to save money and stay home. Enjoy the great outdoors, experience a few spa days, visit a nearby amusement park, host a few movie nights at your home, or check out some local attractions. Just make it special and give yourself the much-needed time so that you can separate from the mundanes of “everyday life.”
“Self-care is something we all need to make a part of our lives, especially during times of uncertainty,” Dr. Anderson advises. “Change your mindset and relax. It will lessen the stress in your life which will make you healthier from head to toe.”
The Definitive Guide to Summer Travel
As the son of a US Diplomat and a physician, Dr. Anderson says that he always recommend using the US Department of State’s travel website, http://www.travel.state.gov. On this website, you can determine all known threats for US citizens when traveling abroad. Plus, you can take advantage of their Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, or STEP. STEP allows you to tell the State Department your travel plans so that if an emergency occurs, the US government knows how to help you.
“If they do not know where you are, you will be left to your own resources to navigate back to safety,” he adds.
Dr. Reagan Anderson is an Osteopathic Doctor (DO) who specializes in general Dermatology and in Mohs Micrographic Surgery for the treatment of skin cancer. Dr. Anderson moved to Vancouver, British Columbia where he attained his Bachelor of Science and Biology from the University of British Columbia and a Master of Christian Studies degree from Regent College. Dr. Anderson was then invited to attend the founding Osteopathic Medical School, Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Upon matriculation, Dr. Anderson was commissioned in the United States Navy where he spent the majority of his time serving the United States Marine Corps as the First Reconnaissance Battalion Surgeon. Dr. Anderson states, “Over the five years I spent in the U.S. Navy, it was my distinct honor to serve the medical needs of the military men and women of our great country. This experience, particularly my tours in Iraq where I treated U.S. and coalition military members as well as Iraqi civilians, gave me extensive experience in recognizing and treating the underlying causes of dermatologic conditions.”