My Statement for Travellers on Covid-19 (Coronavirus)

These are strange times we’re in today.

I must first and foremost mention, that I may have dodged a couple of “bullets” the past 3 weeks with this pandemic. Had I not followed my guts, I would probably still be stuck in the Czech Republic and probably won’t be back in KL for a while. However, I’m happy to say that I’m home, safe and well. I’m thankful for that.

At this point, many of you would have already been directly or indirectly affected by the spread of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) in the past two months.

Today, for Malaysians it has been four days since the Movement Control Order was announced, but for me, it has been eight days, and that’s because I “ordered” myself to self isolate as soon as I landed on the 14th of March. Today was the first day I went out to get food supplies since then. And now here I am (sighing with relief at home).

For those of you based in Europe and the Americas, the realities, risks, and extensive implications may have already been immediate in the last few days.

Lots of money may have been lost, a lot of dreams and adventures put on hold, life as you know it is on hold.

If you’re a freelancer, a business owner big or small, or even an employee of corporate organizations, you may have felt big hits on your income and the source of your opportunities.

As a frequent traveller myself, I had to comment on the situation and here is what I have to say in these times of disruption and uncertainty.

Listen to the experts.

Source the information on the current situation in your location – and the advice from official government channels, respected established authorities and organisations.

Refrain from basing your current or future travel plans during this worldwide pandemic from influencers, bloggers or randos on social media (even those who have a medical and health background). Most importantly refrain yourselves from fear mongering.

For Malaysians, refer to the Ministry of Health website – the situation is fast developing and changing rapidly, so stay up to date before you make any decisions. If you are currently travelling and considering going home or staying out in foreign countries, check for official advice that is in place from both your home government and local government before deciding on anything. I know that most of you here in Malaysia are on your mobile phones now and may have received SMSes from KKM and MKN, please adhere to them. Duduk rumah, masak nasi goreng ker, and be patient.

If you think your future travel plans are/will be affected, check for your flight cancellation rights and coverage with your service providers. Don’t forget to check with your insurance providers too. Note that now is the time that lots of companies are changing their terms and conditions given the seriousness of the situation.

Here’s the page from IATA where you can get updates on country-specific information on entry points and border closures for those planning your next move.

Follow the advice of your local, national and international medical bodies such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) on how best to protect yourselves – hygiene, prevention, and actions to take if you present symptoms or worry that you may have been exposed to the virus.

Last but not least, think of others. Your actions impact others, not just you.

Stay safe, eat well, and lets get through this.

Sincerely,

Yasmin 🙂

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