Coronavirus: Doctor Gives Spring Break Travel Advice

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Students excited to go on their spring break trips are being told it could be dangerous amid the coronavirus outbreak and should consider canceling their trips, if they have not yet been canceled.

Sylvia Goodman found out at 7 a.m. Tuesday that her trip to Israel with Northwestern’s journalism department is now cancelled due to concerns over the coronavirus. 

Northwestern’s Administration announced all school-sponsored international spring break trips are being suspended for the time being.

“My sister in New York, a person in her office building was tested positive for coronavirus,” said Goodman, one of hundreds of students impacted. “It’s scary everywhere but I understand the fear of foreign travel.”

Because of that fear, doctors recommend adhering to federal travel restrictions and doing what makes you comfortable.

“If you’re not going to be happy and you’re going to be anxious the whole time you’re there you should probably postpone the trip,” said Dr. Robert Citronberg, director of the division of infectious disease at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital.

And if you do travel, don’t put your faith in those masks that are flying off store shelves. 

“It doesn’t create a tight seal around the mouth or nose,”Dr. Citronberg said, explaining why masks might not work to protect against the virus.

He said his best advice is to simply wash your hands well, avoid touching the face and not to panic.

For some though, the line between panic and precaution is still unclear.

“I think there’s a collective sense of disappointment most of us would have gone on the trip but I’m sure my parents are relieved,” Goodman said.

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