From a friend and student in the corporate world regarding the Coronavirus presently in the news:
“Some of us have no choice but to be on the road at this point. The new Coronavirus hasn’t spread far enough or wide enough for we in business to simply choose to stay home.
When I used to travel a lot internationally and things would go hot in the region I was stationed, the booking agency would send specific instructions on who to contact and how to exfiltrate if there was an illness or injury. If your travel agency sends out such instructions during this event, pay attention! Start cancelling travel and, if necessary, feign a child’s broken arm, possible surgery, etc., in order to postpone business meetings and work.
An example of email I received when SARS was reported near my location: “Get to Europe and a proper hospital ASAP if sick! Don’t go to local hospitals. Refrain from eating hand prepared food. Eat only prepackaged goods, and drink only bottled water. Do not shake hands with, and avoid all direct contact with, others . Wash hands anytime you come in contact with others, touch door handles, or handle currency, etc… Carry hand sanitizer with you at all times.”
The following is probably not necessary for you and redundant because you’re a veteran traveler and prepared, but please pass the following on to others.
My lead sales person is leaving tomorrow for a few days of travel. My advice to her follows. This, again, comes from my days traveling globally with hot SARS outbreaks:
* Until further notice, no ride-share (wasn’t popular then, but good idea now.) Always keep your rental car within walking distance and gas tank full. Keep phone handy and watching news agencies, and for God’s sake, read text messages I send to you!
* Take sturdy pants, clothes and shoes. Do not leave luggage in hotel room. Put in trunk of car. If clients question you, say you brought and extra watch/valuables and don’t want to leave it in the hotel room.
* Bring hospital grade respiratory masks [N95]. Use them if forced to sit next to someone that doesn’t look well or is coughing. If you can move, do so.
* Carry Cash – Larger amount than normal.
* If instructed to leave by me or anyone else, excuse yourself to go to the bathroom because you’re “not feeling well” and leave immediately! Call teams and say you got sick and headed to the hospital to get checked out. Get in rental car, and drive out of the city taking side roads if traffic is congested. Call at EOD [End Of Day] and say you were checked out, everything is fine, but you’re still not feeling well and heading home.
* Do not go to airport and attempt to fly. It will be the first to get locked down if quarantine is implemented. Smaller regional airports might let you out if you’re already there, but will follow suit with quarantine shortly after tier 1 airports. Safest bet is to drive and stick to major highways for first 2 hours, then get off on regional-roads until outside major metro areas. Toll roads will be shut down too.
* If forced to leave, stop after exiting major metro areas, fill gas, get large quantities of water and non-perishable foods and don’t stop driving.
* Have a path mapped out for which interstates to take to get close to home, assuming they are not congested and/or blocked or toll roads.
* Locals will help if needed, but look for women working in gas stations for information. People like to talk, and bystanders will over hear it and share if you smile. A cash tip can also go a long way with attendants.
Truth is, it will likely blow over with some unfortunate deaths and hysteria, and quit spreading without much fanfare (I hope.) We’ll know a lot by the end of the week.
Fortune favors the prepared.
Best of luck!”
Our students is a veteran world traveler and offers all of us sage advice. Apply it to your life as you see fit!
Along with his council, I’d remind all of us should be armed and extremely dangerous at all times. If there are any holes in your defensive preparations, the time to fill those is now!
As of this writing the State Department has issued a travel warning regarding China. That really should be for the entire Asian rim, and in my opinion, all Americans should cancel any pending international travel – but, that’s easy for me to say, I have none planned.
Again, it is our most sincere hope this all blows over with little fanfare, but hope is not a plan.
Make a plan!
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