Author: Liudmyla Germanyuk

Editors: Mariia Lysikova and Cierra Steinke

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A lecture on the main tips about how to travel safely was held on March 3rd by the LCC journalism professor Michael Patrick, Ph.D. 

The event was organized by Cierra Steinke, a senior majoring in IRD, in cooperation with the International Rotaract Club of Klaipėda. 

 

Dr. Patrick’s professional experience comes from working with journalists in 60 different locations and as a safety consultant for companies like General Motors Company, CBN News, and CNN International. 

 

Dr. Patrick started his presentation by identifying the risks that people face.  According to him, we face about 350 risks a day, that means one risk per every 3 minutes. 

Furthermore, for every additional person is one additional threat. Therefore, if there are 1000 people in an airport - you are exposed to 1000 risks. 

 

You can’t avoid them, but you can lower your risk by making one choice at a time, as Dr. Patrick explained

“When we’re on vacation, what happens psychologically is that we’re in a good mood. We feel comfortable and lower our guard. That’s when we don’t pay attention to the things we usually do,” Michael said.

 

The greatest risk for travelers is overconfidence. That’s why you always need to be cautious. 

 

Moreover, you should plan your trip in advance, always be focused, have adequate resources for emergency situations, and remain calm even when plans go the wrong way. 

  

 Dr. Patrick emphasized the essentials before traveling, such as the importance of having a travel plan that others are aware of. He also noted the importance of keeping your documents with you, such as your medical plan. 

Having an exit strategy from a country is important for travelers as well.

“Getting to a place is fun. Getting out of a place if things are not turning out the way you planned is another whole process,” added Patrick. Therefore, travelers are encouraged to have their plan-B exit strategy beforehand. 

 

Dr. Patrick shared some airplane tips that can be useful during the trip: 

 

  • Air vents. They contain all of the germs of other people and the filters aren’t trustworthy. “Basically you have whatever somebody coughed up 10 rows ahead of you being blown on your face. The first rule when you sit down on the plane is to make sure to close this vent,” Patrick said.
  • Hydration. Air humidity levels on airplanes are similar to the Sahara desert. Therefore, try to stay hydrated during travel.
  • Lip balm and wipes. You’re encouraged to use lip balm and wipes for your face to prevent yourself from touching it.
  • Lack of movement. It’s better for your body to move at least once an hour, even if you’re young. Standing up and moving helps to prevent blood clots and stroke risks.
  • Seatback pockets. The dirtiest place on the plane is the seatback pocket. Did you know that a lot of moms put their children’s used diapers in there? Therefore, don’t be tempted to read the magazines from the seatback, it’s better to buy your own before getting on the plane.

 

Cierra Steinke, an organizer of the event, said that she knew that kind of event would be popular and needed to happen before spring break when a lot of LCC students are going to travel. 

“I’m usually aware of health precautions. That’s why I wanted to educate more people on this topic,” Steinke said.

 

“It was interesting to think about just bringing lip balm so that if your lips are dry, you're not touching your face," she added. 

 

Dr. Patrick’s main habits while traveling are: washing your hands frequently, avoid touching your face, getting rid of the used tissues, wearing masks in crowded rooms and changing them frequently, keeping a large social distance and avoiding sharing your kitchen utensils.

 

Another one of his main protection habits is wearing gloves.

“There is no way I would go on an American subway without wearing gloves. And people make fun of me, I get a lot of jokes. I wear leather gloves so I can grab something and my fingers aren’t touching it. And then I still wash my hands,” Dr. Patrick said.

 

Ahmed Merza, a MA program student in International Management, shared that he was planning to go to Germany but the situation with the Coronavirus made him think about canceling his tickets. 

“I have some fears in this situation. The risks are everywhere so we should pay attention and follow the valuable tips from the presentation. I have to travel; that’s why I need to analyze it carefully,” Ahmed said.

 

Dr. Patrick wrapped up the event by stressing the importance of helping each other and caring for each other.

“I travel a lot and a lot of these habits become second-nature to me as I travel. It’s really just trying to do what’s sensible; we have to change our habits, we have to make some choices. We don’t have to be paranoid, but we can educate each other, ” Dr. Patrick concluded.

There is no way I would go on an American subway without wearing gloves. And people make fun of me, I get a lot of jokes. I wear leather gloves so I can grab something and my fingers aren’t touching it. And then I still wash my hands.

Michael Patrick

Ahmed Merza, MA program student in International Management, shared that he was planning to go to Germany but the situation with Coronavirus made him think about canceling his tickets. 

“I have some fears in this situation. The risks are everywhere so we should pay attention and follow the valuable tips from the presentation. I have to travel; that’s why I need to analyze it carefully,” Ahmed said.

 

Michael wrapped up the event by stressing the importance of helping each other and caring for each other.

“I travel a lot and a lot of these habits become second-nature to me as I travel. It’s really just trying to do what sensible; we have to change our habits, we have to make some choices. We don’t have to be paranoid but we can educate each other, ” Patrick concluded.

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