10 Things you need to do if driving out during quarantine is necessary

Better safe than sorry
by Drei Laurel | Mar 20, 2020
PHOTO: Leandre Grecia

So, how are you guys doing stuck at home? If you’re lucky enough to be at home, at least. Hopefully, you’re doing well and good, and staying put for the duration of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine. Better safe than sorry while COVID-19 is out and about.

The thing is, some of you are going to have to drive out at some point for one reason or another—maybe you’ve run out of supplies, maybe it’s because you need to address a medical concern. Whatever the case, it’s important you know exactly what to do when the situation arises.

Nervous? Don’t be. If you keep these 10 tips in mind before hopping behind the wheel, you should be fine:

1) Leave the house equipped.

Don’t forget to bring a mask and at least a small bottle of alcohol or hand sanitizer. You can even bring  a pair or glasses or shades, or a cap for extra protection—your hands might be the most prone to making contact with surfaces and objects carrying the virus, but remember that particles and dirt can get caught in hair, too.

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2) Let someone in the household know.

This should be a rule during any time of crisis. If you need to leave the house, always let someone know where you’re headed, how you plan to get there, and how to contact you in case of emergencies. Don’t forget your phone, and make sure it’s sufficiently charged before you leave. Just another extra precaution during times of uncertainty.

3) Be familiar with your route.

As you’re probably aware, authorities have scattered mobile units and a ton of checkpoints and outposts across Metro Manila to enforce the enhanced quarantine period, and roads have been closed, too. We aren’t telling you to avoid them, we’re telling you to take note if you’ll come across any during your drive so you aren’t caught off guard and can prepare for possible delays. Speaking of checkpoints…

4) Be polite at checkpoints.

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Checkpoint personnel aren’t put in place to make life miserable for motorists. They’re there to maintain order, and keep vehicles and pedestrians in check as the country tries to fight off the COVID-19 outbreak. Remember to keep your cool and be polite when passing checkpoints. Also...

5) Bring proper identification.

You can’t head out without your driver’s license, of course, but be sure to bring another ID or two just to play it safe. In the event your current residence doesn’t match the one listed on your ID, it’s wise to bring a recent billing statement as well.

6) Make a grocery list.

If you’re driving out to restock supplies or drop by the grocery, dont forget to make a list of exactly what you need to buy or come back with. Being organized on the go will minimize the time you need to spend outside the house, and will eliminate the risk of having to go on multiple trips because you forgot something. Simple, but effective.

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7) Wipe down you car’s interior.

You steering wheel, A/C controls, gearshift, handbrake, door handles, seat, and seatbelt are surfaces that are just as prone to carrying the coronavirus as any. Its a good idea to wipe car components you commonly touch with antibacterial wipes just to be safe. With that in mind…

8) Avoid touching your face.

Many drivers have mannerisms that they only exhibit while they’re behind the wheel. I, for example, often rub my chin or facial hair while I’m driving. Another example is some motorists constantly adjust their glasses. During this time, it’d be wise to keep in mind to avoid touching your face while behind the wheel. Actualy, scratch that—not just behind the wheel, but wherever in general.

9) Leave your shoes outside.

Here’s another thing many people forget to do after returning home. You shoes make contact with arguably the dirtiest surface outside, so it’s important to remember not to carry all that dirt with you when you step back inside your home.

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10) Disinfect when you get back.

If you can, wash your hands with soap at a sink or faucet located outside your home upon returning. Get rid of that mask you’re wearing, too—dispose of it properly if it’s a single-use mask, or wash it right away if it’s a cloth mask. If you’ve been out for a long while, it might even be wise to keep a change of clothes in a clean area outside your home, just to be safe. Again, the goal here is to keep any dirt or particles potentially carrying the virus from getting inside your home.

Have any more tips? Please share it with us in the comments.

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PHOTO: Leandre Grecia
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