COVID-19 Travel News: Hotels As Hospitals, More Airline Cuts, Solo Activities – Forbes




US-HEALTH-VIRUS

There’s no need for this line anymore in the COVID-19 world.

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Well, we’re getting close to the weekend, which only half matters these days, since so many people are out of work, working reduced hours, or moving happy hour up to 1 p.m. In any case, regardless of your situation, you probably have more time to read nowadays, and with that assumption in mind, here’s some travel-related news we found interesting.

Will Hotels Be Used As Hospitals?

How can we combat the growing shortage of hospital beds? Cities in Europe and China have already begun using hotels as medical centers. In some cases, they are being used as actual treatment facilities for patients with mild symptoms of COVID-19. Other hotels are housing doctors and nurses. The number isn’t small: According to CNN, “hoteliers in the Madrid region alone have offered authorities access to some 40 hotels to add 9,000 beds for future patients.”

That same article goes on to explain how it works when the government goes in, cuts a deal with the hotel, and turns it into a medical facility. It’s way more complicated than just throwing patients onto hotel beds, and an interesting read to imagine a hotel turning into this kind of operation.

“Under the plan, contractors would use air-conditioning units to create negative pressure rooms that could suck air outside the room through a vent, minimizing airborne contaminants,” the article explains. “Plastic seals would also be placed by the doors, while nursing stations would be set up in the halls.”

Apparently 7,500 hotels in the United States have already expressed interest in converting.

More Domestic Flights Cut. How Will This Impact Pricing?

United announced that it will cut its domestic flight schedule even further, all the way up to 52% of its original routes. Originally, it planned to forgo only 42%.

One concern that comes up is whether this scaled-back schedule will cutoff any cities and leave them completely without service. Tech Crunch tackled this question and reported that, thankfully, United will not suspend service to any city.

With the reduction in overall flights, we can expect to see prices come up a little bit from where they’ve been the past week or two. But, there are definitely still deals to be had, so poke around and take advantage of lax airline ticket refund policies.

Build Independence These Next Few Weeks With Solo Activities

Okay, we’re supposed to be social distancing and many states have issued mandatory stay at home orders. So, obviously, most group activities have gone out the window unless they are of the virtual type (I think I’ve used Facetime and Zoom more this week than I have my entire life).

What to do? How about using this time to build some independence in regards to activities and exercise? If you typically only workout with a partner, then this is a great chance to practice some self-motivation and get out there on your own.

And for the states that are keeping their trails open and still allow its residents to go outside and play so long as they stay six feet apart, solo hiking or bike rides should be at the top of the list. Hiking is one of those things I tend to enjoy more by myself anyway, meaning its one of the only things that makes me feel like everything is normal.