By: Celeste (@lady.nyxx)
Shambalung, the Wook Flu, Festival Fever, it’s no secret that the joys of going to a festival can leave many with a not-so-welcomed parting gift. And with a new type of illness arising, the Coronavirus (aka COVID-19) has not only put a risk to our health, but a threat to our fun. Tomorrowland France, Ultra Abu Dhabi, Road to Ultra India, Ultra Miami, and South by Southwest are just the beginning to a daily-growing list of events that have left many to-be festival-goers worried for their next event or left picking up the pieces.
So how can we protect ourselves and our wallets from the effects of COVID-19?
Recouping our costs can turn into a major headache. Whether or not the “Ultranauts” will receive a refund for their “postponed” (to March 2021) event is still up in the air, but a festival’s “No Refunds, Rain or Shine” idealism does not leave a reimbursement to look promising. The next step would be to contact your bank and jump through the hoops to get a refund through them, but this, too, is not a sure thing.
Most travel insurance will not cover the cancelation of a flight due to an epidemic. The best option, if available, for you to choose is to pick “Cancel for Any Reason,” but not all airlines offer this. Another option is to wait the last minute to buy your flights, but this will equate to higher ticket prices and runs the risk of the flight you need selling out. A third option is to drive. Factor in how far away your location is, how many people you are going with, and your ability to travel long distances while sitting in a car. This option may be the best for you. Hotels are pretty clear on their refund and cancelation policies, so make sure you look into those before purchasing your stay.
And then we have what we can be more proactive about starting today: our health. As often as we have seen them around, wearing surgical facemasks does not protect you from COVID-19. An N95 respirator is supposed to help keep the viral particulates out, but they are difficult to put on and hard to wear for an extended time. Surgical masks do, however, help those infected from spreading their malady to others, but we would also hope they would stay home if they knew they might have the infection.
To best not contract the virus, we should avoid touching our face, lips, eyes with dirty hands, wash our hands with hot, soapy water for at least twenty seconds, avoid share your water bottle with others, and stay away from those who appear inflicted. Carrying around a mini bottle of hand sanitizer is always a good idea, but be sure to check your fest’s rules on opened liquids and bring enough unopened bottles accordingly. We can boost our immune systems with supplements such as vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B, zinc, elderberry, Echinacea, garlic, L-glutathione, and probiotics before, during and after the show, as well as reducing stress and getting adequate amounts of sleep—though this is easier said than done sometimes while at a music festival.
And as painful as this may sound, if you feel symptoms of an illness, please stay home. You wouldn’t be getting any better while at your festival, and will only be opening the doors to other people’s sickness.