In April, I’ll be joining the Remote Year in Medellin, Colombia to, well, work remotely with a group of strangers. (More to come on that soon!) When I made the decision to go, it was purely a gamble. Like so many people, I was done with the pandemic. Self-isolation does strange things to your ability to use good judgement. Is this risky? Yes. But I’ve got my masks, safety glasses and Fend spray, which I’ll cover below. And I was also lucky enough to get my first shot of the vaccine, so I am slightly less terrified.
What makes me feel better about traveling now, for the first time since lock down last March, is that we know more than we did last year. For one, we know what type of safety precautions to take. I picked Remote Year because they are doing their best to make this a safe experience for us. By now, we know what gear we need and what we have a preference for. This is for the few people who are shopping around for new protective gear.
Below are all the things that I’m packing for this trip. FYI, I am part of the Amazon Affiliate program and I may get compensated if you make a purchase below, but I bought all these things before I started this blog. And I’ll be giving my honest review.
I bought the black version of this KN95 mask and it looks pretty good. Check my personal Instagram for a photo of it in action. It’s a pretty good mask, in terms of thickness and breathability. I find it to be as comfortable as a surgical mask and definitely more comfortable than some of the fabric masks that I’ve been using. It’s not as tight as the N95 cup masks, but it does the job. I think the black mask is kinda chic too, so if you’e into your appearance, it’s a solid mask.
Honestly, with the right ‘fit you sport these goggles with confidence — like a lab coat. I keep these in my car for when I have to go grocery shopping in anti-mask country. Can’t be too safe. They fit fine, but it does get foggy if I’m breathing heavy. The black rubber part that goes on the ears is fairly soft and feels comfortable on my ears. And there are little holes on the side of the goggles for breathability, but again, they fogged up on me when combined with a mask and heavy breathing. These are less embarrassing than the face shields (which I wear with pride) below. In terms of protective gear that you can use for other things after the pandemic, these goggles rank high.
There’s no shame in my game. I bought these during the holiday surge because my mom lives in a town where there are a lot of anti-maskers at the grocery story. So, I stocked her and my aunts up and grabbed one for myself. The frame is comfortable and pretty substantial. The plastic, however, is a little flimsy, but it still does the job. If I was more into face shields and didn’t have my goggles, I’d spring for more expensive and substantial protective gear.
75% Alcohol Hand Sanitizer Wipes
Even before the pandemic, I used to wipe down my area on planes. I’m a germaphobe, so this kind of thing is just part of my regular routine. These wipes are good. I’ve already used them around the house and out on the town. Just a reminder that these are alcohol wipes. Don’t use them for your tushy! These would’ve been great for my backpacking trip on the Appalachian Trail, too, so there is long-term use for them.
Bath and Bodyworks Scented Hand Sanitizer
Bath and Bodyworks makes my all time favorite hand sanitizer. I have jar of these little guys in my house, so I can grab and go. I also keep a big bottle on my car door, for easy access. All of the scents are great, but my favorite is the Warm Vanilla Sugar.
I bought this because I saw a bunch of articles in the media hyping it as a way to prevent COVID. They have peer reviewed research that says it helps prevent tiny particles from getting deep into your nasal passageway, but they’re careful not to claim it can prevent COVID. According to the company, FEND helps clean your nasal passageway and “reduces aerosols from the airways, including the submicron droplets that are not captured by masks and pose a particular threat to lingering airborne contaminants in indoor environments.” Ultimately it’s for people like me who will try anything once. I’m not getting anything from the company for this. I just think it’s cool.