Starting to open back up.
This has been a trying couple of months for the travel industry. I had three trips cancelled due to the pandemic, I currently have more travel booked and I fear that it will also be cancelled. I am a mature adult and realize that this shutdown is not all about me, I find it sad that the whole situation has to be about politics rather than rallying together to protect the more vulnerable members of the population. Now, this blog is non-political so I am not going to bring my opinions into this situation, I am only going to reiterate that we needed to do this to save lives in the midst of a virus with no vaccine. That is the real point that many are overlooking. While we rush to reopen everything, we need to be fully cognoscenti of the fact that it doesn’t matter which side of the aisle you are on in terms of politics with the reopening, the fact remains that we don’t have a vaccine yet and if you are at higher risk for infection you need to be careful. So, how am I handling the situation?
We have been here before
After 9/11 the travel industry was rocked and scrambled to implement new stricter security standards, and guess what? we got used to it. Amid the reopening of travel industries like airlines, cruises and hotels, new measures are being put in place to ensure safety, and guess what? we will get used to it. The proposed changes include limiting passengers ability to gather in mass, hand sanitizing and washing everywhere and touch-less functionality wherever possible. Crews will be required to perform additional cleaning everywhere and I would bet at first that temperature checks will be in place to ensure nobody flies with a fever. Just like the days after 9/11, things will be different, and you will have to get used to the “new normal” but you will get used to it. Expect to be required to fly with a mask and perhaps gloves at first, but once the vaccine is available things will relax I am sure. Some are saying that there is a possibility that there might never be a vaccine, but I don’t subscribe to that thinking. We have over 100 vaccine trials underway worldwide as of this writing, the scientific communities of most of the world are working toward a common goal and I am confident that a vaccine will be finalized, whether it will be this year is hard to say. Remember though that there also teams working diligently to create a reliable course of treatment. With treatment, at least if you get it, you can likely get through the worst part of the virus and not be forced to endure being put on a ventilator.
I honestly have no issues flying with a mask on or gloves or whatever. It is an inconvenience, but the alternative is to not go on my trip. Generally, traveling is an inconvenience, it is really all about the destination. If I have to endure temperature checks and stand six feet from my fellow passengers to be able to get to my destination, then I see it as a necessary evil and part of our new normal. Things will always err on the side of safety and caution, then relax as time goes by. I remember the invasive feeling of having to take off my belt and shoes and completely empty my pockets before boarding a plane after 9/11. These days if I don’t have to take off my shoes it seems odd to me. We will get through this and we will adapt.
But what about me?
I had a month long trip to Alaska scheduled for August this year. I planned to explore Alaska for a week on each side of my two week long cruise on Princess Cruise Lines. About a week ago, I got the email informing me that all their cruises to Alaska have been cancelled for the year. This trip was on my bucket list for locations to visit, am I sad? well of course, but I will re-book eventually and get to go. The thing that I think about though is the impact to all the workers that rely on the cruise industry visiting Alaska. Princess operates a hotel complex and a transport infrastructure in Alaska including buses and trains. This means all of those workers are going to miss a whole season of work. The port shops and shore trips industry are also being impacted by the decision to cancel the Alaska cruises this year. I am going to be just fine, but I worry about all those that rely on the cruise industry as their source of income. This is true for every port around the world, and every hotel that has been affected by this global pandemic.
I also had a couple smaller trips scheduled which were cancelled, Las Vegas and Kentucky to travel the bourbon trail, both of which can be rescheduled at any time. I try to not think about my inability to go to the places I want to go, but rather how the travel industry as a whole is being affected by all of this. If you would like to read more about the changes in travel regulations coming up here is a good article I found.
I love to hear from my readers! follow me on Instagram and Twitter @nedskee and drop me a message letting me know how this pandemic has affected your travel plans and what you are doing to get through it.
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