travel health

Travel and the Corona Virus

So, it’s come to this. I am blogging about the Corona Virus. This is not going to be a blog where I tell you what I think you should do, if I think you should travel or not. It’s basically only going to be a blog where I spew verbal diarrhoea via my keyboard. Of thoughts spurred by the Corona Virus.

Basically, I have been of the mind that I will try not to listen too hard to news and views about it. It’s been impossible here in Australia. Family members don’t let go on it, the government appears to have deliberately tried to scare the crap out of people over it, and now it has been declared a pandemic which I understand to mean it’s officially global.

Not sure how many countries have had cases now, and I’m not here to present figures. But I gather it’s at least 30 or more, although some have only had one to three cases. It’s interesting that this is the one that has panicked the world. And to prove that the whole planet is spooked look at what has happened to the financial markets.

Donald J Trump has tried to hose down fears over it. I mean, sure it’s bad news in China, Iran and Italy but still, that’s only three country and obviously the scale is much bigger in China. Certainly I don’t want to make light of it, people have died and no doubt more will. It’s affect on the travel industry appears already to be dramatic, a lot of flights have been cancelled. Watching at home in Australia dominate the media and people’s thoughts was going to have one of two effects on me – either I ignore it as over reaction, or it freaks me the hell out. And I guess I’ve been going the first option so far.

I have a trip planned and booked for May, to a country in Asia (more details in a week or two) so I am a bit nervous about it. Sadly I am more nervous about missing out than what the virus might do. It’s not to north Asia and it’s not to a country with a lot of cases, in fact the total number reported there is 3 which is far less than the country I live in.

But how is this whole thing going play out? How much of the world will be affected? In Australia the government has set up centres in Christmas Island and in Darwin to house people who are coming from infected zones. Australians in Wuhan were transported to Christmas Island a month back or more now. Others from the cruise ship the ‘Diamond Princess’ were sent to Darwin. The government paid for the flights and the centres. We’ve just had our first fatality. The individual was on the Diamond Princess.

The thing is, the world is in panic. It’s all sort of surreal. When you hear one piece of news suggesting things are improving in China, another says a bunch on people died in Iran. It’s in flux and there is great uncertainty over it. People are clearly not travelling as much. Racist attacks against Asians have increased (how stupid can white people be?) and tourism, especially in Asia, is suffering badly. I know people who have cancelled trips to Asia (not China) and there seems to be more fear about getting stuck in a place without any way to leave, or finding yourself in quarantine than actually getting the Corona Virus.

John Oliver I think has a good take on how we should approach this global issue –

 

Any decision to travel or not is up to the individual. And I’ve been looking forward to getting away pretty much since I got back, lol. These are strange times indeed. Thanks for bearing with me today. May the Journey Never End!

6 replies »

  1. I think the biggest fear is not getting it itself or dying from it (it has a relatively low mortality rate and those dying are the elderly or with compromised immune systems) but what happens if you get stuck in an area in lockdown. I know a lot of people who’ve already cancelled their travel plans because of this and the fear and how it will affect their insurance coverage.

  2. For me the biggest worry is not catching it per se, but unknowingly passing it on. We are travelling today from Hanoi to Amsterdam. And next week will travel from Holland to France. We have no home to hang out in, no place to go. Obviously we’re being really careful, and will keep monitoring the situation and ourselves until we get to our housesit in rural France. All we can do is stay calm and use common sense and keep making informed decisions. But I understand why people are scared.

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