As air travel has become increasingly precarious over the last few days with flight cancelations and country-wide quarantines amid the coronavirus pandemic, I’ve been having an internal struggle concerning my travel schedule.
I’m writing this post not to determine if I (or anyone else) is right or wrong but to put pen to a pad (or fingers to a computer) and sort through my thoughts and hopefully gain insight from you.
I love instagram and a few days ago I posted a photo of my recent stay at the Marriott Resort Momi Bay in Fiji and inquired if anyone was canceling flights due to the coronavirus or were people unbothered?
Surprisingly (at least to me), the comments reflected that most people appeared to be unbothered and most noted the current airline prices were too good to pass up.
To be honest, I was shocked as I knew travel demand globally had plunged, the US had banned flights from Europe, a national emergency had been declared, and I assumed most people would respond with something closer to “I canceled everything. People are dying and I’m not really into that.”
Then yesterday, I saw an article headline titled “Young People Capitalize on Cheap Coronavirus Flights: ‘If I Die, I Die’” which caught me off-guard.
Typically, I avoid reading click-bait and sensationalized articles but since I spend quite a bit of time discussing travel and found the title intriguing, I clicked on it.
In summary, the article highlights various consumers that have purchased a trip (or several) simply because the flights are cheap despite the increase in cases and…well, people dying.
AM I TURNING INTO MY PARENTS?
What many originally thought of as a regional situation has turned into a global pandemic. Being completely candid, I feel like at first it was one of those things that you see on TV, and then think to yourself “well surely that’s not going to happen to me.”
But when I sat down last night to review my schedule for the next 30 days, these have been my thoughts:
- “Cathay flight in two weeks via Hong Kong…yeahhhh, I need to follow up on that because that’s not happening.”
- “TAP Air Portugal..US to Lisbon…getting dicey. Although, the ban doesn’t include Americans right now, they did ban travel from Europe and who knows what’s going to happen over the next few days!? I may have to go into quarantine after returning. I don’t have time for that.”
- “Shanghai? Negative! Delete!”
- “Delhi India…India just closed down their border so that’s not happening so I need to cancel that flight.”
- “Japan…most countries have banned any flights arriving from Japan so I can’t connect to another country. I’d have to return back to the US which (again) could mean quarantine. I have to cancel that flight too.”
- “Delta One Suites on the A350 from Seoul back to Atlanta…I really don’t want to cancel that but that flight is a continuation of the Shanghai flight which I’m definitely not taking. UGH!”
There’s a Progressive Insurance commercial where two young couples meet for dinner however, one of the couples speaks and acts like parents. I, literally, laugh out loud every time I see this commercial but given the responses on IG and the news article, it got me thinking “am I turning into my parents? Is everything simply black and white and rational?”
I think it’s safe to say that the events of the past several weeks have been surreal and unprecedented, to put it mildly.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a sucker for adventure. And personally, I still wouldn’t feel unsafe traveling to most places right now, but I’d just feel it’s irresponsible unless truly necessary.
Everyone needs to decide what’s best for them and what they believe in. I’ve decided that the best thing I can do right now is to just stay off the road. Not because I’m worried about health implications for me, but because I’m worried about health implications for others.
Throughout this I think it’s also important to accept that this sucks for everyone (except pets, and those manufacturing toilet paper and hand sanitizer), it’s kind of depressing, and definitely not fun. But I guess we’re all kind of in this together, yeah?
I’m really hoping that things get better by summer.
What approach are you taking in light of the current situation? Do you think I’m acting like my parents? It’s ok, if you think I am. Tell me why you don’t worry and continue traveling.