In the Era of CoVid-19: To Travel or not to Travel
CoVID-19 has been officially declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO). By now many travel plans has been put on hold with rapid cancellations and to a lesser degree, postponement of plans occurring rampantly with each news update on the CoVid virus. Governments are stepping up their travel restrictions, attempting to curb or slow the progression of the virus in their country. Airlines, hotels, travel agents and F&B outlets have taken the blunt of the pandemic with sales taking a nose-dive in ways that has never been seen before.
And here comes the million-dollar question that the ardent traveller has been asking: should I just go ahead with my travel plans or not?
Quite simply, the answer is no. You shouldn’t.
Other than running the risk of contracting the virus itself and passing it onto your loved ones and others around you, to travel in such a time is just too stressful, be it for work or leisure. No matter how cheap the flights. No matter how quiet the usual tourist attractions will be. It won't be worth it. At any given moment, your airline could cancel or reschedule your flight leaving your potentially stranded and thus incurring more cost on your part. The authorities could implement border restrictions and laws set in place to curb the spread. This might effectively also leave you stranded in a foreign country. And when you come back, you will be faced with a 14-days quarantine.
While we may joke that it would be nice to be left behind in our holiday destination, this is not a time wanting to be in a country where the virus could potentially explode overnight, which is what has happened to Italy. Western countries had assumed they were too far from the outbreak in China and South Korea when it happened but in a matter of weeks, Europe had become the new epicentre of the virus.
Talk to your travel agent for options. Check with your airlines and hotel on cancellation and possible postponement. You can get your refunds from your airlines or forgo the cost if you can afford to. Look at it this way, your paid ticket and hotel booking will help feed a staff in a travel-related company - an industry so badly affected by this crisis. At the end of the day, you can always gain back your wealth but you shouldn’t sacrifice your health. Or that of others.
This is written entirely from the standpoint of the writer.