Why this is not the right time to travel

This post is based on current values and circumstances dated in March 2020, and may not be true nor applicable at the time you read it. Pl...

This post is based on current values and circumstances dated in March 2020, and may not be true nor applicable at the time you read it. Please stay up to date on the latest information provided by the WHO.



On the 11th of March 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced Covid-19, the virus originated in China, that has been a popular topic for the past 3 months, to be a pandemic.
We still hear people saying that it is not that bad and that the media is making it look way worse than it is, but this type of coronavirus has been affecting people's lives tragically, and it surely cannot be taken lightly.



The Impact on Businesses and the Travel Industry

As a Travel Blogger and Personal Trainer, both of my jobs are highly compromised. Fitness centres are very likely to close down soon, and travel is certainly not advisable at the moment. Many people are becoming more aware of this reality, but avoiding to travel is about way more than just being worried about dying.
I see Travel Bloggers, Instagrammers, Youtubers and all sorts of Influencers holding on to this idea that this is their job, and so, it's their duty to keep showing the world to their followers, instead of showing them how to act wisely and consciously. 
People are blinded by their selfish needs, instead of seeing the bigger picture and realise that actually, the whole world is depending on each individual actions. And no matter if you fear Covid-19 or not, you should have a different approach to life now than what you did before.

Let's face it: now it's not the time to travel.
We are past that phase where it was far from us and it was just "a virus in China". The reason why there are so many countries affected is because we all travel a lot, and we brought it with us. If borders were to be closed once the virus was known, it would be easier to contain it and countries like South Korea, Italy and Iran wouldn't be struggling like they are at the moment.
We are living in times where the numbers and news are constantly changing. More and more people are being tested positive, and more and more people are dying. It's a fact that many die from the flu everyday, and that other virus in the past where more deadly than Covid-19 (at least until now, since it's a new virus and we have little information on it), but those numbers are not shown on the TV. It is also a fact that panicking won't bring any good, and it's not the way to move forward. 
But we all have to face the reality. Covid-19 is here, and we can't ignore it. And it's not about being deadly or not.

For a while we have heard that people should avoid all but essential travel to certain areas, but many took it lightly:
  • "Oh, I paid a lot of money for my flight and don't want to lose it"
  • "I need to go on this conference/meeting for work"
  • "I will lose my following if I stop travelling. No one will care about what I do otherwise"
  • "I really need that holiday"
  • And the most annoying of all: "I don't care about coronavirus. We all are going to die eventually one day"
But... have we thought about:

  • The possibility of being quarantined in a foreign country, and not being able to return home for a while? 
  • The fact that if your company shuts down because of a lock down, any past meetings have been invalid, and you won't even get the change to have future ones in the next weeks, or even months? 
  • That attending that conference/meeting could get your business that you worked so hard for in trouble? 
  • The possibility of losing your job in case the situation escalates in your area?
  • And lastly... Did your lovely granddad, the one who can't travel much because bless him, he spends most of his days at home due to his cardiovascular disease, crossed your mind for a second?

The world won't end if you stop your work for a while, but PLEASE understand that you are putting other people's lives in danger by only thinking about your needs as a travel addict or influencer. Not just their health, because most are likely to recover, but their financial situation as they can lose their job, and they might not be able to provide for their family.

Many businesses are being affected by this. People are avoiding public places. They are afraid of not having money, so they will stop spending it in sectors such as beauty, therapy, sports, leisure, etc.

Life carries on, with or without the virus. At least for some of us. For others, life won't carry on unfortunately. But we have the duty to adapt to the situations, and look out for others. Our selfishness can be the death of many people we don't know, as well as many that we do.

And if you're still not convinced, and need more reasons on why you shouldn't travel:

  • Many flights are being delayed or cancelled;
  • Many touristic attractions such as museums, art galleries, palaces and many others are being closed;
  • Most travel insurances will not be covering the costs in case you decide to cancel your visit for fear of the Covid-29.





What can we do

So... what can we do?
Most of us already know the answer:

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water frequently throughout the day
  2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
  3. If you have to sneeze or cough, do it on a tissue and throw it straight away on a bin, or do it on your elbow
  4. Self isolate as much as possible - avoid public spaces and social gatherings
  5. Stay at home if you feel unwell (even with a slight fever and cough).
  6. If you experience fever, cough and shortness of breath, seek medical care straight away, by calling a doctor, instead of walking to a clinic or pharmacy
  7. Stay up to date of the latest information from the WHO
  8. Bring awareness to this issue and what we can all do to make this planet a better place to live in
  9. And please, stop travelling if you can.




What not to do I - panicking

Is it the end of the world?
No it's definitely not, and packing should not be an option.

  1. STOP bulk buying. One thing is having extra food in your freezer and shelves that can last for a few weeks, even a month. We all should do that anyways in case we have to stay at home for any other reason. In case you don't know, it's a lot easier to be organised and save money when you have few weeks ahead planned. But please, please, don't buy the whole supermarket because you're afraid of not having food for the whole year. You're not only taking food from people who are still buying for their daily meals, but you are also sending the message to others that they should do the same, and everyone will start bulk buying thanks to you.
  2. STOP freaking others out! You are going to be just fine. Most of us won't die from it, and fingers crossed, a vaccination will be created by the end of the year and we will all remember 2020 for this pandemic, crazy phase.

Be aware of the virus, be up to date of the news, adapt your actions according to it, but PLEASE stop spreading fear and taking panic actions that will affect others too.




What not to do II - be ignorant or selfish

We all have to know that there are virus that are more deadly than Covid-19, yes. That most of us will only experience flu-like symptoms and will recover, yes. That the elderly, and those with underlying health conditions (specially cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, abnormally high blood pressure and other conditions that attack your immunity system such as cancer) are more likely to die than those with no existing conditions.
That taking the right actions will not stop the virus entirely, yes, but we can all work together towards decreasing the quick spread rate.
It's time we stop comparing Covid-19 to other diseases/conditions (specially when those conditions have been known by us for such a long time, while it is early stages for this one) and stop underestimating a virus that was considerate pandemic by the World Health Organisation.

And please, stop with the famous excuse of "Oh, but I am young and healthy, so this is not going to be deadly for me".
Most likely not, but what if you pass it on to others, and because of you, more people die? Have you ever thought that the lives of other people actually depend on what you do about this too?






Look for a PLAN B. Adapt

IF YOU ARE A CREATOR

I have been thinking about this ever since I came back from Jordan, in February. I was there when the virus had an overnight boom in Italy, and I still had two flights booked for this year (one in April and one in June), and many more planned for another months.
It was hard to accept it and admit it, but THIS IS NOT THE RIGHT TIME TO TRAVEL.

It is terrifying to admit it, and realize that this will impact my work massively. But you know what? This is the time to develop a plan B:

  • Go through old pictures or videos that you haven't shared yet, and create content for the time being, while you can't travel to new places. I am sure you have lots of it on your old hard drives, and just because they are not as good as the ones you're taken now, they can still help you to keep going while you can't physically explore new sites
  • Enjoy this opportunity to write those blog posts you didn't have time to, to record those videos that you always wanted to, but you couldn't. Do all of your unfinished businesses, so that when you will be able to get back on track, you will be fresh and full of new ideas
  • Explore other places within your country, that are not likely to be crowded. Go on a road trip to the mountains or to a quiet place where you won't be in contact with other people. Travel on your car, and keep doing your best to self-isolate
  • Talk about something else for the time being: I know it sounds crazy, but if you can't do none of the above, then you have to find a way out. Is there any other passion that you have? Something that you can do more of at the moment? Many people will now be at home more than ever before, and will have time to do stuff they generally don't. They will cook more, read more, draw more, watch more TV, etc. Find another one of your passions, whether that is beauty, food, art, or anything else that you can do while being at home, be transparent and keep creating!

IF YOU ARE NOT A CREATOR, BUT YOUR JOB WILL BE MASSIVELY IMPACTED BY THIS
This is no longer just an idea. It is a fact that many businesses will have a hard time due to Covid-19. Companies will shut down, and many might even go bankrupt. Insurances will have lots to deal with, and let's just say, it's not nice for anybody (but please, remain calm).
So what can I do if I am quarantined or lose my job?

  • Many people will be worry-free, specially as employees. Many employers will still have to pay their employees if they have to be quarantined. I am not sure about companies shutting down though
  • If you are self-employed, or lose your job completely, look for another one. And don't be picky. This is probably just going to be something temporary, and you will be grateful to still be able to earn something versus being jobless. It is true that finding a job will be harder over time, so this won't be the time to be selective
  • Try your luck online and look for an online job. You might even been thinking about it for a while. This will be your time to shine.
  • Take that online course that you have been thinking about for months, but you couldn't do such thing because of your current work.
Oh, and this is so, so important: if you have been finding excuses for lack of time to exercise and eat healthy, start now that you will have extra time and no excuses. Start exercising at home, and build the habit so that when we are back to our normal lives, it will be easier to stick to it.




Be considerate. Be a good influence

Finally, remember that we are responsible for our actions. ALWAYS.
And we have to start thinking about others too.

For young people, influencers or not: stop thinking that this is about you.
THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU.
This is about the ones who have been in the planet for longer. The ones we should respect and admire. This is about the families who have to provide for their kids. This is about everyone. This is about our planet.

Please know that we are all influencers, with a social media presence or not. We all have influence on those around us: family, friends, co-workers, acquaintances... And we should be using that influence to bring awareness over this and building a brighter future.

I would rather be known by someone who stopped doing something I loved because I cared for my people, than being that selfish person who ignored all the advises and just replied "but I am not going to die", while I kept doing my own thing, ignoring those around me and the influence that my actions have over them.

Please, please, be considerate, and a good influence. Not just because of Covid-19 but because you care about others. Not just now, but always.

And finally: please SHARE IT!




๐Ÿ“ Do you agree with this? Please share it! Feel free to pin it too if you would like






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