My sister lives in London, England. She’s CEO of a tech company and works crazy hours and used to travel a lot. Since CoVID, she’s worked from home and hasn’t travelled at all since March. Well, not until now.
The UK had over 12,000 cases last week, but the rules in Europe vary from ours here. There are countries you can travel to that don’t require you to isolate on arrival or return. The travel corridor exemption. For example, Turkey. After months of isolation, my sister, her husband and her daughter decided to head there to a resort for a week of sun.
They were tested for fever and checked for symptoms at the airport. Anyone who screens positive is sent away. They wore masks on the flight, except for their toddler who wasn’t required to. The resort has strict number restrictions, the buffet meals are behind glass and staff must serve you. There are no evening shows to attend. Cutlery is sterilized and sealed. If shops are open, you cannot touch items. They must be handed to you.
She says it’s great for the economy. That people in Turkey have no government support or coverage on lack of income (imagine getting through CoVID without CERB?)
I admit, I’m eager to travel again, albeit likely only within Canada at this point. And most definitely not in the US. For years to come. The general push to slowly allow travel has begun. Slowly. Money is, of course, the driving force.
Representing more than 60 public and private tourism-related organizations, the European Tourism Manifesto alliance appealed to governments of the European Union’s (E.U.) member countries to urgently agree upon a harmonized set of travel restrictions. After all, the Travel & Tourism sector has been hit hard by CoVID.
But are people ready to travel? Aside from restrictions, second guessing, and worries about safety, there’s something called: “travel shaming.” Does that worry anyone? I admit, when my sister said she was going to Turkey for a week, I was like: “What?! Come again?” Mostly out of jealousy for her opportunity to go sit on a beach for a week, but also because when the stakes are high, we feel justified to shame others. Especially on social media.
First it was about COVID opinions in general. Then about breaking quarantine. About wearing masks, and now about not wearing masks. About sending kids to school, or choosing not to. Shaming those who travel, or those who don’t.
It’s easy to shame, criticize and judge from a keyboard. It’s a lot harder to be understanding, supportive and considerate of others. After all, we never fully know the story, especially of that stranger on a flight, the teen without a mask, or the neighbour unable to leave his house. Shaming is unproductive and the work of unhappy individuals. Don’t stoop to that level. If you want to travel, figure out how to do so safely for yourself and your family. If you don’t want to travel, don’t.
Remember, those who shame are filled with despair. Despair, as per Gandalf, is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt. We do not.