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Pandemic travel

Here's an interesting opinion piece from Lonely Planet: Should influencers be traveling right now?

The same discussion could take place about everyone traveling now. And some on this forum who have been traveling and writing about it are, in that respect, influencers.

Posted by
11985 posts

Thanks for sharing that, Lane! I'd recommend following it up 2 other thoughtful opinion pieces, "Why I believe digital nomads are ruining travel" and "Instagram's impact on travel" linked at the bottom of the page (I've also linked them below) as they offer more deep thoughts from a younger generation. Bless 'em, they certainly aren't all mindlessly running around snapping selfies for their blogs/instagram accounts.

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/articles/digital-nomads-are-ruining-travel

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/articles/instagram-impact-on-travel

This was sort of a startling statement::

"And with estimates from DNX back in 2015 projecting 1 billion digital nomads by 2035 (a pre-pandemic assumption) global homogenization could get a whole lot worse."

Posted by
6515 posts

As Alex tells me, the problem isn’t influencers traveling, it’s
influencers not following the rules.

I couldn't care less about what people do for a living, even bloggers, influencers, and other oddball self-declared jobs people ascribe authority and meaning to. But I find the above statement as odd. The CDC has advised all along to curb discretionary travel and intermixing with strangers, so how is someone traveling following "the rules" (meaning, "guidance"...since there are no ironclad rules)? Maybe the problem is that people want their cake and eat it too, and they will rationalize it any which way in order to do what they meant to in the first place. I personally don't feel comfortable traveling in a pandemic, and I can surely "get away with it" based on age, health status, living situation, etc.

I remember reading about Istanbul, which made me feel really uncomfortable, Basically (as of February), the locals were all locked down at home during the day hours and on weekends (except for grocery shopping) while tourists are able to just go about their business and enjoy the city for themselves because they are exempt from the lockdown measures. Obviously, those few people out on the street meant they are much less susceptible to getting infected from someone because very few people would be in proximity to them. Still, it just didn't seem right to me. I wouldn't want to be one of those people out standing out like a sore thumb and being the object of possible wrath or envy....and I love Istanbul and would love to go back again. But not like this, it's not equitable...it's a two class system that "free" tourists can exploit and live by different rules so they can have an empty city to themselves. That's not why I travel - being separated from locals is not the goal. I don't know if that makes sense...

Posted by
1633 posts

I couldn't care less about what people do for a living, even bloggers, influencers, and other oddball self-declared jobs people ascribe authority and meaning to. But I find the above statement as odd. The CDC has advised all along to curb discretionary travel and intermixing with strangers, so how is someone traveling following "the rules" (meaning, "guidance"...since there are no ironclad rules)?

This is pretty much where I'm at on this issue. What's good for the goose is good for the gander, just like with #metoo and politicians of all parties.

Posted by
12141 posts

I agree with this much:

I couldn't care less about what people do for a living, even bloggers,
influencers, and other oddball self-declared jobs people ascribe
authority and meaning to.

Here is the CDC Advisory https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-during-covid19.html
Here is the State Department Rules: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel.html

And I fail to see a significant difference between traveling internationally and traveling within the US.

Posted by
1092 posts

Don't knock it. I'm thinking of becoming an influencer myself, and making lots of money from a dopey website. One day I'll have enough dosh to become a foodie and eventually fulfill my dream of becoming a fillyanthropist, rescuing and caring for unwanted horses.

Posted by
5609 posts

Influences from political leaders to travel industry leaders should be setting good examples during the pandemic. What's good for the goose... applies. It's good to know that Rick Steves walks his talk:

https://www.ricksteves.com/press-room/covid19

A Message from Rick Steves

Travel is effectively off-limits for the time being. I'm home, doing
my part to slow the spread of COVID-19…and dreaming of my next trip to
one of Europe's greatest cities....

Posted by
4169 posts

So is the next cutting edge goal in life for anyone to become a traveling Digital Influencer? Or maybe an Influencing Digit?

If you have about $300,000 spare cash, you could buy a 1957 Chevy Nomad station wagon, and install a digital speedometer (thereby ruining its collector value), and that’d be your Digital Nomad.

Posted by
6515 posts

I think the last few posts are missing the forest for the trees. This isn’t about becoming a digital nomad per se... it’s about travel ethics during a pandemic and whether influencing people to travel is appropriate right now (whether in a professional or personal capacity). The OP’s title and intro gives it away too 😀 unless l am totally misreading this thread.

Posted by
2644 posts

I agree with everything Agnes said. She just says it better.

Posted by
4169 posts

It’s just that the bizarre trees are so distracting. As for the forest, right. Some people traveling now, too soon, will ultimately delay travel for everybody else, until the situation makes it feasible for everybody.

Some of those “influencers” need to be influenced to change their behavior.

Posted by
12141 posts

Some people traveling now, too soon, will ultimately delay travel for
everybody else.

Seriously, thats what you are worried about?

Posted by
12141 posts

the ethical finger wagging should instead be pointed at companies
selling tours for this year to gullible wannabe travelers.

Would that include companies marketing Fall trips, but not yet taking deposits?

Anybody tying their money up with travel plans and booking flights and
tours for this summer, whether it is for a cruise or a package to
Europe or even a tour of western US national parks, is foolish.

Wally I have read a few of your posts where you have been critical of predictions….. And, lets see if my March domestic trip or my April European trips turns out to be foolish; both still looking good. And if they aren’t, nothing lost.

Posted by
17890 posts

James, I don't remember whether Hungary is on your spring itinerary, but it is tightening restrictions right now: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/hungary-closes-stores-schools-to-curb-surge-due-to-variants/ar-BB1emPdy?ocid=msedgntp

Hungary's experience is a cautionary tale. It has bought extra vaccine and is doing better than most of the EU in vaccinating its population, but it hasn't been able to stay ahead of the explosion of more-contagious variants.

Posted by
12141 posts

Maybe its unethical to judge the world by U.S. standards?

One country that I watched a lot because I was considering visiting was Montenegro.

Their population is only about 600,000 (less than half that of the city I live in)
In a good year they will have nearly 2 million tourists (3x the population)
25% to 30% of their economy is based on tourism.

They lost 90% of that in 2020.

75% of the population is in the service industry
In good times they have 15% unemployment.

The average gross income is about $800 a month, about $550 a month net.
They don't belong to the EU, they do not have that bailout source.
They have ZERO Vaccine. They may be among the last to have an appreciable number of citizens vaccinated.

Their Finance Minster says if it ended today it will take maybe 5 years to recover.

Should their process of reasoning for COVID be the same as the US or Germany?
Does anyone even have the slightest education, information, background to criticize their decisions?
Do you think they care if someone here thinks people going to Montenegro tomorrow will impact how soon they can have their dream trip to France?

Would it be unethical to visit them tomorrow?

And yes Agnes, they have among the worst COVID infection rate in Europe; of course with such a small demographic I don't know how you compare it to Germany. Right now the borders remain open, but a number or their major towns are locked down, a short term attempt to clean things up in time for Summer tourism (no impact on my fishing trip).

Posted by
12141 posts

Acraven, yup. I appreciate it. Ive been following it. I have business, property and friend in Hungary which is why I track it so closely.

I've noted a few times in the forum that even if the EU does open, don't count on Hungary being with them. They sort of march to a different drummer. I have no sense of where dear Orban will take the country. I will give him credit for giving up 100% reliance on the EU vaccine program and going out and buying his own. Maybe this will work for them. Like I pointed out in the post above, far from me to be critical of what any country does. No way, not being a part of the society that I can judge them. I just wish them my best and pray.

BUT GOOD NEWS on Hungary: They have put the needle in (at least once) about 11% of their population which puts them ahead of maybe all but one or two Western European nations..... Well done Orban.

Also of great note in the article is the discussion of human loss due to lockdown. Thats the variable that you have to respect each country for balancing.

Lane: My apologies this thread got a bit off topic. If anything I posted you think distracts too much from your intent, let me know and I will be happy to delete it. Maybe the Wally / James tirade?

Posted by
12141 posts

Agnes, I didn't post anything subjective. I just listed some factual information that a person who really understood the implications of would use to influence their decision making. Mostly to illustrate that it is a lot different than the facts that exist here in the US. I dont know how much their government has passed out to their citizens or for how long they can continue to do it; or what the long term impact will be of draining the coffers or paying the note. The only assumption I think I made was that their government had a better idea how to handle it than armchair experts in the US. Although I didnt actually say that, it was my implication.

Posted by
6515 posts

They don't belong to the EU, they have not bailout source. They cant
afford to write COVID stimulus checks to their citizens.

This was your unsubstantiated declaration, not a "fact". I just sent you a link stating the government put in place wage subsidies and tax deferrals....they may not be "checks" but they function the same way - as income supports. You made an assumption that implied membership in the EU was necessary for any kind of economic aid.

By the way, you are one of the forum's most prominent travel influencers. This is about as subtle as the countless Travelzoo emails I get in my inbox telling me what's open, ready for tourists, and where I should go next (risk-free, fully refundable of course). Influencing doesn't need to involve blogs or photos or millennials instagramming from Tulum, it's a matter of any kind of signaling and persuading/ marketing.
https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/general-europe/what-is-open-in-europe-and-beyond

Posted by
1378 posts

Lane: My apologies this thread got a bit off topic. If anything I posted you think distracts too much from your intent, let me know and I will be happy to delete it. Maybe the Wally / James tirade?

My intent was to share an article that I thought might be of interest to folks on this forum. Whatever conversation it sparked is on topic.

I don't understand why any tirades are necessary, though.

Posted by
12141 posts

Lane, and it is a good topic. Thank you.

Agnes, you are correct on the one subjective statement I made. I will delete it so the intent of the post is more apparent.

The rest of your response I don't really understand.

Posted by
11985 posts

Evidently, Andy Steves has no issue listening to one of those "idiots."

https://andysteves.com/podcast-feed/2019/2/4/s2-e10-social-media-influencer-ryan-thorpe-the-student-nomad
" Travel entrepreneur and social media influencer, Ryan Thorpe joins Andy Steves...."

And some individuals think that doggone "idiot" Rick is an important influencer himself.

https://startupcuba.tv/2020/07/07/the-time-i-used-virtual-reality-to-take-rick-steves-to-cuba/
"Rick Steves is a personal hero of mine. He’s the original travel influencer before that was even a thing."

https://www.heyfollowthatbird.com/travel/2020/5/14/stop-and-listento-rick-steves-nyt-interview
What happens when the biggest, most trusted travel influencer (the OG if you ask me) is stuck inside too?

https://neoreach.com/top-lists/top-travel-influencers/top-leisure-travel-influencers/
"Rick Stevens is a Leisure Travel Influencer with a large following of over 900k!"

Hmmmm. Doesn't sound like "influencer" is such a terrible thing to be?
Edit: the post which I was responding to evidently was deleted.

Posted by
1378 posts

James, I don't wish to speak for Agnes, but I actually was thinking the same thing she said. You are a prominent travel influencer on this site. And during this pandemic you've taken several trips that you've written about on this forum. Whether it was your intention or not to influence others, that's the effect.

When you share information about which countries are open for tourists, while insisting that you're not encouraging anyone to travel now, it comes across (to me at least) a bit hypocritical.

Posted by
4610 posts

Interesting thread.
It is interesting to look and nations across the World and their response to administering COVID-19 vaccines.

The EU surprised me in being late to go for vaccinating. Now, at least they are trying.

One nation that saddens me is Tanzania. Apparently, their President doesn't care to vaccinate anyone and there is no vaccination program there. Kenya is proceeding with vaccinations.

Posted by
2644 posts

I don't know. There are influencers who give valuable information (Rick Steves) and then there are trashy/make money as it is all about me (Kardashians). On the other hand, I think people in a travel forum are not influencers, but rather just people with good information and/or opinions, generally.

On the other hand, there are some on this forum who just want to push their agenda. Annoying, but influencer? I don't think so. Anyone on here with repeated comments on the same topic on the same post has not become an 'influencer', but maybe rather just someone who likes to hear themselves talk and/or justify why they do what they do. And when you have to do that...perhaps you are not doing the right thing. I don't know.

Personally, I wish the forum could return to the point where everyone was allowed 2 posts per topic and that's it. PMs could replace the back and forth and the rest of us would not have to see the same poster over and over again, arguing the same point. ad nauseam. That way we could deal with points of discussion rather than the alleged 'influencer'. OK, I'm sure this post has broken another rule. I think I'll stay on the Packing Page from now on, more fun, and I'm sure that will make people happy as well. LOL Maybe I just need another cup of coffee...

Posted by
9081 posts

My intent was to share an article that I thought might be of interest to folks on this forum. Whatever conversation it sparked is on topic. I don't understand why any tirades are necessary, though.

That's easy to explain. There are many on this board who have their beliefs regarding travel and the virus. If anyone posts something different, it is their duty, they believe, to prove that person wrong. They will either blast them or post links to article that back up their beliefs. Or both. I admit, I played into this in the past but I no longer am. I've learned that what I decide to do in regards to travel is my business and no one else's. Posters will just have to defend themselves from the bullies.

Posted by
12141 posts

FrankII, sometimes I let someone get under my skin. My bad.

I am an influencer? I hope not. I agree with Wally, the concept that you would be influenced by a stranger on the internet is concerning. But if I am, here is my number one message: Obey the laws and intent of the laws. Wear a mask and social distance where it is a legal mandate, and where it is not a legal mandate do it out if consideration for those around you, for their comfort; its the Christian thing to do.

If on a learn-ed travel forum someone states Europe is closed, I will correct them much the same as if they believed Prague was in Hungary. Simple; no agenda.

Above Agnes painted a list of facts as subjective because they didn't .... Well, I'm not in her head. When I get it wrong, and I do, I appreciate being called out. Its about finding the truth.

To the question of ethics. If Country X says it needs tourism for their overall well being; is it ethical to pretend Country X does not exist?

Each of has to come to their own conclusions and behave accordingly. No judgments.

Posted by
7210 posts

Wray, thank you, agree. I just scroll right on by.

Posted by
723 posts

I believe anyone that thinks travel will be even possible in 2022, is one of those "influencers," selling something other than realistic. I respect the fact that Rick has been honest in not knowing, and not pushing dates. Call me a "grump" if you want. I'm seeing '22 as another lost year in the travel industry. In '23 there is some light to see what the vaccinations mean and how they will work with the variants of Covid-19. Maybe they work? Maybe they don't, and all the shades of gray between, means to that nothing will be normal in '22. We've been here before with this much ability to travel and inability to control travel. People fly private jets all over the world. People brag about getting around quarantine restrictions in this way or that. Cause of course very wealthy people can't get infected: cause they are special, and in no way could be vectors to any one else. And if they were infected, it was that poor, stupid, support crew that didn't take the pre-cautions that gets blamed. Its always worked that way. So if Rick asked the question, "Will travel change you" I have to say, "yes." Don't know if it changed me in the way he wished to influence me, but i got changed any way. I hope Rick survives as a travel persona on Youtube, with all that has happened.

Posted by
4169 posts

Some people traveling now, too soon, will ultimately delay travel for
everybody else.
Seriously, thats what you are worried about?

James E., since you asked, yes, that situation concerns me. It’s one of many things at the moment, along with unusually warm weather that appears to be prematurely ending the cross country ski season here at home. But people who have been advised, requested, or mandated to stay away, and who travel to those locations anyway, will prolong the pandemic, strain resources at those destinations, and delay the rest of us being invited and permitted to go. Some of us aren’t getting any younger, and every day before we can make that postponed trip happen, we’re one day older when we can do it.

I’m also worried that odd, not-really-descriptive terms are springing up, like “influencer” and “digital nomad!” Both are just weird, but each has apparently become “a thing.” Not losing sleep over it, but it’s still annoying. People using such words as a label, for themselves or others, are influencing me to roll my eyes.

Posted by
12141 posts

Cyn, you know what. I get it. Not bad at all. Sorry if the question seemed a bit snarky. You didnt deserve it and you sure taught me and put me in my place with your answer with pure class. Thanks.

HEY, you are a Class Act Influencer!

Posted by
9081 posts

Vermont, a state that has required everyone entering to quarantine has just announced that anyone who has had both vaccine shots and it's been at least 14 days from the last shot, does not have to quarantine when entering the state. You still have to wear masks, social distance, etc--but not quarantine.

I wonder if this is something we might expect from some countries? I realize that the experts aren't sure if those vaccinated can still spread the virus but it is something to ponder.

And don't forgot the CDC just announced that those vaccinated and waited can meet with others vaccinated and waited without a mask.

James E....you weren't one of the people I was referring to.

Posted by
12141 posts

Frank II, well thanks. Any one that is influenced by me needs to get their head examined.

To your statement. Yes, Romania and Georgia both will let an American in based on Vaccine with no quarantine. Its a start. And Israel and Greece are working on some sort of reciprocal arrangement. I suspect we will see more as the year progresses. I hope so at least.

Posted by
1924 posts

As a TA, my small company canceled 150+ trips last year - more than 200 flights and 400+ hotels. As we look forward to traveling in 2021 and beyond, our keyword to clients is FLEXIBILITY. For every rule, restriction, regulation, and thus recommendation we've made - in multiple countries - it seems the parameters change a week later! They change so rapidly that trips that looked viable last week are no longer possible.

We book primarily Europe so it's been a LONG 12 MONTHS! I am in lockdown in the NL and not traveling - and that's by my choice. In my early 60's with no vaccination in sight (thank you Dutch gov't), we're not sure when we will feel comfortable to travel again. My traveling now is limited to solo-cycling through the Dutch countryside.

But people do want to travel. Due to the worldwide travel restrictions, our travelers are primarily focused on continental USA, Hawaii, Caribbean, and Mexico. Of course, that's evolving also as islands & countries open and close, almost randomly. As we're responsible for these folks, trip planning has taken on many new perspectives. What steps do the airline, hotel, and transportation functions take to protect our clients? Will the resort, safari, tour company, local DMC help us coordinate a test so US citizens traveling internationally can get back into the USA? And if everything goes to XXXX, what is the process to get folks home. (For us, South America and cruise ship recoveries were the worst experiences).

DAILY we receive 40-50 emails from hotels, DMC's, chamber of commerce, etc touting the safety procedures in place and their processes to protect (and attract) our travelers. In addition, I am registered in 20+ countries through the STEP program, so we're getting those (repetitive) statements. We also receive, almost DAILY, data from ASTA, IATA, CLIA, and other groups updating us on the constantly evolving travel environment, new COVID #'s, and new/updated travel restrictions. And depending on how you interpret all this data, (1) it's safe to travel, (2) you can travel with caution, or (3) what the heck are you thinking about traveling now!

Our responsibility is to provide information and options consistent with all the rules, regulations, and restrictions. Thus, we're not even looking at scheduling summer travel in Europe. And trust me, people WANT to go. But after canceling 100+ trips - which we found is far more time-consuming than building a trip - it's just not viable to book Europe for Summer 2021. We do have European trips starting in late September and well into 2022 and 2023 - ALL WITH REFUNDABLE, nonbinding bookings.

Travel will be different. Although many of the larger DMC's, hotels, airlines, etc. have (so far) made it through the pandemic, as we book 2022 and beyond trips, we find that their "network of support vendors" has been totally decimated. These small, mainly family-run companies, are no more. For example, a great partner in Italy, after 15 years of business, could no longer afford the lease payments on the multiple Mercedes vehicles he used and he has closed his business.

The travel industry has been battered. Think about not getting paid & not being able to pay your employees for 12+ months. You still have the same bills and the same responsibilities. Consumers want refunds, but in many cases, the deposit money many DMC's received was paid to their smaller partner companies (like drivers and guides) to lock them in for a specific date and service... and when those companies failed, how do you pay back the original consumer? A few months ago, a very honorable German partner broke down on the phone as he explained to me why he could not provide a full-voucher for one of our clients. It was a tough conversation.

I understand the frustration from the consumer perspective and see a lot of that on many travel forums. Trust me, the travel industry is just as frustrated and overwhelmed. Looking forward to a better 2022!

Posted by
1924 posts

Speaking to the concept of a travel influencer, I'd agree that Rick Steves, Anthony Bourdain, currently Stanley Tucci, and yes, posters on this forum are all travel influencers. As a TA, I know I'm certainly in that role with clients. It's quite clear that travel "influencers" take on many forms. 

In 2019, my son came to visit me and I learned a lot more about social media - and how to make it work for me. Foremost, I learned that while I had worked with clients for years, now I was working with their children (and even their children's children - geez, I AM getting old). And whereas print media, newsletters, email campaigns, TV, radio, etc. had worked for me in the past, the new generation (my son's verbiage) used different outlets. And he pointed out, "If you want to stay viable, you need to learn to use these new options - primarily social-media driven." So, I hired him. 

And as I travel a lot for business, I met many "influencers." I read the glossy stories of their exploits and chuckle as... it's not all it seems. As a TA, we get invited to many properties. Often, I travel each year with groups of advisors and influencers in small groups or to large conventions like ILTM in Cannes or Virtuoso Week in Las Vegas. My wife always knows when I come home from these trips I'll be exhausted. 

Yes, you are wined and dined. You often stay at AMAZING hotels. You get behind-the-scenes access to sites (last year we went into the non-public section of the Anne Frank house). You do incredible experiences (ballooning above Catalunya). And you dine at Michelin star restaurants. And these are the images that we - and the influencers - forward out on social media and to our travelers. 

Yet, the reality of EACH day goes something like this... You wake at 5.00 am and jump on email, catching up with all your travelers scattered around the globe, with vendors as you finalize bookings, and with your office - for whatever. You shower, rush to breakfast, meeting your other group members. Then upstairs, packing quickly and dropping off your suitcase before 8 AM, you pile into the van, bus, etc. and you're off. Sometimes it's to see a site/landmark your clients would be interested in. Other times, it's simply to get to the airport or train station for the next leg. 

These functions last until lunch, where you have a structured lunch - it's usually pretty heavy as that restaurant is trying to impress you. After lunch, it's back into the transport and often we will stop at one or two OTHER hotels to do site inspections. Back on the bus, now you're falling asleep as we head to the end-of-the-day hotel. Many times the group splits as we need multiple hotels. Now you have about an hour of "free time" so you get back on email, repeating your early-morning ritual. Generally, this is when most of us are on our phones as you can't do that when "touring". You shower quickly, change into evening wear, head to a reception, then a tour of the hotel you are in. Dinner usually starts at about 8 pm and generally runs 2+ hours (multiple courses). About 10.30 pm you're headed to your room, or back to your home-hotel. Again, another check of email, many times catching up on work till 1 AM or later. 

And then it starts all over the next day. On a single day in the Aeolian Islands, we started at 4.30 am and used a van, two different ferries, a bus, a flight, another ferry, a van... and then went on a 3-hour dinner excursion in the hills of Ischia, getting back to the hotel after midnight. And these influencers, with their glossy photos and inspiring Instagram posts... were right there with us. 

Posted by
1924 posts

I know I belabor the point, but many of these folks are working hard. Yes, it's a different lifestyle; It's not what I imagined my business (or life) would look like. But we're finding that today's younger traveler is all about the experiences, the vibe, the feeling. I rely on my son to steer me so I understand better. And moreover, the hotels, resorts, etc are inviting these influencers because it's one of the cheapest forms of marketing. The hotel is at 82% occupancy and so they provide an empty, upgraded suite to an influencer. He/She posts pictures of their "more-than-entry-level" room and everyone who sees it... wants THAT room! It's unlimited online marketing at a minimal investment for the resort/hotel.

And we're all jaded like that. I stayed at the Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin in a room next to the suite where Michael Jackson dangled his son from the balcony, Sure enough, the concierge, when walking me to my room said, "Would you like to see the MJ suite?" 

I don't begrudge travel "influencers" because they are not there unless they are effective and productive for the supplier. And frankly, they're making incredible money in ways I'd never imagined. Trust me, I picked their brains on those many long bus rides! So kudos to them for finding a way to "do what they want, see the world, and get paid doing it." I wish I was 40 years younger and had the same opportunity! 

Posted by
11985 posts

As always, insightful stuff from you, Ron-not-in-Rome. Nice to see you! :O)

Along with influencers, I see that some destinations are putting the welcome mat out to positive-impact digital nomads. Anyone interested in a for-instance, google up a pilot program in Madeira? (or go to https://digitalnomads.startupmadeira)
I've no point to prove here or agenda to push! It's just personally fascinating to see the creative ways young people are combining work and adventure in ways not possible for most of us in our own salad days...or not if you weren't in the travel industry to begin with.

Posted by
774 posts

Because this forum is for both for sharing factual information and for sharing opinion I will express a few thoughts.

*I believe that this country got off to a terrible start during the pandemic due to emphasis on politics over health. Poor leadership led to poor outcomes.

*Even though many of my neighbors (red state) were very slow to follow CDC recommendations, I followed them. I "deprived" myself of family and friend contact and of entertainment activities willingly because I want to be a responsible member of a society. When one is a member of society one is sometimes inconvenienced and many times rewarded.

*The purpose of CDC recommendations was to flatten the curve. There was never any hope of flattening it to zero. We live in a global environment and there is not a feasible way of completely stopping the transmission of this virus unless the world is willing to completely shut down all human movement and maybe even that wouldn't work.

*Now, it is up to each of us to decide what we will do next. I just interacted with a pregnant woman who is going to Florida next week for "vacation". People are traveling to Mexico, people are traveling to Albania and Turkey. These travels are legal. Nobody is going to stop them from doing this. No matter how much you think this travel is wrong, it isn't going to stop unless laws are made and consequences are enforced.

*So, as a member of this global society, I get to travel when I am comfortable doing so, when I am willing to take the risks (just like pre-pandemic), and when it is legal to do so. Thankfully for me, Oregon just changed its guidelines for quarantine to not include vaccinated travelers, so I will be able to see my son that I haven't seen in a very long time. (My thread about this was removed due to not meeting forum guidelines).

*Generally, James E causes me some agitation, but on these points I agree with him. This forum is for people to share information regarding travel and he is certainly doing that.

Posted by
12141 posts

vandrabrud; you are proof that respect does not require agreement. I am very pleased you get to see your son. As a father of four scattered around the US, I can relate. G-d Bless and keep you safe.