A lot of people are posting queries on Facebook groups or are asking each-other- Should I travel within India? What are the advisories? What should I do?
I am left wondering, should you be even asking all of this in the wake of pandemic? Just give it a thought, does anyone has a medicine if you contract Covid-19? Do you even know the repercussions? Then, take a call for yourself. Why should the government or your friends be spoon-feeding you always- ‘Don’t go here, don’t go there. The call of epidemic, the closure of malls and schools, the seal of borders not only suggest but speak out loud and clear that the matter is of grave importance and concern. It is as simple as this, that any kind of travel enhances the chances of contracting the virus. You are putting yourself at risk because we still don’t know if some people are around there, who may be carrying the infection. So just stay put and be safe. Its not just about you but your family and community. Its all about 30 days and things will settle in. Let us contain it at its early stage.
There is no space for dilemma in the current scenario! No, you should try and cut down all leisure trips and definitely not plan more. You can even cancel some business trips if its avoidable. When all the positive cases of today were traveling and spreading the virus, some of the travel advisories were still in the making. So just be the one to act before some one tells you to do something. Read and update yourself with what WHO has been saying. Even our government has acted well in time. Just support them. Now, its our turn. Don’t be callous with your remarks- “Nothing will happen to me. ” We all want nothing should happen but this attitude is irrational.
Attend to the family emergencies but apart from that take a break. We need to stop now, to be able to travel later, freely without fear. And please remember to wash hands. That’s all that we know for now. The aim should be to let the number come down from 80 to 8 and not go to 800.
Why do you travel?
To enjoy! To rejuvenate! To de-stress! So what is the fun of traveling now when you won’t be able to make the most of it. WHO has declared Coronavirus as pandemic. It is a matter of worry for each one of us. In fact, all the happy moments of your travel might easily be washed down by moments of fear. I would call it post-travel stress. After your return, you will have to live with these questions- Did someone cough next to me? Did I wear the mask right? How many times did I touch my nose and mouth? Did I take enough precautions? Did I pass on to someone else? So why put yourself in that situation.
Just take a pause for now. Life won’t stop without travel. Ask me, I am a travel writer. Travel has taught me to pause and think for others.
Why Travel can wait for now?
Because no country is going anywhere. No state will vanish. No monuments will be dilapidated. No trails will get abandoned. No culture will be lost. No art will be destroyed. No beaches will dry down and no mountains will stop mesmerizing you. Everything will stay at its place. You can also stay at your place, for few weeks.
You will do no harm by cancelling your plans but earn peaceful nights for yourself. I have no intentions of creating panic but right now, any kind of travel can enhance the chances of contracting COVID-19. At times, you just have to be pro-active.
If you will not travel now, you will not lose your glamorous traveler life. Trust me, its gonna stay! The pictures and videos can wait.
Trust me, it doesn’t ask much to adapt to circumstances. Do what is right, at the right time. Acting wise and being pro-active are signs of maturity. Some people must act mature for the greater good. I learned my lesson from my last international travel and you can read here.
What is Community Care?
Schools, offices, malls are being closed. Why? Because there is a reason. The government wants to prevent community spread.
By not travelling, you will do your bit for the community. No doubt some business will be lost. But its just temporary. Let us contain the virus and everything will be okay. We can do more travels later to help the small business, home-stays, airlines, etc.
What is community care? Community care is just caring for people you don’t know but live with. They are all around. By not traveling for few weeks, you are helping everyone who may be affected, because you are not becoming a carrier to something which can be heinous. You are doing good to your family and immediate neighborhood as well.
There is no harm in being an over-thinker and over-sensitive person. We are humans after all. We got to think about others. You may not be affected. You may have a strong immune system but don’t pass on to others, unintentionally.
You will also do good to the government by saving them the whole lot of work they will have to do to track you and your contacts in case you are unlucky. Imagine, what the authorities have to do for just few people who have tested positive. Imagine the panic people are undergoing when they are being called for testing because they have come in close contact of someone who had recently traveled to affected places.
And most importantly, you will also save the doctors and healthcare staff from investing time in you, when they could have attended some one else, more needy.
My responsibility as a travel writer!
I often advise my family, friends and followers to travel. But when I say ‘Go’, I should also know when to say ‘Don’t go, its not right”. I feel its immoral to be traveling now.
I have declined opportunities to travel, to precisely 5 places. There was one where I had to start tomorrow but I am not doing it. I am not party to any sponsored, paid, promotional, leisure, familiarization or press trips for now. I would rather sit down and blog about the past trips.
There is lots to write. I traveled to 16 countries last year and have so much to pendown. I think that is God’s way of telling us all that too much travel needs a break. I am honestly disappointed in a couple of people as well as in organisations for continuing with travels and trips, even when the events should have been cancelled or postponed.
As social media influencers, we should not be posting live pictures and saying- “This place is safe or that is safe”. No one knows anything. Who knew some of the countries would lock-down in this state of emergency? Just do silently, what you are doing, if at all you are traveling.
I do not have the heart to do something which I am not comfortable with. I can’t advise wrong. You also don’t.
I am sure you have a life beyond being a travel writer or someone from the travel industry. Live that life for sometime. Travels will be back. The traveling of the virus will stop if you will stop behaving foolish.