An old barn covered in growth

A Distinct Change In Pandemic Attitude – Pandemic Travel

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I am against travel during a pandemic. I am against venturing further than a two hour walk. To be more accurate I was against these things until the vaccines. My attitude since then has changed because of the indifference and incompetence governments have shown. Instead of having a primary and a backup safety measure they have gone for a primary, with no backup solution.

Switzerland and other nations behaved as if vaccinations, by themselves, without masks, without social distancing, without any other mitigating measures, were enough. Now we’re in the fifth wave and all age groups are vulnerable, from young children to older people. The entire social column is at risk at the moment.

Someone used the refrain “but some people can’t self isolate, they have a family, they have children, they have work, and other excuses. We are in a pandemic. People should be giving reasons for why they want to be safe, rather than make excuses for doing something that is unsafe, from meeting friends for fun, in a bar, without masks, to sitting on a train and eating crisps, to going for a walk without observing the recommended safety distance.

Two or so decades ago people spoke of six degrees of separation and networks. They spoke of 1st, 2nd and third degree connections. A pandemic benefits from people with plenty of social connections. If we are all walking alone then the virus would have to be exceptional to leap from one individual to another. In contrast, if people take trains, sit in cafés etc then the virus will have an easy time to jump from person A to group B and from group B to C, E and it will escalate.

Now that winter is back, and that people socialise indoors the virus is converging from group to group with ease. People are so busy making excuses as to why this group of people have no choice, that group has choice, and this profession has no choice, that the safety measures that were in place have disintegrated. In the process of excusing each other for not respecting masks, social distance, and waning vaccine effectiveness barriers are no longer in place. That’s why we have rapid increases in the number of cases.

Defeatism is making the pandemic flare up at moments, and is preventing it from being eradicated. Without defeatism the pandemic could have been over last August.

The reason I have changed my mind about travel during a pandemic, is that at the current rate it will take years for the pandemic to end. If people are actively trying to stop the spread of the virus, if they are holding each other accountable, then it makes sense to forego certain freedoms. In the current situation the opposite is true. Passionate self-isolation, masking and vaccination boosters make sense, but staying within two hours of home doesn’t.

I am not speaking of going to bars, meeting big groups, or taking over absurd risks, I am speaking about walking in open spaces that are slightly different, of seeing another landscape, and of going to a zone with a lower risk of contamination.

Imagine if Douglas Adams or Terry Pratchett created a character named Pandemic, or Covid-19. We will see if a surrealist creates such a character.





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