No fool like a Corona Pandemic fool

Posted: May 5, 2020 in Uncategorized


I’m dissapointed, but not surprised, when an outburst of stupidity is published in my favorite media travel section. This state of flux is not unusual or unique to me. Most rational persons give their heads a shake when one of our ‘fellow travelers‘ does something particularly asinine. I read the travel sections offerings every day to stay current. I follow certain editors work religiously. Rick Steeves is a hero. Over many years I’ve informed myself on the finer points of destination travel, safety and etiquette. I’d like not to be thought of as an ugly tourist when I arrive at my destination.

I am surprised however at the supportive sensationalist media given to persons who write home complaining of Corina Virus hardship , often self-induced. Seriously though, commencing travel in the midst of a global pandemic might be the definition of ‘travel stupidity’. Anyone spending as much time , effort and money as it takes to travel these days should at least educate themselves, keep abreast of the latest goings on in the destinations they plan on traversing. Make an effort to stay in the game. Corona Virus should not have caught anyone by surprise.

However, when the average ‘letter to the editor‘ starts with “Help us, we’re stranded in XYZ and can’t get home“, I lose patience. Text follows detail how, after being made well aware, well in advance, of current and present dangers regarding travel bans, embargoes, delays, cancellations, forced quarantines etc etc ad nauseum, they decided to travel anyway, with disastrous consequences. It isn’t just ‘Corona Virus’ that a traveler might encounter, it’s the plethora of heath and safety issues that have existed long before the traveler exits the bubble of an aircraft. This should be all part of having done your ‘travel homework’, prior to departure.

Why won’t the Government send a repatriation rescue team to save us?” Also not surprising is some of the far flung bug infested hostels, near inaccessible hell holes, that people travel to. It’s a pet theory of mine that Canadians in particular choose the cheapest places on the planet to travel to because of a weak national currency. They simply can’t afford nice things. The Forex quote today on USD/CAD is $1.43… not good. At least be aware of the clear and present dangers of travel and don’t think ‘it won’t happen to me’.

I’m not picking on the fringe traveler backpacking across Peru seeking the thrill of high altitude, or the drug therapy initiate in the Amazonian jungle wanting a wild psychoactive Ayuhuasca high. They’re a small cohort compared to the  hundreds of thousands of cruise ship passengers and Great Wall Bus Tour clients ( to name a few) who advanced while Corona Virus was raging, and decided to go anyway. It’s not as though the pandemic hadn’t been thoroughly advertised.

My thoughts on this are as follows:

If you’ve decided to travel to some far flung third world disaster where access is limited and health facilities non-existent, then isn’t it your fault?”. Is that too harsh? Are some people genuinely born so entitled they should be saved from their own ignorance? Do you not read the limitations on your travel insurance policy? C’mon…seriously ? I watch the news every day like every one else. You couldn’t not know that cruise ships were being turned away from some ports, quarantined in others and still others stranded at sea like flotsam.

It isn’t like it’s a secret that motorcycle scooter accidents in Bali kill more non-sober British tourists than any other vacation spot on Earth. Everyone should knows about health insurance and policy limitations…malaria and dengue precautions, caution against dangerous activity, about river flukes swimming into exposed pee holes and embedding themselves with horrible effect. Why don’t more people take these things seriously?

The Carnival Princess sat lashed to a remote wharf in Japan while hundreds of Corona Denial passengers were sickened through contact, close quarters and bad ventilation, and many died. You have to ask yourself ‘why would anyone keep to their reservation’, as thousands did, only to die by the dozens cruise ships in the same time frame. So what if the cruise line wasn’t offering immediate refunds, isn’t that fight a lawyers job? In retrospect isn’t life more important than a refund or cruise credit?

Why do all these people risk their lives and others forfeit theirs. Ditto to every other travel ‘horror story‘ of naive or entitled persons who, on the promise of glossy periodicals or on the strength of a passport, leave the safety of home and thrown caution to the wind to travel into naturally dangerous environments only to find themselves ‘stranded’ and worse. We can only hope that better days lay ahead when great travel editors are also great educators.




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