Should You Travel During The Coronavirus Outbreak?
A different type of travelling for difficult times
From being confined to Wuhan province in China, the Coronavirus outbreak has spread to over 50 countries and six continents.
With such a rapid increase in cases in a short amount of time, it calls into question the wisdom of travelling around the globe.
Planes and ships are easy ways for a virus to catch a ride and hop across borders. Travellers who have visited a virus hotspot may unwittingly contract the disease and bring it back with them. This is what has happened during the outbreak.
With every day that passes the question of whether to travel during the outbreak becomes moot. More cases mean a higher probability of contracting the disease and it means more places will likely be affected.
Containing the virus in its early stages is vital if you want to limit its spread. Widespread travel around the globe is not conducive to that goal.
However, the coronavirus outbreak doesn’t mean you have to stop travelling altogether. It may encourage travelling of a different nature that has been neglected in an age of cheap airfares and easier connectivity.
Time to Travel?
As of writing, there have been 92,263 cases of the coronavirus resulting in 3,133 deaths. Cases outside of China have been steadily increasing in recent weeks to the point where a pandemic is becoming ever more likely.
With the virus still in the early stages, there will likely be a lot more cases. When you consider that the virus is easily transmitted then this only becomes more likely.
The coronavirus has an incubation period of up to 14 days. This means that it is highly contagious. You could be walking around with the disease and not know it.
As a result, more and more people could be catching the virus because those that have it can be asymptomatic for nearly two weeks.
In this climate, it’s easy to see why travelling is not the best idea.
It’s striking that several cases have occurred in travelling environments. An outbreak on the Diamond Princess cruise ship infected over 700 people. While an outbreak occurred in a hotel in Tenerife.
In these scenarios, the transmission is easy as people are in close contact with one another, giving the virus an easy way to pass from person to person. It’s no surprise that even under quarantine conditions, the virus continued to spread.
This begs the question of why you would want to travel under these circumstances. Hotels are the ideal place for a virus to spread. Travellers coming from all around the world only increase the likelihood of the virus making its way inside.
Once the virus is there, the authorities are left with no choice but to lock the hotel down in an attempt to contain it. This can mean a day 14 quarantine period, which, if handly incorrectly, can increase the spread of the virus.
Not only are you increasing your chances of catching the virus by travelling, but you’re also risking bringing it back with you and spreading it further if you do catch it.
Considering the risks inherent and the necessity to contain the virus before it spirals out of control, travelling should be the last thing people are looking to do at the moment.
I say that as a travel blogger whose livelihood depends on people reading my articles and booking tours and hotels.
A few months of lower bookings and less traffic is a price worth paying if it stops the virus in its tracks.
If you still want to travel despite the outbreak, then you still can, but it won’t involve an aeroplane.
One aspect of travelling that has been forgotten in recent years is travelling within your own country. People have become increasingly curious about travelling to far-flung and exotic destinations, that they have neglected the treasures that exist within their own backyard.
The outbreak represents a chance to explore your own country for a change. I know I haven’t seen as much of the UK as I should have.
Even though the virus is likely to spread further within our countries, it’s much safer to travel within your own country than it is to another one in this scenario.
You won’t need to worry about healthcare as you will be covered, nor will you need to worry about being repatriated.
If the virus starts to spread further, then lockdowns of various cities and regions is a high probability. In that scenario, travel of any kind will be severely restricted.
It may be worth looking to organise a trip away in your homeland in the next few weeks, as there is a strong possibility the virus could get worse before it gets better.
In the current climate, travelling abroad is unwise. It poses too many risks to you and others. However, local travel is not as big of a problem and is a good alternative for your urge to travel.