Last week, we published a piece on the effects of COVID-19 on the travel industry just as they were starting to be felt in earnest. Much of what was written then still applies, but the scale of this pandemic now requires deliberate reflection. The conversation must evolve from focusing on simple tips and digestible statistics about the virus into a comprehensive evaluation of our lifestyles even outside of crisis moments.
It is stressful to look at every mechanism of our normality being abruptly interrupted. But there is an optimism to be found in taking this dilemma seriously, and in understanding that our actions have consequences. Whether it’s washing your hands or attending a social gathering, many of our habits are now coming under the kind of scrutiny that is befitting of them in the first place, especially in a world that is crying out for us to take better care of it, ourselves, and each other.
Before this week’s developments of flight bans and mass event cancellations, much of the dialogue focused on everything from infographics about which age groups were at risk to potentially reconsidering your travel.
In just the space of a week, we are now well past the point of being able to ask questions about “me.”
All of our questions and answers must now be about “us.”
As Passion Passport founder Zach Houghton urges social distancing in a letter today, it is a call to regroup: not to give in to fear that we are alone, but to create habits that protect our shared future and livelihood.
The systematic response to the outbreak may be beyond our control, but we do control how we react with our minds, bodies, and words. We can prioritize our sleep, nutrition, the care of our bodies, and what kind of media we consume — and ask for help with those things as we need it. We can consider words of gratitude and even a contribution of resources to those in healthcare, hospitality, service, and seasonal roles whose lives may be significantly affected. Finally, as travelers, we can take this time to decide, create, and imagine a path forward as people who believe in the power of travel to change lives for the better. And a time when anxiety might weigh on us, we can rely on the connections that travel has allowed us to create, reaching out to friends and family around the world for support.
It has always been Passion Passport’s mission and joy to share deeply personal, creative, and transformative stories from around the world every day, bringing us closer together. While extenuating circumstances in the time of COVID-19 may separate us physically, we believe in a future where this deepens our relationship with our communities, both those in which we live and those we experience as loving admirers.
And while we wouldn’t suggest that you book a ticket for any destination on your bucket list at the moment, there’s never been a better time to start drafting one.