The last year with travel restrictions could probably be summed up in one word: gonzo. Just about every week there has been a new change or restriction applied by one country or another with regards to incoming travellers. And Cory Carnley of Gainesville has seen it first hand. Spending a good amount of time lately travelling, he’s had to delve into exactly what’s been needed to get from one place to another without being stopped, quarantined or flat out left stranded because of COVID restrictions or similar health protections.
We’re Not in Kansas Anymore, Toto
The modern world that Cory Carnley lives in today is an ultra-connected one. And it’s the same kind of world in which a pandemic can literally travel the globe in under 48 hours, starting with an outbreak in Asia, and be in Europe by the end of the same weekend. Air travel has made it extremely easy for regular contagion-type sickness to piggyback on an exposed person and reach new communities that otherwise never would have been exposed, or it would have taken years to move through populations globally. For example, right after World War I, the Spanish Flu started, but it took successive waves of the given flu virus to run its course over a period of five years before the global population gained immunity from exposure. Today, viruses can travel ten times the distance in a day.
Travel Smart and Have a Plan B
So, as a traveller, Cory Carnley of Gainesville has now had to plan out his routes carefully well ahead of time, as well as double-check right before the trip occurs. Even domestic trips have been affected. For example, trips to Hawaii from the continental 48 require COVID antibodies testing before the person can get on board a flight to the islands. And, even if he does make it and shows up positive, such a traveller can pretty much expect to spend most of the trip quarantined in a hotel room or packed on a plane and sent back pronto.
In short, travellers in particular, like Cory Carnley of Gainesville and others have had to play an entirely new game of flexibility and extreme information monitoring to stay on top of health rule changes as they occur and affect a given destination. Hopefully, with the COVID virus waning and later variations being less virulent and aggressive, the conditions will shift from the current aggressive health protection to everyday health care, just like the way that we all have lived with variations of the flu decade after decade.
However, there’s no question Cory Carnley and everyone else, since SARS in 2009, has been woken up again to how life-changing a pandemic can be, even in the travel world. And it’s also a big reminder of just how small the modern world has become as a result of modern travel.