THURSDAY, JULY 8, 2021 --
This is not over. Not by a long shot.
This hateful pandemic, with all of the death and all of the illness, is not done. Fueled by the ferocious Delta variant, the Coronavirus is surging again here in America. Huge swathes of Europe and Asia are backtracking in the face of Delta. Anzac Countries remain sealed. South America and Africa are being pummeled with too much virus and not enough vaccine.
And, no, I'm not being a nervous Nellie. I'm fully vaccinated. And remember, I was the guy going to Italy and France in March, 2020, refusing to let a virus curtail my mobility
. Don't forget I was the guy urging "Next year in Jerusalem!"
during Easter and Passover of 2020. And besides my business travel, I already have three optional trips planned: one later this month, one in August and a month-or-more jaunt at the end of the year.
I am raring to go. I've got the music in me. Travel is my way of life. And probably a dozen other disco-adjacent song titles. I've been everywhere, man, and I want to see the rest. OK, that's Johnny Cash, but you get the idea ...
Still, I cannot ignore the reality. While we fully vaxxed Americans are planning for the future and plotting to get back to meetings and conventions and holidays, the rest of the world is still in dire straits. And their woes are our woes.
We've now passed four million dead worldwide since this plague began and there is no sign of things slowing down. Check out this week's Daily Coronavirus Update
at the Travel Newsstand and see how many countries are rethinking their loosened Coronavirus restrictions.
Or forget that. Just consider these horrific realities right here at home:
99% of the people who died from Covid
in June were not vaccinated. And fewer than half of us are fully vaccinated, according to Johns Hopkins.
Dozens of states--all Trump red--are digging in and most citizens refuse to get vaccinated
The Delta variant is now the dominant strain
in the United States.
Vaccines that we've gleefully gotten because it meant freedom to travel may not be as effective
against the Delta variant as we hoped.
These are impossible trends to ignore. Gaudy recent flying numbers--as much as 80% of 2019 volume--are skewed by mostly transients, eager-to-fly holidaymakers who will be sated by the end of summer. I see no particular upswing in business travel. Worse, I see no rush back to offices or mass rescheduling of conventions and meetings. Worst of all, having been reacquainted with the endless dreariness of the road, business travelers aren't exactly thrilled to be back out there.
Trust me, fellow flyers, I'm not trying to lead you anywhere today. I have no grandiose pronouncements to make. I have no be-safe-but-get-out-there bromides. I have no you'd-be-crazy-to-travel sermons.
I'm just raising reality. Things simply aren't as rosy as they've seemed in these early weeks of American freedom. I wouldn't say the worst is yet to come, but dangerous things do
lie ahead. It's foolish to think otherwise.
About a month ago, several good friends started planning a bucket-list summer holiday to celebrate several important life milestones. I jumped right in to help with fares and logistics and strategies and tactics. I pooh-poohed any fears one of the participants had about Coronavirus restrictions impacting the quality of the trip.
Now, I'm not so sure. I've stopped shooting them suggestions and ideas. I'm just waiting to hear their decision. They will go or they won't.
This is not a time when you can tell anyone what to do. Stay or go. Stare down the virus or rethink your plans.
Just be careful out there. This isn't over yet and we shouldn't make believe it is. Plan accordingly.