Airplane and remote control
Photographic illustration ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Why I Have Not Traveled Recently. The 2019 Novel Coronavirus is Not the Reason.

The current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic is the obvious top story of the year 2020, which many people would rather soon forget. It has been covered extensively by the media; and it has affected virtually every country in the world.

Why I Have Not Traveled Recently. The 2019 Novel Coronavirus is Not the Reason.

Aerial view of Minsk in Belarus. Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

The latest statistics are that at least 899,916 people — or slightly greater than 3.24 percent — have died of the minimum of 27,738,179 confirmed cases worldwide, according to this situation dashboard from the World Health Organization pertaining to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus…

…and at the same time, at least 905,089 people — or slightly greater than 3.24 percent — have died of the minimum of 27,925,613 confirmed cases worldwide, according to this situation dashboard from Johns Hopkins University & Medicine pertaining to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.

At the time this article was written, at least 190,262 people — or slightly less than 3.00 percent — have died of the minimum of 6,343,562 confirmed cases in the United States, according to this situation dashboard from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pertaining to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus — and with an estimated population of 331,002,651 people, that means that less that 0.06 percent of the population of the United States have died from it.

The population of the world is currently at almost 7.8 billion people. Using the higher statistics from Johns Hopkins University & Medicine, that means that slightly greater than 0.34 percent of the population have confirmed cases of 2019 Novel Coronavirus, with slightly less than 0.012 percent of the population having died from it.

Despite those statistics, I am not afraid of contracting the 2019 Novel Coronavirus — which has not happened at the time this article was written — and I gave 5 reasons as to why I have not changed anything despite the 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic back on Monday, March 23, 2020…

The Reason Why I Have Not Traveled Recently.

Atlanta airport
Photograph ©2010 by Brian Cohen.

…and yet, I have not traveled recently. The reason is not because of the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic itself. Rather, the reason is because of how human beings and society in general have responded to it — as well as the uncertainty with how the reaction has been handled — including but not limited to:

  • Substantial decrease in flights
  • Substantial decrease in lodging — including the closing of hotel properties
  • Substantial decrease in benefits with frequent travel loyalty programs
  • Quarantine restrictions — both mandatory and voluntary
  • Closed or restricted border crossings — even from state to state in the United States
  • Increased security
  • Closures of attractions and other points of interest
  • Limitations and overly complicated processes imposed on visitors in some places
  • The changing of laws and regulations in different jurisdictions which seem to be implemented on a daily basis and could cause significant interruptions while traveling
  • Mandatory restrictions imposed on visitors which are designed to mitigate the spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus — including proof of being tested negative for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus
  • The increasing number of people who feel the need to “virtue signal” their positions on debates which swirl around the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic
A shopping mall remains closed amidst the 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic. Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

For many writers at BoardingArea, this year will be the longest stretch of time without travel in many years — including me. “Time seems to be crawling along, and yet it’s September”, Edward Pizzarello wrote in this article at Pizza in Motion, whose slogan is ironically Life is Too Short to Fly In Coach! “The last time I got on a plane was in mid-March. I haven’t checked my records, but it’s been at least 10 years since I’ve been home this long. I’m guessing another month or so will be my longest streak since I was in college.”

Unlike Ed, I want to get back aboard an airplane as soon as possible. “While I do love to travel, I’ve been surprised by my lack of desire to hop on a plane. I miss exploring new destinations, as well as revisiting old favorites. We canceled some pretty awesome trips this summer, including a trip to Bermuda I was really looking forward to. And, I’ve got family in Nova Scotia that I wish I could spend time with. And yet, I’m still not ready to hop on an airplane.”

Past Articles at The Gate Which Pertain to the Current 2019 Novel Coronavirus Pandemic

Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

This article is the latest in a series pertaining to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus — which is also known as COVID-19 or 2019-nCoV or SARS-CoV-2 or HCoV-19 or severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 — pandemic in an effort to get the facts out with information derived from reliable sources…

…as well as attempt to maintain a reasoned and sensible ongoing discussion towards how to resolve this pandemic.

Other articles at The Gate which pertain to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus include:


Near Minsk National Airport
Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Assuming that the travel industry remained unaffected by the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic, I would not have had any second thoughts about continuing to venture out in the world. I have been taking the proper precautions long before the pandemic reared its ugly head, so to speak; so I would have had concern about it — but I was not fearful of it.

I wear a mask when necessary. In fact, I have actual grown to somewhat like going out in public incognito, although I feel like I am about to rob the business which I am patronizing.

More than ever am I convinced that the reaction to the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic was an exaggerated overreaction which was irrationally fueled with fear by the media and politicians in general. Yes, almost a million people have died worldwide in the past nine months with the 2019 Novel Coronavirus cited as the cause — but even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention admits that approximately 94 percent of those people who died in the United States with the 2019 Novel Coronavirus had underlying conditions; and I would imagine that a similar percentage for deaths outside of the United States is not out of the realm of possibility.

Hopefully, we as a society can learn from 2020 and use this year as a case study for the future of a string of events and actions — in other words, what not to do to prevent a pandemic from occurring.

All photographs ©2010, ©2017, and ©2020 by Brian Cohen; and photographic illustration ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

  1. Just cuz people had underlying heath conditions does not make the deaths due to C-19 something to dismiss, Any death that could have been prevented by people(Everyone) social distancing to sheltering in place is sad. Economic damage was done but I feel more could have been done to save lives and keep everyone safe and sound.

    That said.. i also miss travel. I also miss normal commerce where everyone has a job and the ability to provide for their families. To travel outside of an emergency to me is just unfathomable. There could be plenty of reasons to travel but for fun/vacation is not one of them for me.

    I do agree that its even less worth it to travel at full/high prices with all the benefits of frequent traveler gone due to the pandemic. There is no fun in traveling now. If you can even be let in where you wanted to go, Whenever things get back to normal I will expect discounts/deals/lower prices and more aggressive loyalty programs with more benefits and not less to motivate folks like me, if the travel industry does not get this… and thinks it will be able to price gouge the traveler then they may be very sad.

    Im not going back to full prices for a while. Not for leisure travel. Cost per seat and that includes premium seats needs to come down not go up. Not if the industry is going to really recover quickly,

  2. The earliest for us to get back to flying is likely June 2021, assuming a vaccine arrives in January 2021. Half the country has a vested interest in stopping any US vaccine before the election so I doubt it will come in 2020. We will have to wait for the “essential” folk to get it and then wait for any adverse reactions and signs of effectiveness. So far the earliest trip we are booking is in September 2021 and it is fully refundable.

  3. Many valid points. So unfortunate that the fear and hysteria of a few has ruined things for the rest of us.

    My day-to-day life has stayed almost identical throughout the pandemic and my decision to travel would not be directly affected by it either. I have continuously worked and been out in the community, using basic precautions, all along. I social distance because people do not need to be that close under most circumstances anyway. I will wear a mask at any business that asks me to do so as that is their right to run their business as they see fit. Luckily, my state sees the value in fresh air and does not have an outdoor mandate.

    That said, I will not be getting a vaccine… whether it is rushed to production in the next couple of months or if it rolls out in the market next year. I will continue to expect my generally healthy immune system to fight this and all other viruses. I can only hope that this anxiously-awaited toxic injection will appease those who are fueling this overblown reaction and let us all get back to living our lives – including travel at will.

    1. I think what many people do not realize is that some vaccines actually use the virus itself to stimulate the production of antibodies and provide immunity against the disease, NB_ga.

      Also, some people do not realize that a vaccine in and of itself does not cause the virus to “go away.” When effective, it simply reduces the chance of people in general from contracting the virus.

      I have been chided in the past by a few readers for not getting a shot of vaccine for influenza every year — I have not contracted the flu in years; and I have known people to actually fare worse after being vaccinated — and I will likely refuse the vaccine for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus when it is approved and available.

      In other words, I trust my immune system — based on my years of experience — more than I trust a vaccine…

      …especially if that vaccine winds up being rushed to market…

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