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Post Covid19, what are your thoughts?

Posted by somtam2000 on 18/4/2020 at 08:49 admin


So in the age of Covid19, I’m curious what Travelfish readers think about the how longs/how bads/when/if will travel restart...

I penned my thoughts in the newsletter a coupla weeks ago, you can read them here, but am wondering what other’s take is.

6 months/ a year/ two years?

Crazy times.

#1 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 8,099

Posted by gecktrek on 18/4/2020 at 11:57

hey, i think it all depends on when governments decide to open up international travel again, and what the situation is in the individual countries you plan to travel. personally, i have had to postpone flights to indonesia until the crisis has been resolved. i have however read studies that suggest that the asymptomatic infection rates might be much higher than expected, which hopefully suggests that international travel may open up sooner than first thought, fingers-crossed. however, the chances of a vaccine in the short-term looks decidedly remote or non-existent... and local lock-downs would have certainly affected many of the recreational tourists monetarily, not to mention the safety factor of embarking on international travel... interesting times.

#2 gecktrek has been a member since 24/3/2013. Location: Australia. Posts: 182

Posted by exacto on 18/4/2020 at 16:56

funny how you said adventure travel is now a trip to the local minimart. i ventured out to the local shop for a take away coffee last week, to show a little support for a small business, and it felt as reckless as walking the streets of phnom penh after dark in the late 1990's.

i think there are several factors which will determine how quickly international travel will return to previous norms, if at all. the first is an ability for individual travelers to demonstrate that their presence is not putting others at risk. that could be something as monumental as a vaccine (as gecktrek mentioned), but it could also be something more simple like an antibody test to determine if someone has already had the virus and is now immune. particularly since it seems like a lot of us probably already had the virus and recovered, if the antibody test were coupled with some kind of certificate or other mechanism to show immunity, that might be an interim step to allow people to travel while we wait for a vaccine to emerge.

a second factor will be if we have a second wave of the virus again in late 2020 or early 2021. fingers crossed that doesn't happen. if we do see a second outbreak, world governments may consider abandoning the isolation strategy and adopting one of herd immunity instead.

there is already a great deal of economic and social pressure here in the states to reopen the economy. for now, most of that is from the far right, but that could change if this situation continues, or seemingly disappears then emerges again later this year. i think the public's willingness to continue isolating will dramatically diminish over time.

a third factor will be how soon people feel comfortable traveling again. i remember after the 9/11 attacks in the united states, the demand for international air travel dropped significantly, and flights were cheap and even then only half full. i suspect the demand for international travel will also drop in the near future, and there will be a conflict between economic and social/safety needs in common tourist destinations, combined with a new wave of xenophobia, that will create a real mixed bag of how welcome we will be.

with that, my best guess is that we'll see a tentative reopening as early as july or august, with restrictions that include some kind of individual virus-free certification, whatever that might look like, and limits on from which countries travelers are welcome.

all that being said, i still have a trip to mexico booked for late august, and if i am allowed to go, i plan to go. i will try to get the antibody test before i go (yes, i suspect i already had it, but can't know for sure yet), and am willing to wear masks or do whatever else i can to help guarantee my presence does not put others at risk (short of a 14-day quarantine on my 12-day trip). but international travel is my favorite thing, and i am likely more willing than most others to accept the extra risks and make the effort to manage those risks. cheers.

#3 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,848

Posted by somtam2000 on 19/4/2020 at 02:18 admin

Re the antibody test, Ms Travelfish (who is largely recovered now) enquired the other day about getting tested here (in Bali) for that and it wasn’t available. Hospital said they could give a test of some sort, but that would only show if she currently had the virus.

I realise is early days and all, but yeah I think it will be a while. Have received a few enquiries from people wanting to travel **now** and have said it pretty much isn’t possible at the moment, at least, not in any normal fashion. How quickly that will ease... good question.

I think I’d prefer to see things locked down for longer rather than lesser time if it means that puts everyone in a better position to knock this on the head, but there are a growing number of stories suggesting people are getting re-infected after “being cured” which gives me a fair amount of pause on this.

Agree totally that the longer a lockdown goes on, the more resistant people may become—not sure how governments are going to manage that.

Tricky times.

#4 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 8,099

Posted by aroomwithaview on 20/4/2020 at 23:28

I'd have to say I agree with pretty much everything Stuart wrote on his post. 12-24 months will most likely be the minimum time-frame before life gets back to some kind of normalcy.

The vaccine won't be developed for 12-18 months, if ever, and then that vaccine has to be made and distributed for the masses to take. Interesting if the Americans develop it and who Trump decides which countries get it.

In the meantime, many developing countries will be in a precarious state of mass unemployment and even civil unrest. There's only so long people will go before hunger hits hard with looting of shops as a possible result. Furthermore, will your own country allow you to travel to a country with many unknown cases of the virus such as Indonesia? How will you get back in? Two weeks in self-funded self-isolation? Not fun that.

People will be wary of traveling abroad for some time, apart from mainly reckless 20-somethings who think this is all a big joke and that they're invincible. Older folk will be paranoid, and I think the cruise ship industry will be a thing of the past. What's your life worth and how much of a risk-taker are you will decide when people start traveling when government restrictions are lifted.

How many people in general will have the means to travel abroad? I'm unemployed as a result of this, and will most likely have to retrain to get employment. I have savings, but they won't be used for international travel. I can't see myself going abroad for many years.

I have had to return to Australia after 13 years abroad, and as the authorities have effectively locked us in here for x months, my future travels will be of a domestic nature, when the states open their borders. I have several Qantas and Jetstar vouchers to use as well as two long-distance coach tickets, so the transport costs have been taken care of. I'll travel for mental-health reasons and the fact that I've already paid for tickets that I had to cancel because of the virus.

To sum up, I don't think international travel will be possible for at least a year, with certain hardcore travelers going abroad whenever countries start opening their borders. Some countries desperate for tourists like Thailand or Indonesia may open their borders within a year, but what bars, clubs, restaurants and outdoor recreation activities will be on offer is another matter.

#5 aroomwithaview has been a member since 31/3/2015. Posts: 13

Posted by somtam2000 on 25/4/2020 at 00:49 admin

Sorry to hear you’re out of a job aroomwithaview, like you say, sadly not in the minority. More tour companies and travel publishers I’ve talked to are either already bankrupt, about to be, or just holding their breath and leaving everything on ice till the situation becomes clearer.

I think, in countries that do seem to have thing under control, for eg Oz and NZ or perhaps Vietnam, the first travel will be domestic, but yeah, long haul or multi-contry slower travel—will be a long time coming. And in countries like Indonesia, well, who knows. Very concerning stuff.

#6 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 8,099

Posted by aroomwithaview on 29/4/2020 at 11:42

Yeah, it's not fun being unemployed and having nothing on the horizon to look forward to. It's testing my mental health, which is usually very good.

However, being an Australian, I am currently getting what I think is a very generous amount of money from the government, which is going to have to be paid back by future generations somehow. I'd hate to be starting off in life right now; they've got a world of hurt in front of them.

As far as traveling goes, I've put up my backpack for some time. NZ will be the first destination to open up for Australians, but I'm more interested in traveling domestically. I recently flew into Alice Springs and I thought the landscape around there looked stunning from the plane, so I'd like to check out that region. As mentioned, I have Qantas vouchers to use, so I might as well use them, when NT opens its border, that is.

As for Vietnam, and other Asian countries, I'm not sure. The destination country has to be sure that incoming travelers don't have the virus, and your home country has to actually let you out for tourism purposes. I'm certain some Australians would love to get to Bali even now, but again, how willing will Indonesia be to let people in. I'm sure the Australian government wouldn't want its citizen going there and potentially coming back with the virus. It's going to be over a year I think minimum before countries start allowing international tourism to happen, more like 18-24 months.

It's a horrible situation, but I can't complain as I have a roof over my head and food in my belly. I look at newspaper articles with their "might/may/could" to describe possible situations around the world. PNG and Indonesia "might" becoming failed states was very interesting.

#7 aroomwithaview has been a member since 31/3/2015. Posts: 13

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