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Scenarios for travel in the near future

joe

500+ Posts
What are your guesses about how your travel (for pleasure) will be affected in the relatively near future - let's say from six months on, up to the end of 2021 - once the present extreme measures are gradually withdrawn?

Under the assumption that the virus will not be eradicated, but there will be widespread testing available at some point, and that somewhat useful and safe vaccines and treatments will appear in 2021 - how will this influence your travel behavior? Will you still want to practice social distancing to some level? Will you still travel to countries that are in partial restriction of everyday life? Will you be willing to be vaccinated if there are doubts about the effectiveness of the vaccine? Will you adapt your itineraries or travel behavior to diminish chances of getting sick? For example, will you be willing to constantly wear a mask while in public places? If so, will you still enjoy traveling?

Or are you more optimistic and believe that this virus will go the way of previous short-lived epidemics, and that by next year we will look at COVID-19 as a "blip" in the past?
I assume that many, if not most, on this forum are over 60 years of age (I am too) - how far are we willing to go in this new reality?

Personally, I am pretty pessimistic - unless I know for sure if I have been exposed or not, or how I react to this sickness, I don't see myself doing any travel abroad in this time period. Hope I'm wrong. I also am supposing that I will not want to get vaccinated.
 
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artnbarb

1000+ Posts
Models are only a best guess, but THIS ONE had a rather scary fact hidden in the FAQs, regarding the
LENGTH OF THE EPIDEMIC
Why do your estimates only go until July? Does that mean the outbreak will be over then?

Our model says that social distancing will likely lead to the end of the first wave of the epidemic by early June. The question of whether there will be a second wave of the epidemic will depend on what we do to avoid reintroducing COVID-19 into the population. By end the of the first wave of the epidemic, an estimated 97% of the population of the United States will still be susceptible to the disease, so avoiding reintroduction of COVID-19 through mass screening, contact tracing, and quarantine will be essential to avoid a second wave.


Based on this, until fast detection, effective treatment and an effective vaccine are all put into place, I don't see travel being safe for at least a year, probably more.
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
Will you still want to practice social distancing to some level?
We always practice social distancing because of our issues with synthetic fragrances. We have to keep a distance from people because most wear fragrances. Don’t like taxis because they might have air fresheners. Don’t go to concerts or theatres because the person drenched in perfume usually sits beside us. Don’t eat in restaurants often for the same reason. So, yes, we will be socially distancing.

Will you still travel to countries that are in partial restriction of everyday life?
Probably not.

Will you be willing to be vaccinated if there are doubts about the effectiveness of the vaccine?
No. I don’t even do the flu vaccine because I don’t think it works well enough to trust it. But once a covid vaccine is in wide use and is shown to be effective I will get vaccinated.

Will you adapt your itineraries or travel behavior to diminish chances of getting sick? For example, will you be willing to constantly wear a mask while in public places? If so, will you still enjoy traveling?
Yes I will adapt my routines, but it won’t be that different. We will drive instead of flying when we can (UK, Ireland, France, Switzerland, maybe even Italy). Stay mostly in vacation rentals instead of hotels (fewer people).

I’m not sure I would travel if I had to wear a face mask but my current project is to sew masks for us (from NYTimes pattern) and maybe I'll get used to wearing it.

——-
We are both over 60 and part of me thinks we are going to get this and die, but really that’s irrational. We are hardly going out where there are other people. We are both in good health and would probably survive if we got it.

I am going a little stir crazy not having a trip(s) booked. Travel is my main occupation - researching, booking, planning what we will do. If this was a normal year we would be off to Italy and France in the next few months. I recently saw a photo of a cafe in France and almost cried realising we can’t go there.

I don’t know what will happen. I’ve never lived through anything like this. But we both think we will be driving to Switzerland in September.
 

artnbarb

1000+ Posts
We want to be in Italy. And England. And Ireland. For us the only way to get there is by plane or ship, and neither option seems like a safe bet for many, many months to come. This is just the first wave. The virus will continue to spread unless people 100% quarantine, which isn't possible, OR until we discover not just a treatment, but also a reliable vaccine. And that vaccine has to be taken by 'enough' people so that the numbers stay low. People still catch the flu, but having enough people who believe in their benefits and get vaccinated hopefully protects those who are somehow resistant, or who are unwilling or unable to get the vaccine. We both get the flu vaccine every fall. And the pneumonia vaccine as well. I'll get a vaccination for the coronavirus.

Our life in Italy revolves around being with people. It revolves around eating in restaurants, and at festivals, in outdoor settings. It involves sharing tables and hugging and kissing and lots of wine. If I can't have these, what's the point of going to Italy? For all of the above-mentioned reasons, I don't think we'll see Italy for more than a year. Same applies for travel in general - if we can't connect with the people, we might as well stay home and visit 'virtually'.

A LOT has to happen before I'll feel safe traveling again. I'm not a hypochondriac, I'm a realist.
 

Allen

10+ Posts
Of course none of us knows when it will be clearly safe to fly to Italy, with my late August/early Sept hope seeming very unlikely now, and more unlikely each day. I could even (barely) tolerate a 2 week self quarantine in our little apartment in Montone but only if at the end of that face masks were no longer necessary, hugs were considered safe again, and 4 people could sit around an outdoor table in the piazza or at an outdoor restaurant. Worldwide ‘herd’ immunity even with the help of a vaccine is probably a good year or two process, so seems the virus may face a slow relative death at best. So I guess I’m saying I would take some real risk, but only for a real Italian lifestyle reward. But honestly would be quite surprised if it is an option by September.
 

joe

500+ Posts
From an article in nature.com

"Testing vaccines and medicines without taking the time to fully understand safety risks could bring unwarranted setbacks during the current pandemic, and into the future. The public’s willingness to back quarantines and other public-health measures to slow spread tends to correlate with how much people trust the government’s health advice. A rush into potentially risky vaccines and therapies will betray that trust and discourage work to develop better assessments. Despite the genuine need for urgency, the old saying holds: measure twice, cut once."

 

RojBlake

10+ Posts
I'm sorry, but I think it's optimistic to believe that a vaccine will be available by the autumn. Miracles can happen, but based on what scientists are saying, I don't expect any vaccine this year.

Until there is one, I don'#t think many people will want to travel overseas.
 

JMichael

10+ Posts
My wife and I are both over 60 and have already said we will postpone international travel until the end of 2021 or spring of 2022. A reliable vaccine will most assuredly be available by then. We will definitely not risk traveling to a country that has ongoing health problems. That's not something we want to worry about when on holiday. I wonder too if some countries or the EU may require proof of vaccination before allowing entry. Once they have stopped the virus, I doubt they will want tourists exposing their citizens to it again or becoming ill once they arrive.
 

artnbarb

1000+ Posts
From an article in nature.com

"Testing vaccines and medicines without taking the time to fully understand safety risks could bring unwarranted setbacks during the current pandemic, and into the future. The public’s willingness to back quarantines and other public-health measures to slow spread tends to correlate with how much people trust the government’s health advice. A rush into potentially risky vaccines and therapies will betray that trust and discourage work to develop better assessments. Despite the genuine need for urgency, the old saying holds: measure twice, cut once."

I agree. I'll get the vaccine, but not necessarily the first one that's released.
 

artnbarb

1000+ Posts
With so many scientist worldwide working on a vaccine or a cure, I can't imagine a vaccine or a cure not being available by the fall. At least that's what I hoping for so we can go overseas in the fall.
Even if one were to be available by fall, there would still be a trial and error period at first, with small groups being used as guinea pigs. After they get the vaccine to an 'acceptable' point - whatever that means, then the general public will still need to be vaccinated. IMO, that process alone will take a full year.
 

lisaonthecape

10+ Posts
Our Italy trip is booked for mid-September. I am hopeful that we will be able to travel, but my husband is less optimistic. We've decided not to obsess about it for now, but to take a good, hard look at where things stand in June to make some decisions.
 

RojBlake

10+ Posts
I'm with your husband, but I think you've made the right decision not to worry about it. No one can do anything about the situation expect wait, and of course try and do whatever we can to minimise the spread.
 

Sharon J

100+ Posts
All this talk is pretty depressing for two people heading into their mid 70's, Guess our travel days are pretty much over. Postponing our May trip to October was hopeful, but I now see that is pretty much not going to happen.
 

artnbarb

1000+ Posts
All this talk is pretty depressing for two people heading into their mid 70's, Guess our travel days are pretty much over. Postponing our May trip to October was hopeful, but I now see that is pretty much not going to happen.
That's exactly what I'm worried about! I'm trying not to think about it, but at my darkest moments I worry that I'll never see Umbria again. I worry that I'll never travel again. I worry that my new life will be going to the grocery. With a mask. Period. I'm seriously freaked out!
 

CaWino

10+ Posts
Every state will hit a peak of infection at various times. The risk will not be over after the peak, but diminished only. An effective vaccine will eliminate most of the risk, but that is not projected to be ready for 12-18 months. Therefore, there will still be at least some degree of risk of contracting this highly contagious virus within the next 12 months.

I don't think it prudent to travel domestically or abroad for at least 12 months as a best case scenario, perhaps longer. We need the vaccine before I will feel safe traveling anywhere, unless it magically disappears as some have suggested. Some politicians are touting an existing anti-malaria drug as a panacea, but this is a red herring and a fantasyland spin on a dire situation. That's my $0.02 worth.
 

joe

500+ Posts
There has been talk in several countries of "immunity passports", or allowing unrestricted movement only to citizens who have the specific antibodies showing that they have been exposed to the virus. Which means that even if someone is willing to take a chance on foreign travel in the coming year, the hosting country might not allow him in.
Will be interesting to see the different exit strategies, just as every country coped a bit differently with the onset of the virus.
 

Fedina

10+ Posts
Fellow travelers. I'm heaving a heavy sigh as I read your responses. Oy vey. It is discouraging and I think most of us are feeling the same way about the prospects of travel for the next year or so. I'm thankful for our trip to Italy in the fall and the chance to see my family there. We have no plans to go anywhere at this point. Living near Cape Cod, I wonder if we will be able to go to the beach this summer. But, most important, when will be able to spend time with our family.

My husband is just recovering from "the beast" as they're calling it. And such relief that he is doing much better, despite being sicker than I've ever seen him in 44 years of marriage. And his case may be considered mild by comparison to others. Very grateful.

I think it is most important not to panic or catastrophize. This situation is unique and overwhelming. Anxiety and stress is a normal response. Being isolated physically, the constant media tsunami, and so many unknowns and unanswerable questions creates anxiety. We all have to find ways to help cope. Keep busy, engage in activities that relax and give you some pleasure and don't dwell on the negatives. Pauline's thread listing activities is a healthy idea for all of us. As the old saying goes, " An idyll mind is the devil's playground." Let's stay positive and keep calm. Take care everyone.
 

aap519

100+ Posts
I'm still real optimistic that something will be discovered by the fall so we can all get back to traveling. I just don't think they have enough data/research yet. I think the key will come from discovering why so many people are asymptomatic.

I read an article that China discovered, depending on the area, that 20 to 50% of people with the virus were asymptomatic. I read another article that said Iceland found about 50% of people with the virus were asymptomatic. At a white house briefing Fauci said about 20 to 50% are asymptomatic. There has to be some reason why some people are asymptomatic and other get real sick. There has to be some commonality.

Stay positive folks!
 

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