This post will not be very long, because just like everyone here in the United States, I waited anxiously on the results of last week's Presidential election. I wasn't planning to write anything travel related, or at least anything new. My mind was too preoccupied with what could happen if the person I voted for lost.
It was much closer than experts predicted, but in the end, we will have a new leader, Joe Biden. He wasn't my first choice in the primary election, but I wholeheartedly backed him in the general. I'm actually even more excited that Kamala Harris will be our first Vice President who's both female and a person of color.
I will tell you right up front...I have been a registered Democrat since I could vote back in the mid-1980s. I've pretty much maintained a liberal viewpoint in most issues. But more than anything, I've always wanted the two major American political parties to work together in a spirit of bipartisanship. Over the last 20 years or so, that's increasingly become more difficult. With the current person in charge, it's become nearly impossible.
This won't be a political rant. As much as I do that with friends and family, I rarely do online. That means here or on social media. I don't like to cause dissension and chaos, and yes, I respect the viewpoints of my friends who support Donald Trump and other Republicans and conservatives.
No, what I've chosen to do here is just focus on what all of this means for travel and the COVID-19 pandemic, and it's just a few observations and hopes that I have:
1.) The United States will finally have a plan in place to deal with coronavirus
More than anything, this makes me hopeful that we'll finally get COVID-19 under control, bring down our numbers and begin to live our lives mask-free and socially "undistanced." I don't know when we'll get our lives back to pre-pandemic levels, but I feel more confident that it will happen sooner than later.
2.) Until then, we still have to do our part
With at least one-third of the population, mask-wearing is an infringement on personal freedom. It would be great if we didn't need mandates, but some people still won't do the right thing. Until we get a vaccine that's safe and can be widely distributed, everyone has to do their part and WEAR A MASK. I want to tell those who disagree, the sooner we all do this, the sooner we can get back to "normal."
3.) Travel will likely rebound sooner
As I write this today, most countries around the world aren't allowing Americans to enter their borders. That includes Canada, our northern neighbor, of all places. With a more systematic policy to control the coronavirus spread, I'm hoping we'll soon be able to travel to these countries and revitalize our damaged industry.
4.) I still don't want anyone to get COVID-19
As frustrated as I get toward those who don't think coronavirus is real or is just another strain of flu, I don't want anyone to contract it. It just seems like a capricious kind of illness, where you either have no symptoms or a few, or could be hospitalized and (God forbid) losing your life. Nobody knows what will happen if you should test positive. This observation is definitely a test in grace.
5.) Our industry will survive this
I know there are some people who will never go on a cruise because of what's happened on ships with this. On the other hand, there are others who can't wait to get onboard. But the demand for travel in general is there. More people are interested in travel for next year and beyond. I'm hopeful that no matter what the political situation is and how we control COVID-19, we'll still want to go places.