We have entered unchartered waters with the entire world dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. The coronavirus started late last year in China and has since spread throughout the entire world. At first we all wanted to brush it off as something that would not happen to us here in the United States or that it wasn’t that serious. We wanted to continue with our lives and especially continue traveling the world. Up until this past Thursday I had still planned on going to Disney World next week to celebrate my birthday and to Punta Cana later this month to use a free trip I had won to Club Med. But then things seemed to get much more serious this week….
Travel from Europe was banned, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson tested positive, NBA NHL and MLB all suspended and delayed their seasons, events and races everywhere were cancelled or postponed, including the Boston Marathon and even Disney is closing all of their parks. This is when my attitude changed from, “I’m not letting this virus ruin my birthday fun” to “I’m fine with staying home as long as possible to protect not just me but the older and immune-compromised people around me”
The situation is so serious that most travel companies, whether they are airlines, hotels, tour companies and even Disney World are being incredibly lenient with their cancellation polices, most forgoing them completely and letting people cancel or reschedule without penalty. Some tour companies are even letting people reschedule their cancelled trip to one in 2021 or 2022. As sad as this is and how it’s affecting the travel community, they have really stepped up to help people and hopefully earn customers trust and loyalty so they will continue to travel in the future.
It might be heartbreaking to cancel a trip, you may have saved up for years for the one big trip, your kids may not understand why they can’t go see Mickey for spring break, but sometimes you just need to accept the attitude of “It is what it is”. We may be dealing with this for quite a while, but at some point life will get back to normal and hopefully we can all travel the world again and experience all the wonders it has to offer.
Stay healthy and safe everyone!