Corona virus

Just two months ago – but it feels like ancient history now. I posted this on 3rd March – which is really not that long ago. Read it and weep.

I don’t bloody believe it.

I want to travel. I love travelling. I travelled a fair amount in the past.

I’m happy to travel independently. There are places I want to visit, there are things I want to do. There are adventures I want to have. My grand plan is to spend as much time as possible travelling once I hit retirement.

In the meantime, I’ve booked myself a trip to Italy in the summer. I’m flying, and staying in an AirBnB.

As adventures go, it’s a little tame I suppose, but it’s mine: I’ve planned it, I’ve saved up for it, and I’m looking forward to it.

HOWEVER

Should I be flying anywhere when we know that air travel isn’t an eco-friendly form of transport? What does that do, not just to my plans to visit Naples, but to my plans to travel at all in my retirement? Do I just decide not to travel – or do I decide to do it anyway and to hell with the planet? Or do I fly and feel guilty? Or do I only go to places I can get to by car or ferry?

Also, a lot of people are concerned about the fact that I’m going on my own. ‘Will you be OK?’ they ask. Well, yes, I’ll be OK. I’ll be no less OK than I would be in any city in the UK. But still, it’s another hoop to jump through. Should I heed their concern and not go anywhere on my own? (Naples is just the start. I have plans…) If something was to happen to me, will it be all my fault for travelling alone?

And now we’ve got the fricking Corona virus as well – and it seems to be particularly prevalent in Italy.

Seriously??

I just want a holiday. Is it really too much to ask

  1. To not have to feel guilty about flying
  2. To not have to convince people that I’ll be fine on my own
  3. To not get a potentially deadly disease while I’m out there

Is someone up there trying to tell me I shouldn’t do it? Or is this a test of my resolve? Probably neither – I think it’s simply bad timing.

I’ve checked on the Foreign Office website for their current advice on travel to Italy. As of this morning (3rd March 2020), apart from ten small villages in the north of the country, everywhere is fine. I’m actually closer to the virus here in West Yorkshire (there’s a confirmed case in Bradford and another in York) than I would be in Naples right now.

However – when I started writing this post (just yesterday morning) there were only three villages in the north of Italy that had a problem. This is not looking good.

Who knows what the situation will be like by the time I go? With only three cases, I wasn’t worried – but that three has become ten very quickly. By the time I travel it could have spread much much further – or it could have been brought under control.

I have travel insurance – I don’t think there’s much more I can do.

Here’s the latest advice from the World Health Organisation.

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19 Comments Add yours

  1. Joan Mudd says:

    I feel your pain. We are allegedly flying out to Mallorca on Sunday in what my friend had termed a flying germ incubator. I am always fairly particular about hand hygiene (to the amusement of some of my chums) so I am always prepared with antibac wipes. If we are allowed to fly I will wipe down the arms of my seat, my tray table, my seatbelt fastener and lastly me. I will not eat or drink anything sold by the airline but will eat my own pack up, after cleaning my hands again. Such a faff but it is what I would do anyway. I still managed to get a very severe chest infection and then pneumonia after a flight a couple of years ago, as there is no protection from some goof sneezing without a tissue and the re-circulated air picking up the germs. I can confirm that Mallorcan health care and hospitals are tip top. But the point is that there is no way we can protect ourselves from that scenario regardless.

    Re flying itself – deep sigh – We live on an island. It is fairly tricky to get anywhere without flying. Yes there are ferries and the tunnel but to get to Mallorca we would need to spend a lot of time driving to a port, then driving through France and Spain to Barcelona, getting a ferry across and driving up to our place (ooh the pollution) or get a train from home to Leeds then Leeds to London, then to Paris, then to Barcelona, then a ferry across to Palma and a bus up to where our place is. Not sure how long that would take but either option would be days and cost a bomb. As a consequence, we probably wouldn’t bother going as neither of us are in the first flush of youth or health. Or we can jump on a plane at the airport which is 5 miles from our house and be there in a couple of hours. Hmmm…

    If people stop travelling because of Greta guilt, the economy of places like the Balearic Islands, the Canaries etc will just collapse. They reply on tourism and I think I would feel fairly bad about contributing to that collapse. Travel will become the preserve of the super rich. Normal people will have to pootle about Britain in their little electric cars, or more probably in big electric buses as personal ownership is also frowned upon. We have day trips to Blackpool and it will be just like the good old days – blue passports and mum having tea on the table when dad comes home from work on his bicycle. YARGH!!

    I don’t think that we can go back. I don’t have a solution but I do have 6 large mature (150 years old+) trees surrounding the house which helps mitigate the situation a bit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that’s a very fair point – the knock-on effect of tourists not flying to places like the Balearics would be catastrophic for them. I think I’ll continue to fly and then plant trees – sounds like a good plan. xx

      Like

  2. SisterStay says:

    What a timely article. I am off to Australia tomorrow to visit my 95 year old father for a week. I can’t put it off so I am armed with a good facemask and handwash. I think the thing about travel in general is: don’t go crazy. One or two trips a year is probably OK, but I actually love to holiday in the UK so I don’t feel I am sacrificing too much by doing most of my travels here.
    I am sure you are fine to travel on your own. You’re a sensible girl and Italy is not a particularly high-risk place. Or at least it wasn’t before coronavirus took hold. But even that is mostly affecting older people with underlying health issues in the north of the country. Take sensible precautions. You have insurance booked before it all started up which is fantastic news if in the worst case scenario you are forced to cancel. In the meantime, take a look at SisterStay for some great little weekend breaks in the UK!! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Have a great time in Oz.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Deborah says:

    A lot of people are recommending we keep travel plans and that much of the world is overreacting to the Coronavirus. Then I see others who see it as selfish if we catch it – and though it may be similar to having the flu – they assert we could pass it on to others with compromised immune systems etc..

    I figure the next month or two will give us a better idea of where things stand on that.

    Meanwhile… I visited Italy in late 2018 (solo) and loved it. I’d always wanted to go. I actually stopped only briefly in Naples (and most people didn’t recommend it). I went to Sorrento, Cinque Terre, Tuscany (at a writers’ retreat for a week), Florence, Venice and Rome. A month in the end and I loved it. Of course travelling from Australia means it feels as if you need to stay a while to make the cost of the flight worth while.

    Like

    1. Absolutely – having made the effort to get to Europe, you have to see and do as much as possible (I’ve done the same when I’ve visited Oz!)

      Like

  4. leannelc says:

    This Corona Virus thing is getting so out of proportion. I’m not sure if the media is beating it up or whether it’s much bigger than we’re actually being told. From what I can see, it’s no worse than a bad flu virus where the elderly and medically compromised are at risk – the way it’s being sold you’d think it was the plague!
    In Australia all the major supermarkets are sold out of toilet paper – why??? We’re not in lock down, the world’s not ending, and yet people are panic buying – it’s ridiculous, and it’s also making travel particularly difficult – I’m glad I don’t have any trips booked atm. The travel insurance people must be crying into their teacups atm.
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 😊

    Like

    1. Thanks Leanne – it’s a nightmare, isn’t it. I’ve had to stop shaking hands with clients at work – difficult to know what to do instead!!

      Like

  5. I hear your pain. We are booked for a holiday to Eastern Europe June/July this year. All paid up. Our insurance won’t cover us to cancel due to the Virus the only thing will be if all borders are closed. I am registered with Smart Travel here in Australia and they are sending updates of countries every day. Fingers crossed we can still go. Its a virus, more people die of the flu every winter. Im concerned that some people never washed their hands until now because they have been told to. Toilet paper, tissues, dry goods are gone from the shelves. Its a crazy world out there. I have no post this week. Was having too much fun on FB with all the funny memes. #mLSTL

    Like

    1. It does seem to be getting a bit crazy, doesn’t it. I mean obviously we don’t want anyone to be ill or die – but I’d be very interested to know the difference in death rate between Covid-19 and ‘normal’ flu. I hope you make it the Eastern Europe – which countries are you visiting?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I saw one of my specialists on Tuesday and he quoted a lot of stats. Basically a normal flu kills way more and no reporting. He said it’s a virus wash your hands don’t wear a mask don’t cough into your hands etc. Budapest Prague cesky kromlov Vienna krakow Copenhagen and the Baltic

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Ooo, that sounds wonderful. I had a lovely long weekend in Budapest a few years ago. Enjoy!! (Fingers crossed that you get there…)

    Like

  7. I’m having very similar thoughts as we have cancelled our holiday in Bali. Just be careful about your travel insurance as some companies aren’t insuring for corona virus. Aside from all that enjoy your holiday. I loved travelling alone when I was single. #MLSTL Sharing

    Like

    1. Oh what a shame!! I’m not travelling for a few months yet – by then it could have either all blown over, or become much much worse (so not getting my holiday will be the least of my worries!!)

      Like

  8. This is a dilemma isn’t it? I feel for you and everyone else caught up in this and hope your travel plans can go ahead. We have a daughter and granddaughter in England and I’m planning on going later this year to visit, it just has to be done sometimes!! All the best to you. Visiting from #mlstl

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I really hope you make it!! Ironically, once there are lots of outbreaks everywhere, there’ll be no point in restricting travel!!! By the middle of the year we’ll either all have had it, or it will be on the wane.

    Like

  10. I’m on the same boat. Have tickets to visit Seoul end of June and now this! Got my heart set on seeing that city/country but waiting to see if improvements are made. But, how long to wait before canceling or altering plans is the question.

    Like

    1. I checked my insurance after I wrote this post. If the Foreign Office bans ‘all but essential travel’ to my destination, then I’m covered. If, however, I just decide that I don’t really want to go after all, then I’m not covered. At the moment, the ten areas in northern Italy are ‘all but essential travel’ but the rest of Italy is OK. It’s just a case of wait and see. By June it could be under control – or be so widespread that it would really make no difference whether you stayed home or travelled abroad!!! I’ve got my fingers crossed for your Seoul trip!!

      Liked by 1 person

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