And now we panic

by Jon Sullivan - 2020-03-03 - Travels

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I'm being realistic about the virus danger. But in a pandemic it matters more how the other 7.7 billion people react.

I can easily just wash my hands a lot, keep alcohol wipes and tissues close by, and try not to ever touch my face. Or touch anything really. Easy. But the plan this year was to spend two weeks in Belgium. That may be fucked.

Not because I shouldn't go due to the virus. But fucked because some combination of practical caution and irrational hysteria may just make it impossible. The tour operator could decide that spending two weeks in a bus with 50 drunk people from around the world is a bad life choice. I could get a sniffle either before or during and then end up quarantined for weeks before I can even get on the plane. And with every government and agency in the world saying "avoid travel", will the limited access breweries we were looking forward to even be open?

What if half the tour customers cancel? Will it even happen if it's half full?

So I can be completely realistic about how low the true danger is. But that won't stop Belgium from telling me to piss off when I try to go through customs. Or the US when I try to come back. Or all the touristy stuff being closed.

Of course even if I'm being realistic about the low risk, this is still a dumb time to travel. This virus isn't your grand dad's bird flu. This thing seems almost weaponized with it's ability to live on surfaces for so long, and sometimes show no symptoms. Some people are dying of the virus with no indications about where they even got it. Deciding to be in a plane/train/bus for two weeks right now is at least somewhat objectively dumb.

But I'm too far in to call it off. Let's hope a vaccine shows up soon.

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2020-03-03 09:13:22 : Yep. Exactly. All of this. We leave in 14 days. Other people's paranoia is what scares me. The volitility of our president scares me. What if he closes the borders? What if he cancels plane flights and I'm stuck in Texas?

Why can't they tell us how this is spreading? Why can't they tell us how long it actually DOES live on surfaces?

Ugh. I really don't want to cancel our trip.

Jon Sullivan
2020-03-03 09:45:25 : Mexico has more available healthcare than we do. so that's a plus.

And we do know exactly how it spreads. It hides on surfaces, people don't wash their hands enough, and it can be symptom free. And people think masks help, which they don't. Simple as that.

I think the only reason to cancel your trip would be if things were waaaaaay worse than they are. The Belgium trip is based around the special brewery tour. Your trip is just sitting on the beach and swimming.

2020-03-03 09:52:19 : Well, being in airports and airplanes is worrisome for picking up a virus. N95 masks are for droplet and airborn pathogens used by health care facilities. I have three and we will use them. The paranoia may explode in two weeks, we don't know. As for how long it lives on surfaces I have not heard actual clinical data on that. Have you?

Jon Sullivan
2020-03-03 10:44:16 : No one knows. Best guess 2-9 days.

2020-03-03 11:19:18 : It's on the mail and packages. I ordered a BUNCH of clothes from China which will be arriving in a few days. I need a biohazard suit! Haaaaaaaaa!

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