I subscribe to a great travel website, Scott’s Cheap Flights, that lists best airfares on reliable carriers for international travel. Lately, more and more destination deals are landing in my in-box, and Scott’s has consistently published flights with good cancellation policies during the pandemic.
But I’m still not ready to make any long-distance vacation plans. Not for this summer, anyway. I have my sights set on October, when I suspect the Delta variant will be better understood and any new rounds of restrictions will be in place. But who knows? I’ve read about even more variants emerging. The real question is whether the vaccines continue to hold up, which so far, they have, thank goodness.
It’s easy to fall into a default of staying put. As Delta surges in communities that have resisted the vaccine, and as vaccine rollout around the world remains much slower than in wealthier countries like the U.S., which have more resources to purchase doses, there are more chances for this opportunistic virus to morph into more resistant strains. We’re in the midst of a huge public health experiment, if you will, without consistent vaccine protocols and availability worldwide. The risks remain very real. I am convinced we will be living with some form of Covid for many years to come, though I hope it will eventually become endemic, just as the Spanish influenza pandemic of 1918 was the precursor of the flu we all have learned to live with. Vaccines are key.
But I also don’t want to become so fearful that I never get on a plane again. Obnoxious passengers who delay flights because they refuse to cooperate with mask mandates are an unpleasant prospect, certainly. Can’t let them control the skies. My strategy at present is to start researching a prospective trip in August for October, make sure I find flights and places to stay with flexible cancellation policies, travel only to locations where Covid rates are under control and good medical care is available, and to get comprehensive travel insurance.
I’ve made the leap of getting out in public without a mask where CDC and Massachusetts guidelines allow, have even begun eating inside in restaurants, again. It’s time to start dreaming of visiting far-away places, with reasonable precautions. We’re blessed with the resources to make this happen. Now I have to push farther out of my “comfort” zone and just do it.
Image: Dariusz Sankowski