Our trip around the world with our family will have been tainted by an epidemic that will have made the entire planet tremble with fear at the beginning of this year 2020, now commonly known as: coronavirus.
We still don’t know the final impact of the spread of the virus 2019-nCoV (a strain of coronavirus), but for our part, it will finally have had (sadly) a more significant influence on our 1-year family trip than what we would have wanted to.
It was not what we wanted, but you would really have to be living under a rock not to have heard of the coronavirus and also not to be on the lookout for it, especially when travelling (admit it, you think about it when someone has a runny nose or sneezes beside you ?).
In short, if we did not have in mind the possibility, even though slim, of transmission of the coronavirus if we continue our trip the way we had initially planned it, we would be burying our heads in the sand
I think that we all have to reflect upon our choices of travel destinations for the next weeks/months, depending on how the coronavirus keeps propagating and expanding.
I’m not saying that we need to stop travelling either.
But here is our reality and why we had to make some decisions and make some changes to our 1-year round-the-world trip with our family in these times of coronavirus.
A CHANGE OF COURSE
In our initial plan, for our last months of travel, we had the dream and the desire to finish our adventure around the world by visiting, among others, the Philippines, Vietnam and Japan.
But because of the coronavirus and the risks of contagion for our kids and us, we have officially changed our travel plans.
We are now headed to South America for the last months of our trip with our 2 young kids.
PUTTING A BIT OUR HEAD IN THE LION’S MOUTH
We have thought about it for a long time. Many weeks were spent analyzing the situation, observing what is happening in the world and debating the pros and cons to finally reach “our” conclusion: we would have to leave this part of the world because of the coronavirus.
Since our children are young, both under 4 years old, it’s impossible to make them understand why we need to wear a mask, to make them wear a mask at all and to encourage them to be even more rigorous about basic hygiene rules (hand-washing, coughing in your elbow, not eating someone else’s snot #ParentsLife haha… You get the point!)
Let’s be honest, kids that age touch everything and then put their fingers in their mouth (and in other kids’ mouth while we’re at it, eh!)
We felt that it was a bit like putting our head in the lion’s mouth.
If you picture the countries we wanted to visit during these next months of travel, it was only getting us closer and closer to where the virus first started spreading: China.
LIKE A SWORD OF DAMOCLES
Also, since we are following the news a lot and we’re aware of the path that more and more countries seem to be taking as a security measure, we have started being a bit afraid that having stamps in our passports from countries bordering China would cause problems like it’s the case with the Chinese stamp right now.
Because many countries don’t accept Chinese people anymore, or any other person who has stayed in China during the past months. If the contagion and the propagation intensify in other countries (like the countries close to China, as we can already see), it’s possible that similar measures would be taken toward the countries that already have many people infected by the coronavirus.
Also, if we decided to travel to one of the countries bordering China, there are more chances to find ourselves in a city that could be put in quarantine, like it just happened in Vietnam.
CONCRETELY TODAY: HOW IS IT TO TRAVEL IN TIMES OF CORONAVIRUS?
And for those who are wondering: how is it on the field to be travelling in times of coronavirus?
Of course, we see lots of people wearing masks.
Now, we also see infrared machines everywhere that allow people to take our temperature when we walk by them. At first, we saw them appearing in airports. We were “tested” by these body temperature detectors for our Thailand-Malaysia flight in mid-January. Then, once again, for our Penang-Kota Bahru flight in Malaysia at the beginning of February.
Then we saw them appearing in shopping centres, subways and halls of the hotels in Asia since the beginning of February.
Once we were in Singapore, in mid-February, all the public institutions of this big city, like the zoo and the Marina Bay, had these giant thermometers that were impossible to bypass, to take the temperature of people.
We even received a few hours before our arrival at our Singapore hotel in mid-February, an email informing us that if we had a fever, we would be rebuked, and we would not be allowed to stay at that hotel. Then, once we arrived for the check-in, the people at the reception took our frontal temperature.
Little incident: Ély’s temperature was detected at 38.1 °C/38.2 °C, then at 38.4 °C with the hotel’s frontal thermometer (pretty cheap looking, probably found for $12 at a nearby pharmacy). They immediately looked at us suspiciously, and the woman took his temperature 3 other times within 5 minutes, and he was still “that temperature.” Because of that, I was really afraid that they would ask us to leave, but they ended up doing nothing more about it.
So, this is how the coronavirus will finally have gotten control of our travel itinerary.
Share with me in the comments your travel experiences concerning the coronavirus!
This post was translated from French to English by:
Hi! I’m Judith, lab technician in research for almost eight years now and second-year student in translation. I discovered the joys of travelling in my late twenties, and I now enjoy exploring bustling cities as much as the great outdoors. True animal lover, I appreciate the simple things in life and see no problem in eating sushi with a side of poutine! #dontjudgeme ?