How COVID-19 has Impacted our Lives and the Travel Industry
Updated: Mar 29, 2020
With Coronavirus world tour in full swing, every industry will be buffeted by the pandemic, and I hate to say this: no industry will be more affected than the travel industry. With the entire planet on some form of lockdown, travelling anywhere has been an illusion for now. The doors are going to open soon, if and only if, we do what is expected of us: "STAY HOME"
A couple wearing masks kiss at a shopping area in downtown Shanghai
Since the coronavirus surfaced in late December, over 700,000 people have been infected with over 33,000 fatalities around the world. And the numbers just keep growing.....
As the world has grappled with spread of the virus, China, where the virus originated is actually seeing signs of relief as their make-do hospitals have been closing due to falling number of new infections and the strict lockdown on Wuhan and the Hubei Province will be lifted starting 8th April. However in Europe, life under strict quarantine has become a new norm, specifically in Italy where the nation is battling over 97,000 cases of coronavirus. Lockdown measures in Spain, France, the UK have also been implemented as they deal with thousands of individuals affected by the virus. On 24th March 2020, India, the world's second largest populated country with 1.3 billion people came under complete lockdown for 21 days, with Prime Minister stating that "families will be destroyed forever" if the country didn't get to grips with its coronavirus outbreak.
Why Covid-19 was bound to happen ?
It was NYE 2019 when health officials in China admitted that they had a problem. A rapidly growing number of people were developing dry cough, fever, before having pneumonia. Later it turned fatal. When they tried to trace it's origin, they found a likely source. This food market in Wuhan.
Out of the first 41 patients, 27 had been here. It wasn't a conclusive evidence but Chinese officials quickly shut down the market. They had seen it happen before at a place just like this. Yes, the 2003 SARS epidemic. SARS reached 29 countries and killed nearly 800 people. 17 years later this Covid-19 is in at least 160 countries. So what do these markets have to do with Coronavirus outbreak and why is it happening in China?
A lot of viruses that make us sick actually originate from animals. Some viruses that casue flu come from birds and pigs, HIV AIDS comes from chimpanzees, the deadly Ebola virus likely originated from bats. And now for the Covid-19, there's some evidence that it went from a bat to a pangolin before infecting a human.
While viruses are good at jumping from one species to another, it's rare for a deadly one to make this journey all the way to humans. That's because it would need all these hosts to encounter each other at some point. That's where the Wuhan Market comes in. It's a wet market, where live animals are slaughtered for consumption. That’s exactly how a virus can jump from one animal to another. If that animal then comes in contact with or is consumed by a human, the virus could cause an infection. Then the virus spreads to other humans and causes an outbreak.
a photo showing the journey of virus all the way to humans
Wet-markets are scattered all over the world, but the ones in China are particularly well
known because they offer a wide variety of animals, including wildlife. The animals here are kept in cages stacked one above the other. The ones at the bottom are soaked with all kinds of liquid: blood, pus, excreta etc. It becomes an ideal setting for viruses to thrive on.
Impact on Travel
The World Travel and Tourism Council has warned the COVID-19 pandemic could cut 50 million jobs worldwide in the travel and tourism industry.
Asia is expected to be the worst affected.
Once the outbreak is over, it could take up to 10 months for the industry to recover.
The tourism industry currently accounts for 10% of global GDP.
a girl wearing protective masks looks in despair as the world braces itself for a lockdown
Myths About Covid-19
Only elderly people are affected by COVID-19. I don’t need to worry about my child catching it. Reality: The virus can make anyone sick, regardless of age, gender or race. While individuals who are elderly and have pre-existing conditions are the most at risk, children can still catch COVID-19.
COVID-19 will stop spreading in warmer temperature. Reality: While certain viruses like the flu do tend to decrease in infection rate during the summer months, we should stop assuming Covid-19 will be the same.
Antibiotics can prevent me from catching COVID-19. Reality: Antibiotics will not help prevent any type of virus, including COVID-19. Antibiotics only work against the fight of bacteria—not viruses.
I need to buy a face mask to protect myself. Reality: A mask is a good way to help prevent the spread of your germs and the virus when you sneeze or cough. However, if you are not sick, wearing a mask will most likely not protect you from contracting a virus or other sickness. Additionally, most people do not know how to wear masks properly and end up touching their faces more, which can increase your chances of contracting the virus. The best thing to do is to wash your hands thoroughly.
For a detailed science based tips on Coronavirus prevention, download the free E-book here. (Coronavirus Prevention Handbook)
What should we do now?
All we need to do now is stay home and follow the social distancing norm. And of course, not slit people's throat over toilet paper. This shall pass soon and we need to thank those Heroes who have been putting their lives on the line every single day, risking everything to to treat patients with COVID-19. Sadly, some of those heroes have already left us.
Thank you ANGELS!!!