The Covid-19 pandemic has affected life as we knew it across the world. Of all the sectors hit by this pandemic, Travel and Tourism seems to have been the worst hit. Across the world, countries and major tourist destinations have suffered financial losses and are taking their calls on when to open up and help revive their struggling finances. In India, where the cases are at their peak, some states have decided to open up, albeit with a few caveats.
If you want to visit the hills of Himachal and Uttarakhand, you need to be registered on a government portal, carry a test report that you are Covid negative and show stay receipts for a minimum of 5 to 7 days. Goa was the first one to open its doors to tourists, however the hotels are still to register any bookings. Kashmir is the latest to allow tourists via air testing tourists for Covid as they appear.
Amidst all this, there is a resistance by locals to allow visitors from other states fearing they might bring along the deadly virus. Now one may argue in favor of or against all these premonitions and all of them are right. This pandemic hit us out of nowhere and has made us all understand the worst of it.
Amusing things about humans is that you cannot confine them in a small space. They need to venture out, eat out, experience everything for themselves and decide for themselves. As much as we hate to admit, we are a bunch of selfish souls giving in to the sins time and again. The food industry is opening up, people are ordering food from outside, dining out with restrictions, online shopping has resumed, so has the supply of groceries and ‘essential’ items, giving two hoots about the virus and its catastrophic effects on lives until it hits an immediate near and dear one.
It has been months since we have been out, experienced new things, roamed around freely, let it out and so on. And some of us have had enough already. If one is pragmatic, no matter how many restrictions you put, this virus can hit you from anywhere, considering WHO just declared it airborne, asymptomatic etc. etc. All we can do is to do our best and hope for the best. That does not mean, we go all crazy relishing on the experiences we have missed in the past few months. We should still not attend mass gatherings, we should wear a mask to avoid inhaling contaminated air, always cover our cough and sneeze and avoid contact with sick people as much as possible.
To each his own; if we are careful and take all necessary precautions, we can still do few of the things we missed, as per the new normal. We can be safe inside the confines of our homes or even in open fields as long as we follow the protocols laid out by the government and few additional steps while travelling;
- Avoid human contact while travelling
- Use digital modes of payment, rely less on cash, cutting down on touch points
- If you must eat out, make sure you know the place and they follow the safety and hygiene protocols or carry food for the journey. Eat healthy, build up on your immunity
- Do not go to crowded places, stay at off-best resorts with open spaces
- If you are staying at a trusted resort, make sure there are open spaces around your place of stay and keep distance.
- Allow the property to sanitize regularly and you take care of your personal sanitization and hygiene.
- Let go of the touch and feel habit. Do not touch door handles, lift buttons, things kept in the open, pretty much anything you don’t own or know.
- Develop a respect for cleanliness and sanitization and never let it go. Please take a pledge to stop littering
- Avail the Covid testing facilities carefully, stay updated and healthy
- Never lose the faith and do not feel bad about the new normal
You can add a few more depending upon your level of consciousness and fear of this virus, just do not feel hopeless or annoyed. Remember this time is tough for everyone and each one of us is doing our best to stay alive. Do not let go of that trust yet.
We might have slowed down in the past few months, but let us not hang our boots just yet. If we can follow all the things as listed above and be hopeful of a better future, we might be able to travel again and help the travel and tourism industry pick up.
About Author: This article is written by Sumit Singh Jamwal. Sumit is the MD of Escape Route, an experiential travel company, loves to explore off-beat places and share Escape stories with the world through Escape Route.
Follow him at www.instagram.com/jamwal_saaaab/ on instagram and Escape Route at https://www.instagram.com/escaperoute.co.in/. You can also watch Escape Route videos at https://www.youtube.com/c/escaperoutein