Updated: Mar 3, 2020
What a strange and uncertain time it is right now in the world of global travel. The coronavirus isn't just impacting people with travel plans, but also local economies and communities across the planet. Just last week, we made a day trip from France over the border to Italy, where we spoke with local business owners who told us the lull in tourism was hitting them hard.
At the friendly osteria where we stopped for lunch, the man at the table next to us—the owner of a nearby boutique specializing in watches—said he was pretty sure we were the only tourists for miles around. When the man left, the restaurant owner came to us and said that the man left us a bottle of local wine as a gesture of welcome. We were so touched, and also reminded of the delicate balance between exercising good judgment (do we keep traveling when there's a scary virus lurking out there?) and living our lives to the fullest every day (our memory of lunch in that lovely medieval town and our shared conversations will stay with us forever).
The coronavirus is such a huge news story right now that it’s impossible to ignore, especially when you have upcoming travel plans. If you’re experiencing anxiety over the coronavirus (also known as COVID-19), we completely understand, especially when there's so much uncertainty and the issue continues to evolve every day. We’re keeping up-to-date with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as well as foreign media (which, so far, has been reporting on the global situation with a less-sensational tone), and we're hopeful that in the not-too-distant future, the coronavirus will be a mere blip of a memory—just like the many viruses we humans have conquered before it. Then, we can get back to the business of living life to the fullest, wherever we happen to be in the world.
What You Should Know
* The World Health Organization says that simple precautions—diligent hand-washing, in particular—are the best forms of protection from the coronavirus (also known as COVID-19)
* Of the roughly 84,000 reported cases worldwide, China accounts for over 79,000.
* People with compromised immune systems or pre-existing health conditions are the most likely to develop a severe illness as a result of COVID-19.
* The majority of people infected with the virus experience mild symptoms (which resemble the common cold) and fully recover.