Amazing how quickly everything changed. I have had a complete 180 on this subject. At first being outraged at the cancellations. Then, having the reality that we may lose our shirts set in. Now, realizing that this is bigger than any of us could have imagined.
Some cities and states, (the smart ones) are in lockdown mode and everybody is sheltering in place. To travel through the United States right now for pleasure rather than need is INCONCEIVABLY foolish, selfish and frankly, reprehensible.
NOBODY CAN KNOW THEY ARE CARRIERS OF COVID-19 WITHOUT BEING TESTED because the virus can incubate for 5-15 days, (or longer) and many people show no symptoms as carriers. Since almost nobody can get tested in the states with tests still only reserved for the already critically ill, the only socially responsible thing to do is to STAY HOME. Practice physical/social distancing (6 feet away from other people) and self-isolate for two weeks if you have any symptoms at all. That is the most responsible thing we can all do.
There are some who do still NEED to travel right now (ie. healthcare workers coming to impacted areas, family members trying to get home, etc.) but opening our doors to vacationers for fun is absolutely irresponsible and will contribute to more deaths, period.
Millions of people around the world have lost their incomes overnight. Restaurants, bars, event planners, suppliers to those businesses, workers in those businesses, etc. Thousands of industries have shut down with no end in sight as to when or if they will re-open or recover. We too, relied heavily on our Airbnb funds, as they were 90% of our income. We are likely going to go bankrupt, as we had no cushion in the bank, thinking we were going to refinance very soon, (just after April tax season), in order to make property improvements, and ironically, to expand our Airbnb business. That is all just dead in the water now. A distant dream, as now no bank is going to lend money to individuals whose income is based upon the tourism industry.
There are still a surprising number of people completely unaware of the facts of COVID-19, largely because the official statements and responses from the White House and government in the United States have been lacking, contradictory and just plain ignorant at times. No wonder people are confused.
But the facts are right there for us all to see: 400,000 estimated deaths are coming in the next several weeks/months, and that is IF we flatten the curve by STAYING HOME. If we don’t, then the numbers could swell into the millions. Millions?! ;( Doing the “right thing” should be mandated right now and not a choice, since so many are just ignoring the writing on the wall. Human life is more important than how this will impact everyone financially. We are all in this together and must be responsible to protect the most vulnerable people in our society, who don’t need to die because we refused to make sacrifices now. That is all I have to say.
**I posted this in a tizzy after getting two requests from spring breakers (assuming) looking to come to the city to party, despite the pandemic being common knowledge, or so we thought. We have now received requests from some (rather desperate) travelers, trying to get home on road trips and needing a safe, unpopulated place to shelter. We are opening our doors to them as well as people working in medical/strategist fields. I apologize sincerely for sounding preachy, it was in reaction to the stupid requests. But glad I did because I was unaware that there were still people just flat out ignoring the warnings. The ones I spoke with were simply ignorant of the gravity of their proposed travel. Thanks for reading.
***3/27/20 Wow, a lot can change in a week. 50 cases nationwide at the start of the month to 85,000 now. Not enough hospital beds, ventilators, PPE for medical staff >>>even with flattening the curve. After learning of COVID infected 20 and 30 yr olds with no underlying conditions requiring hospitalization, we have halted all reservations completely until this is over. Actually cancelled a few ourselves. This is a travesty in the United States. Because we did not stop this virus in its tracks sooner, flatten the curve enough, and prepare our medical equipment, tent triages, extra beds, extra personnel, etc. many people will perish needlessly. I have been blowing up the WH facebook and twitter with demands that they invoke the DPA to manufacture more ventilators and PPE for medical staff on the frontlines. It’s coming and the it’s going to hit the fan in the next three weeks (on the west coast of the US) and then spread across every state. Please be safe and shelter in place, and don’t endanger your lives for a bit of money.
Some relief: If you’re in the US and really strapped, self-employed folks like us will [now] be able to collect unemployment benefits (at your same wage) for four months, or acquire small no/low interest business loans, or pull some equity out of your house, whatever it takes. Rent payments can be halted for three months in most states (and paid back later) and mortgages across the country can be suspended for twelve. We will make it through this. Best to everyone and be safe.