Coronavirus + Travel Photography: Why NOW is the BEST Time to Travel
It is the second week of March, 2020, and while my views may very well change when more information becomes available, here’s my feelings on Coronavirus and traveling right now…
First of all, don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to downplay the seriousness of contracting the Coronavirus, but I think you’ll agree that after you look at the actual numbers and do a deep dive into what is really going on, you should feel a little more comfortable with traveling.
Certainly we can all agree that the media has a tendency to overhype everything. I mean, that’s how they sell newspapers, get viewers to tune in and sell advertising. They have to. The problem is when they don’t really explain all the information or when they leave small details out, that’s when people start to freak out. And when one person starts freaking out, that becomes contagious. Everyone prepares for the worst-case scenario, apocalyptic results. People buy pallets of Toilet paper and water because well, the zombies are coming. They load up on masks that don’t actually stop the spread of anything.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen some pretty hilarious pictures of precautions people are taking. Could COVID-19 be a pandemic, sure, but if you think about it, the amount it has already spread is so far that it’s very unlikely that the precautions we are taking now are going to have much effect. It takes 2-3 weeks before many of the symptoms even show up in a normal person. And when they do, it takes on the appearance of a common cold or flu.
Because of this, it is EXTREMELY hard to even put any kind of quantifying number on how many people have been infected. Most people who have been infected haven’t even had a chance to be diagnosed with it because there are so few test kits going around. The vast majority of those that may have been infected weeks ago have already gotten over the virus and are back to normal.
Those affected most by the Coronavirus are those over the age of 65 with pre-existing health conditions. If you are under 40 and in good health your chances of contracting Coronavirus is extremely small. And the chances of dying even smaller. According to the BBC, of the 4500 cases of people under 30 diagnosed with COVID-19, only 8 had died. That’s a .0017% chance you’d die of the disease.
Deaths of COVID 19 are 5 TIMES HIGHER among people with diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. So by all means, if you have any of those pre-existing conditions and don’t feel comfortable traveling, stay home!
Let’s not forget, though, the typical flu kills a whole lot of people every year. It just doesn’t make the news because it has been going on forever. According to the CDC, last year there were 490,600 hospitalizations for the flu. Of those, there were 34,200 deaths.
So, here’s my point. Look around. EVERYONE seems to be freaking out over Coronavirus. Airports are empty, hotels have slashed prices, there are deals everywhere on travel and tourism. If you are a travel photographer and are looking for a time to shoot uncrowded epic locations, wait no longer, the time is NOW!
I’m not any more concerned about travel now than I’ve ever been. I will continue to take preventitive measures like I always do when I travel like washing my hands, packing my Airborne and Zicam and refraining from open mouth kissing strangers who are coughing and sneezing a lot.
Again, I’m no doctor, but as a travel photographer I just booked my trip and got a killer deal (no pun intended)! Get your cameras ready, pack your tripod and if you are young and in good health, don’t let the Coronavirus scare you. This may be the best time ever to be a travel photographer. Book that ultimate photography trip!
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