We are living in an era of hyper-connectivity. Given the way the spread of Coronavirus is unfolding, one state likely says that the fear could be spreading faster than the virus itself in some quarters. Social Distancing is currently a term and for a good reason.
Following the World Health Organization’s (WHO) website, Social Distancing is described as a maintaining a space of 1m or 3 feet distance from a person who’s coughing or sneezing.
Many authorities have already taken measures to be able to curb or cancel large public gatherings. These steps are sensible as they significantly reduce the spread by preventing contact with other men and women who might be infected.
The travel business has been first, to take body blows as the Coronavirus outbreak has spread internationally. As authorities put restrictions on the movement of individuals, the travel industry has felt the effect immediately.
As social Distancing becomes the norm, how does this affect us who love to travel or write about it?
The short term effect is already there for everybody to see. Stock markets are volatile, people are stocking up, and there’s an air of doubt.
Travel is precisely the reverse of what Social Distancing is. Travel is all about exploration, about touch, about interaction. As individuals work from home and spend more time inside, it is going to be some time before things return to normal, if ever.
What occurs six months down the road? I hope we will see a slow yet slow comeback as we begin to see a decrease in cases. Governments will initially start with easing restrictions. After a couple of weeks or even months, they will eventually lift limitations, and things should begin functioning normally. However, our memory might well be our enemy. People will still have emotional consequences after what has transpired.
So even when the government open up markets, it will still take longer before things return to normal. Like any addiction, it is going to be tricky to get people to break the practice of social Distancing. As the government’s lift limitations, domestic travel and office commutes may pick up. But, I don’t think we will immediately begin seeing packed stadiums or musical concerts any time this season.