The United States is a marvelous nation. We have the luxury to travel from sea to shining sea without leaving our borders. During our journey, we can go through centuries-old forests, cross scorching deserts, see majestic mountains and view breathtaking canyons. We have some of the world’s best beaches, relaxing rivers and an endless number of caves, waterfalls and hiking trails that would take a lifetime to discover. That’s only counting the lower 48 states.
Americans may complain about how long it’s taking to process a passport or Global Entry application but do we need to travel around the world? You can find food and culture from almost any nation in the US if you just take some time to look.
We might have to take advantage of these opportunities because travel options outside our borders are looking to be limited for a while.
We’re written about the idea of travel bubbles and air bridges. These corridors link nations that are equally controlling the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Many countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Japan are using these methods as a way to resume travel without putting their country at risk. There’s no mention of visitors from the U.S. in any of their reopening plans. Even Hawaii, which has been under a state of lockdown for months, is considering letting some tourists back, but not ones coming from the mainland U.S.
Why are Americans being left out of these bubbles? It’s because other countries feel that they’ve gotten things under control with decreasing case numbers and hospitalizations. When they look at us from the outside, we’re a hot mess. We’re not seeing a second wave of cases, because we’re not even close to getting past the initial wave.
These countries shut down for months to control the virus, but Americans in some states couldn’t last more than four weeks at home before we started complaining about not being able to get a haircut or go out to eat at a restaurant. Now that shutdown orders are being lifted, we’re pretending that everything is the same as it was and the simple act of wearing a face covering in public has become a political statement.
Should we surprised that the news broke today that while the EU is looking to ease travel restrictions, countries considered as a high risk of contagion are at risk of being excluded. These countries include the United States, Brazil and Russia, among others.
Keeping the border to the U.S. closed does present a political problem but apparently, the EU nations aren’t afraid of offending the leader of a country who has been talking trash about them for the past three years. After all, it’s not political, just science.
Despite the disruptions caused by such a ban, European officials involved in the talks said it was highly unlikely an exception would be made for the United States. They said that the criteria for creating the list of acceptable countries had been deliberately kept as scientific and nonpolitical as possible.
Before you start hurling insults across the Atlantic, take this into consideration. Jamaica recently opened its borders to visitors on June 15th. On June 19th, the Prime Minister of Jamaica reported 14 new cases of coronavirus on the island.
Jamaica has recorded 14 new cases in the last 24 hours, with all 14 being imported cases coming from the recent flights from the United States.
Yep, that one’s on us. Can you blame Canada for extending the closure of the border with the US on month by month basis? Other islands in the Caribbean, like the Bahamas, only will allow U.S. residents to visit if they provide a current negative test before getting on a plane.
I guess the only bright side to this is that there is so much for us to see here in the U.S.A. There are plenty of socially distant locations to visit that we don’t have to complain about not being to travel internationally until we get things under control. Until we do, I don’t think that many international travelers would want to visit here either. We have the entire country to ourselves.
However, if I know us, we’ll start complaining after a few months. Just like we did when we couldn’t get a haircut or go out a bar or restaurant.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary