So, all in all, I think it's fair to say that 2020 was not a great year for traveling. With Covid-19 spreading across the world, flights to almost every major nation have been grounded (more or less). Restaurants, businesses, casino games, and tourist destinations have been forcibly shut down pretty much everywhere.
In fact, I've never seen such a drastic shutdown to the global economy. Almost everything, quite literally, has ground to a halt. You can't go anywhere, and even if you could, there's nothing to do once you arrive.
However, it isn't going to be like that forever. One way or another, we're going to overcome this pandemic. Either everyone susceptible to the virus will die off (not great), or the Vaccine will be distributed to enough people to eradicate Covid (very good). And thanks to Pfizer, Operation Warp-speed, and that Russian Vaccine, the latter option seems very close to happening- despite what Joe Biden seems to think.
"If we fail to act, there will be a wave of evictions and foreclosures in the coming months as this pandemic rages on because there's nothing we can do to change the trajectory of the pandemic in the next several months," President Biden said.
But I think he's wrong. We have the Vaccine, and it is being distributed, and parts of the world are already recovering. Heck, I'm not in any of the susceptible demographics, and I've already gotten my first dosage! In another couple of weeks, I'll get my second, and that'll be that.
Not all countries are the same, and not all distribution policies are equal, however. If you, like me, have been going a bit stir crazy throughout this pandemic, and are looking forward to going somewhere new for a change, here's a list of destinations that have already (or are close to) recovered and are ready and waiting for your sweet, sweet, tourism moolah.
Being an island nation has its disadvantages. Being a remote island off the coast of Australia can be pretty rough. Long flight times make New Zealand just generally an inconvenient tourist destination. Being so far out of the way can be pretty isolated- a trait that certainly was to New Zealand's advantage in 2020.
In fact, New Zealand was one of the first countries in the world to recover entirely from Covid-19, with less than fifty active cases currently. Their economies open, they have no lockdowns, and things seem to be moving rather smoothly.
So when you get your Vaccine and New Zealand opens up flights in and out of the country again, you just might be interested in visiting the Kiwis. The beautiful landscapes were displayed in exquisite detail in Peter Jackson's award-winning "Lord of the Rings" films, and there are even themed tourist attractions, like Hobbit hole hotels.
Isle of Man
Just off the coast of England are a series of small islands with a proud history as old as the rest of the UK. If you like learning about the Celts, the Vikings, Castles, and all that, then the Isle of Man has it all. Also, they have zero active Covid cases at the moment- another bonus. Being a tiny island certainly has its perks.
I personally love learning about medieval history and would absolutely love to see some of the Castles the Isle has to offer, like the coastal "Peel Castle" or the more fortified "Castle Rushen". I also would love to visit the Manx Museum, which covers ten thousand years of the island’s history. Heck, if you like castles, Castletown (which is a real place!) should absolutely be on your destination list!
While Israel may not have done an amazing job handling Covid, and the political climate is, well, just about what you'd expect from Middle-East politics, Israel is doing at least one thing right: It’s number one in the world for Vaccinations!
So why not plan your next vacation in the Holy Land? Experience the local, exotic culture, and visit some of the most ancient and important historical sites in Western History? There’s always the Old City, otherwise known as the City of David, where you can see the holiest place on Earth: The Temple Mount and the Western Wall.
Outside of Jerusalem, you can visit the coastal city of Tel-Aviv, the technological hub of Israel, where the more diverse, secular population resides. Or you could go north and visit the Sea of Galilee and float gently down the Jordan River. You could even go south, to the Port city of Eilat.
Given Israel's vast and ancient history, there's no shortage of historical sites, pilgrimage locations, and tourist destinations for one to immerse themselves in. Just Jerusalem alone has thousands of historical spots and relics and more modern allures like the Shuk, Restaurants, and Parks.
So whatcha waiting for? Baruch Habah and Shalom!
Are you not happy with any of these options for some reason? Perhaps there's another destination that you've always wanted to visit but aren't sure if it's safe to go to? Well, I highly recommend worldometers.info in order to get new and accurate information regarding the pandemic.
Let's be honest: The news ain't the most reliable source of information these days. From all the political activism to special interest groups and flat-out propaganda, looking at hard and accurate data is just about the only way, to tell the truth from fiction these days.
The great thing about a site like Worldometers is just the sheer quantity of data available to you regarding this pandemic. You can sort by country, continent, new cases, active cases, total cases, and if you're a data junkie like me, you can get data per million population. For instance, the total number of cases per million in the United States of America is about 85,000. With a bit of basic algebra and a trusty calculator to the hard parts anyway, we can figure about an 8.5% infection rate.
Now obviously, context matters. America is huge, so different parts of the country can have wildly different infection rates, and there are so many factors to consider. While rural locations might have fewer infections overall compared to densely packed urban areas, the lower quality of care available in such locations might lead to a greater quantity of deaths (that's not an affirmative statement of fact, that's just an example of how statistics might show outcomes that one would not normally expect).
So you have to use the data wisely and understand what you're looking at. You can't just look at one set of numbers to get the whole picture. For instance, Afghanistan only has four new cases of Coronavirus, and China only has six. But should you visit Afghanistan or China? Hell no. Aside from both being ruled by genocidal and tyrannical dictatorships, they're both known liars and completely untrustworthy. A report was released that showed that China has vastly under-reported how many cases of Coronavirus they have had, and I'm sure that most of the world's dictatorships are doing the same.
So when looking at the numbers, you have to keep in mind the geopolitical tendencies of the country you're looking at. Most European and Western countries are far likelier to have accurate reports (and may even be over-reporting according to some- or even under-reporting because of asymptomatic cases!), but while smaller, more remote countries may have fewer cases, you have to judge how trustworthy that data is.
However, don't let that get you down. We are reaching the hump of this pandemic and are quite possibly over it already. So while we are reaching the anniversary of "15 days to flatten to curve," hopefully, we'll all soon be done with all of this, and things will start to go back to normal.
It'll be fascinating to see what a post-Covid world will be like. Will the world be vastly different from what came before? Possibly, yes. In a few ways, drastically so. In others, not so much. In fact, some of our day-to-day activities might not be all that different.
All I know is that I look forward to the day when I can walk down the street without worrying about having one of those masks on anymore. They fog up my glasses, and it’s so annoying. Every gosh darned time.
So what are you looking to the most for a post-Covid activity? The movie theatre? Beaches? Traveling abroad? Ooh, how about an exotic restaurant? There will be so many things to do we will wonder how we were ever bored before Corona. Then the Honeymoon period will die down, and things will truly go back to normal. But that's life, eh? A cycle of ups and downs, of highs and lows. And hey, all things considered, this one wasn't so bad. Sure, loads of people lost their jobs, and the economy sucks, and we couldn't go anywhere for, like, a year- but it beats the black death, right? That one killed a third of Europe's population?
All I'm saying is you gotta look at the silver lining. The world's your oyster, and we're just about ready to rev into high gear again. Let's make the most of it, folks!