“Thank goodness you’re home and not in Asia!” my mother says at the dinner table, the news announcing recent updates on the Wuhan coronavirus.
The current outbreak of a new virus has the whole world on edge, donning face masks, and closing borders with China. What are the global effects on this?
If you don’t know what this is, you’re living under a rock or purposefully ignoring all news so that you continue on your own life. Well, this affects all of us, so here’s a great summary of what’s going on by infographic and Fodor’s Travel.
TL;DR summary: a new virus is spreading around the world and you need to be hygienic by washing your hands and avoiding touching others. But you probably won’t die, like the media suggest with its fear-mongering.
So how does this affect travel?
Here are a few things that are going on right now due to the Wuhan coronavirus:
- Singapore and the USA bans travel from China, travel restrictions in more countries
- Wuhan is quarantined
- xenophobia and racism waves across the internet and in real life against Chinese nationals and Asians potentially looking Chinese
- travel advisories from Canada and many other countries are updated about travel to all areas with potential cases
- many airlines are suspending flights to and from China, cutting into travel industry profits (but do we really care about airline profits anyway?)
- less travel to countries with infected patients
- less travel by Chinese nationals due to travel bans/restrictions, even China-imposed bans, and discouragement from the world
- basically everyone advising people to change their travel plans just from hearsay and not facts…
Which leads me to some facts. We need to listen to the science, people, not how much the media can blow up the newest virus! It’s less transmissible (ability to pass on to others) and deadly (in number, currently) than the common flu, less deadly (by percentage, at 3%) than SARS (10%) or MERS, the world is acting much faster to identify the virus’ behaviour and contain it, and you’re highly unlikely to be in/go to Wuhan, where the highest density of cases is occurring.
Bonus info: stocks are based on human emotion and various situations going on in the world, so we can see why Asian stocks, Chinese in particular, have taken a sharp decline with the current virus.
Some great infographics on the Wuhan Coronavirus:
And if that’s too science-y for you, here’s a simpler version:
Is this being blown out of hand? Perhaps. But you know how to stay safe and how to decide for yourself. I think it’s important to educate yourself on these topics than blindly follow the headlines – hence all the links for you!
Stay healthy, friends!