Yesterday, a pandemic was declared in Australia due to Coronavirus (COVID-19). The announcement occurred soon after I emailed an editor about whether she was interested in publishing my latest travel article submission.
Over the last few weeks, the world has witnessed the stock market take tumble after tumble. Citizens are aggressively scouring their local supermarkets in a bid to stock up on non-perishable foods and essentials like toilet paper. The maddened rush for toilet paper here in Australia has seen everyday citizens scramble to load their trolleys with bumper-packs of toilet rolls and fight over last remaining packets. Shelves have been left dry and the most vulnerable in our communities, mostly the elderly and those on pensions, are struggling to buy the basics. For them, stock-pile buying is a luxury.
The travel industry is another part of our community that has been rocked by the effects of Coronavirus (COVID-19). Travellers are cancelling travel plans. Travellers who are already overseas are struggling to make it home without the risk of catching the illness. In just 24 hours, an unprecedented amount of events are being cancelled here in Melbourne. Music festivals and community events are being cancelled. As this post goes live, the Grand Prix is considering cancelling. It seems that gatherings of more than 100 people are being cancelled.
In response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) yesterday, the Premier of my state of Victoria – Daniel Andrews – released a statement on Facebook. I’ve quoted part of it here:
“Some of the actions we’ll have to take in the coming weeks and months are serious and go beyond anything we’ve experienced before in Victoria. I think the only fair and responsible thing to do is to give everyone plenty of notice to plan. That means all of us – in our work, home and social lives. The key thing here is to prepare and take care. Secondly, it’s important to remember that our response will have a number of different steps – depending on how things develop. We will make decisions at every stage, based on expert medical advice – including cancelling major events, closing schools and suspending public transport… And that’s where we all have a role to play. It might sound basic, but avoiding touching your face and thorough hand-washing for 20 seconds is your number one defence against getting sick. I’ve been told the first verses of Dancing Queen by ABBA and Say My Name by Destiny’s Child are the perfect length. Pick one and get scrubbing….Calm, careful planning is what is needed – not stockpiling or scrapping over toilet paper. We are always stronger when we stand together.”
I opened an email from Fodor’s Travel this morning about why they won’t stop writing about travel. The article goes into a lot of detail about how the news cycle is being overrun by Coronavirus (COVID-19) reports but this won’t stop them from doing what they do:
“We know this is going to end. We know we’re going to get out there and see the world again. But in the meantime, we’re simply going to help you escape with beautiful distractions. Even if it’s only in your dreams.”
As a writer and a Melburnian, I’m worried about where Coronavirus (COVID-19) may lead us. But in any crisis, opportunity can arise. While a pandemic has been declared, Melburnians can still travel. We can still travel locally or interstate (at our own risk, of course). So, this is the perfect time to take those smaller trips and support those businesses and destinations already doing it tough. We can go to those places that aren’t attracting huge crowds and we can support our local vegan café that solely relies on its local customers to stay alive. We can do so by taking measured precautions.
As a travel writer, I may have my niche but it’s a broad one. I have qualifications, expertise and street-smarts. My writing doesn’t always have to be about travel. I can, and will, write about animal issues, vegan topics and environmental pieces. I can offer you the best articles and newspieces I can in order to help you stay motivated and inspired about our world. While travel might be coming to a complete standstill, writers’ minds don’t stop and the words will still keep coming. The pandemic won’t stop my content creation, and all writers need to work together to continue pumping out the important content. Even during those times if or when we all may need to stay indoors for a couple of weeks, there will be a demand for housebound activities, including reading and consuming visual content! The search for knowledge is partly what makes us human. Creativity is another way we as humans define ourselves. So, the demand for knowledge can, and will, stay alive during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This is why I won’t stop writing during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.