What a Difference Eleven Days Make!

It’s hard to believe that only eleven short days ago, we were weighing the pros and cons of canceling our trip to Morocco. Unless you are living in a cave, on an island, without cell reception, you know how the world has been turned upside down by the CoronaVirus. The tragedies in China, Iran and Italy are all heartbreaking and sobering.

On March 4th, when I last posted, the conventional wisdom (and internet info) said that if you washed your hands, didn’t touch your face, stayed six feet away from sneezers and had a relatively robust immune system, then you were in good shape to win the CoronaVirus battle. Okay, then. The more cautious (or as my mother used to say–the more REASONABLE) member of this traveling duo voted for immediate cancellation, while the other advocated to “wait and see”. My family has absolutely no problem figuring out who was who.

Ultimately we did both. We waited five more days, then canceled. It seemed like every hour, we were getting notified that something else was being postponed or canceled, like basketball, political gatherings, Broadway shows, our speaker series. As it turns out, a few days later, our tour company, Overseas Adventure Travel announced that ALL March and April departures were canceled. Those who had not yet canceled could get a voucher for a future trip.

Some friends are currently out of the country. I just heard from one in Egypt. She said that OAT is cutting her trip short because of all the flight cancellations. Her group will be getting a pro-rated refund. Talk about a positive attitude–the group is already thinking about when they will be able to return. Another friend made it to JFK, then learned that Argentina had closed its borders to all travelers from countries with CoronaVirus outbreaks. HER trip ended before it even started.

We are concerned about the impact this is having on the wonderful tour guides we traveled with over the past several years. We hope that they, especially the ones in Italy, are safe and are not economically hurt too badly by this slow down in tourism.

So, where are we now? For the past few days, we have been practicing “extreme social distancing”. Today, we were notified that our local Y is closing for two weeks. We had stopped going two days ago, not because we are panic stricken, but because we wanted to do our part to help keep our community safe. Let’s hope that together we can all take the necessary steps to “flatten the curve”.

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I am intensely curious, with a spirit of adventure that is tempered by my very strong aversion to anything with potential to cause pain. I love travel, photography, reading, gardening, yoga, music and propelling myself through space (biking, dancing, walking, dancing while walking). I've never considered a lack of proficiency in any of the previous activities to be a hindrance, counting on abundant enthusiasm to make up for my shortcomings.

12 thoughts on “What a Difference Eleven Days Make!”

  1. Shelly, I think you made the right decision. Enjoy your time at home.
    Barbara Schick (from the NZ trip a few years back).


  2. It has been a hard month. American Airlines would not net me cancel, until they canceled all their flights to Barcelona. I am sure many others saw their trips go up in flames and the virus spread exponentially. But we live to travel another day.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So sorry that you had to cancel your trip, Shelley. We’re in the same boat. Like you two, we waited, hoping that our trip to Southern Africa via Brazil, would work given the low incidence of CV in those destinations. But it was not to be. So now we’re keeping a low profile and hoping that we’ll be able to go in the Fall. 🙂 ~Terri


  4. Much more than trips have been canceled. It is frightening I am so glad we were able to get to Oman in Jan before the world turned upside down. We are now under complete lockdown in France. It. is a necessity. Stay home. Stay safe. Stay well.


  5. Hello Shelley. I’m sorry you had to cancel your trip, but of course, it was the right decision. We went to Mexico for a beach vacation right before everything got crazy. We made it home with no problem, but my employer sent me home to work for two weeks because of my travels, and then during that time, they began sending everyone home…so I guess I was just ahead of the curve. 🙂 With any luck, if everyone does the responsible thing, we will be traveling again before you know it! I found your blog through your comment on Janis’s Retirementally Challenged.


    1. Hi Christie, thanks for stopping by.

      How fortunate were we both to be home when everything exploded. Some friends were out of the country and getting back home was not a pleasant (or inexpensive) experience.

      Here in New Jersey, the number of confirmed cases keeps going up and up. New York is in tough shape. How awful to hear that we will be “lucky” if the death toll in the US is ONLY 200,000!


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