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A few days ago, Nancy has published a post on how she has decided to cancel an upcoming stay in a resort with an indoor water park. The logic was sound, and I would have done the same thing. She wasn’t even trying to persuade anyone, she was simply laying out her thought process. That’s kind of what blogging is all about, right?
The comments that followed really surprised me. Most folks were inexplicably mocking her decision. Now, to be sure, as someone who has been blogging for a looong time, I know first-hand that comments don’t always reflect the opinion of the majority. Most people simply read a post and move on. But still, the hostility was somewhat surprising. Keep in mind, Nancy just went on a Disney cruise out of Florida a few months ago. So, clearly, she is comfortable with certain amount of risk.
I’ve said many times that I am not here to provide health advice. By the same token, I don’t shy away from mentioning that we are all vaccinated, as well as describing how my family is taking precautions due to pandemic. We are all trying to navigate this new normal to the best of our ability. I think the answer on whether to do or not to do certain activities is nuanced and depends on personal circumstances.
That being said, can we all agree that staying at a busy indoor resort over Christmas vacation is perhaps not the smartest thing to do with a virus strain as contagious as measles? This isn’t rocket science. Plus, what’s the harm in putting it off until this particular Covid wave subsides? And it will eventually subside.
We are getting close to one million dead in this country alone. This is NOT normal, folks. Let me briefly share some of my family’s experiences. My husband’s cousin (unvaccinated) got sick with Covid a few months ago. It put him in a hospital and destroyed his lungs. The doctor said the damage is permanent. He is no longer able to work, and can only walk a few feet at a time. He is 40 years old.
My sister had a mild case of Covid last November. She mostly recovered, but still hasn’t regained her sense of smell. She also gets constant headaches and brain fog. Those are just two examples. I’m not even mentioning the people I know who died from this thing. In my whole life I’ve never heard of anyone who died because of the flu. Obviously, I know it happens, I just personally haven’t encountered it. So enough with the flu comparisons.
Last year, I have published an interview with one of our readers who suffers from long Covid. I’ve contacted her a few months ago, and I’m sad to say, her condition so far hasn’t improved. Underestimate this pandemic at your own peril.
That being said, this virus isn’t going anywhere. We all have to find ways to minimize the risks, while still maintaining some sense of normalcy.
How I’m making travel (and life) decisions in view of omicron
Before this new wave hit US, I was about to start the process of transferring my son from virtual to brick-and-mortar school. Due to latest developments, I’ve changed my mind. Obviously, we are in a privileged position to do so, and I’m fully aware that it’s not an option for most families.
Nevertheless, I’ve decided that the benefit of his association with other kids isn’t worth the increased risk of exposure to omicron. It doesn’t help that our school district is taking zero precautions. Yes, he is fully vaccinated and should do fine even if infected. But he can bring the virus to my immunocompromised husband and elderly MIL.
That said, my daughter is staying in regular school. Why? She is good about wearing a mask (KN95) and doesn’t eat lunch. But more importantly, we are convinced that regular school is better for her mental and emotional wellbeing. So, even in the same family YMMV
On to travel plans. Next week we are supposed to take the kids to a beach resort in our state of Florida. We are driving there in our own car. I’m not canceling the reservation. Since access to rooms is from outside, I feel we can stay relatively safe. Emphasis on “relatively.” I do plan to bring a small air purifier unit, just in case.
However, I am making a few modifications. Originally, I was ok with us dining outdoors in a restaurant. To be on a safe side, we will order room service instead or get Doordash/UberEats delivery. This isn’t a huge deal and frankly, my children get bored in a restaurant anyway.
I do plan on letting them use a swimming pool with other kids because it’s outdoors where transmission risk is lower. I will talk to them about trying to maintain some distance, though. Originally, I planned on doing some indoor activities, but those have now been scrapped. I never told the kids about them, so they won’t know what they are missing.
I also had plans to take the kids to Disney parks at the beginning of February. It looks almost certain that those will be cancelled. However, I’m going to reschedule my hotel reservation for March in hopes that things will calm down by then. If the infection spread is relatively low, we will go.
Finally, I’ve mentioned that I’m planning to meet my family in Montenegro at the beginning of summer I have no illusions that Covid will be defeated by then. But, if things aren’t crazy, I intend to go.
We will be super careful to mask at all times when indoors, though I realize there is still decent risk of exposure. But, my dad’s health is deteriorating, and this could be my last chance to see him. I’ve also not seen my sister and nephews in almost five years. There is no guarantee that things will be better in the future, as we may have a more dangerous variant by then. Unlike Disney, this trip is essential to me.
So, as you can see, I try to take a nuanced approach to each decision pertaining to Covid pandemic. Am I being 100% safe? Obviously not. I do my best to protect my family and minimize the risks as much a possible. But I realize it may not be enough. Frankly, I’m pretty sure we will all catch thing thing sooner or later. But I would rather it be later when there are more therapeutics to treat it.
Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.