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Should You Cancel Your 2021 Travel Plans?

From the early days of the pandemic, travel has been a contentious topic.


Is Traveling Safe During the Pandemic?

Researchers have stated flying—with the right precautions—is safer than restaurant dining where the spread of the coronavirus is concerned.


After staying put from March through May 2020, I began to move around a bit in the summer: diligently wearing my mask, carting around hand-sanitizer like my life depended on it, and only gathering with a select group of three or four people in my COVID-19 pod.


I was careful. My approach felt safe enough. Then I got something of a reality check.


A Winter Surge in COVID-19 Cases

In November, COVID-19 cases skyrocketed. I canceled my future travel plans, and I intend on staying put in 2021—at least until the vaccine is more broadly distributed. (Others claim to be doing the same thing, even after moving around some last summer.)


The late-fall, early-winter revealed we weren’t quite on the upward swing we’d been anticipating. And with 24.9 million cases of the virus to date in the U.S., and 416,000 deaths, I’m going to stay home for a while.


Even if I was traveling safely, the smallest slip could contribute to an outbreak away from home. Generally, I spend quite a bit of time in and around Los Angeles, where hospitals have been struggling immensely these past few months.


And it would be selfish, I think, to go back without a critical reason to do so—at least for the time being.


The Verdict on Travel in 2021

If you’re going to travel this year, proceed with caution. But it’s ultimately your decision.


I’m certainly not in a position to judge others for the level of risk they’re willing to take (so long as they’re following local health protocols), nor is it my role to tell people whether they should or shouldn’t travel.


For now, though, I’m staying put. And I’m eager to get back out there when it’s safe to do so.


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