David J. Danto


Business travel thoughts in my own, personal opinion




eMail: ddanto@IMCCA.org      Follow Industry News: @NJDavidD


Human Nature


  I’ve been ‘ranting’ about COVID for almost two years now.  I’m not happy.  No matter where you stand on politics or mandates I suspect you’re not really happy with where we are in the fight against this disease either.  The problem we’re having right now is that in the fight between intelligent people and COVID, complacency is winning.  Even those who take COVID seriously are dropping their guard and getting sick, and that’s really, really sad.  The fault is human nature.

I’ve seen it as I travel.  If I’m in a hotel in Las Vegas (where indoor mask mandates are firmly in place) I still see 30% of people not wearing masks.  If I’m in a hotel on the New Jersey shore (where the governor is running for re-election so he cowered-away from the mask mandate he knows is needed) it is more like only 20% of people of people still wearing masks.

I’ve seen it at business conferences.  The organizers say ‘we require proof of vaccines and that everyone wear masks’ (mostly to CYA and to convince people it will be safe) yet when you look at social media posts from these shows there are dozens of photos of group selfies, company booth teams and social meals – with no one wearing their ‘required’ masks.

This is human nature.  When you go to an event – fully knowing COVID is still a significant threat – you of course intend to distance, wear masks, sanitize your hands all the time, etc.  Then you see a colleague or friend you haven’t seen in months or years and you of course embrace him or her.  It’s just a hug, what could happen?  Then your friends and/or colleagues ask you to join them for a drink and you do so.  It’s just one drink, what could happen?  Then all your friends and/or colleagues say they are going out to dinner and want you to join them.  It’s been nearly two years since you could have an enjoyable social meal with these people, so you say yes.  It’s just a meal in an indoor, public restaurant – and it’s full of diners – so how dangerous could it be if everyone is doing it – so you go and have a great time, because what could happen?

What happens is happening in the UK right now.  Friends and colleagues of mine (fully vaccinated ones) attended an industry conference – the first one in the UK in my industry in a couple of years – about three weeks ago.  What happened is some of them got COVID.  My heart goes out to my friends and colleagues that are fighting through it right now.  I pray they will recover completely and without lingering issues, and I also pray they will not pass the disease to any family members. 

What happens is happening in Florida right now.  Friends and industry colleagues of mine are attending an industry conference that ’required proof of vaccines and that everyone wear masks.’  I took a great deal of flak from many in my industry when I advised people not to attend.  I am convinced that the officials in Florida lie and hide the true effects of COVID there, and I am incensed that an organization that claims to represent an industry would put so many industry people in danger.  Only about 30% of the regular attendees committed to be there, but nonetheless they went ahead with the event.

Now I’m seeing posts on social media of people at this ‘masks required’ event posting selfies, group shots and pictures of enjoying group meals – all of unmasked attendees.  As I explained, this is human nature.  The peer-pressure along with our enormous desire to be social again after almost two years of this insanity pushes us into these unsafe circumstances.  Humanity comes in the door and logic goes out the window.  (Again here, I don’t blame the attendees for the failings of human nature, I blame the event organizers for setting-everyone-up to fail.)

We MUST remain vigilant against this deadly disease until it is much more under control.

·    Before you hug or embrace a colleague, ask yourself if you’d hold your unvaccinated children or elderly parents up to take that hug – because you are doing so by bringing everything you catch back home.

·    Before you go out for drinks or a meal at an indoor venue, ask yourself if you’d bring your unvaccinated children or elderly parents along with you – because you are doing so by bringing everything you catch back home.

·    Before you take your mask off (which I pray is an N95 or KN95) to take a ‘selfie’ or group photo, ask yourself if that photo is worth putting your unvaccinated children or elderly parents at risk – because you are.  The photo is especially distressing because you could potentially always have visible proof of when you began the process that killed a relative.

If you truly must attend a business conference, then please, follow the cautious guidelines I’ve detailed before.  Wear your mask 100% of the time.  Screw the photos – take masked pictures.  Eat with colleagues only at outdoor restaurants or indoor ones with high ceilings, spaced tables, open windows or doors, and consider dragging along a UV air purifier and battery (and have no qualms of putting it right on the table as I do.)  Or, just get take-out food and eat alone in your hotel room.  Does this bring as much joy as embracing friends you haven’t been with in nearly two years?  Of course not, but is that fleeting good feeling from being social again worth losing your health (your choice) or losing a relative (who never had a choice in the matter.) 

Hint:  No.  No it’s not.





I’d also add that you should avoid jurisdictions that have a poor record of telling the truth about COVID.  Travel to places where the local government takes it seriously.  There are many.  In both New York and Los Angeles (and a growing number of other cities) you are not even allowed into a restaurant without proof of vaccination.  Be smart.  Survive. 


This article was written by David Danto and contains solely his own, personal opinions.

All image and links provided above as reference under prevailing fair use statutes.


As always, feel free to write and comment, question or disagree.  Hearing from the traveling community is always a highlight for me.  Thanks!