David J. Danto
Business travel thoughts in my own, personal opinion
NOT Traveling Blog, 3rd Week Of June
In 2014 I was voted by USA Today readers as one of the top ten business travel bloggers in the USA. Now mind you, I turned out to be number ten on the list of ten, but I did make it on (with my thanks to all those who voted.) Now that we’re all stuck at home and not traveling, I had to think about what to do with my blogs. I could stop writing them entirely – waiting till we all get through the current COVID19 pandemic / crisis. I could wax nostalgic and/or complain about past trips. Or, I could focus all of my efforts on my day job – growing the use of collaboration technologies – especially in light of how many people are now forced to use those tools for the first time. In reflecting upon those choices, what I decided to do is compile an ongoing list of observations during the crisis. Some of these may amuse, some may inform, some may sadden and others may help. My goal will be for you to have seen something in a different light than you did before you stopped to read the blog. I was going to apologize for how disjointed these thoughts may seem when put together, but then it dawned on me that feeling disjointed is our new normal – at least for a little while.
So, in no particular order:
· Cities and states across the US are now lifting shelter-in-place orders that were imposed to stop the spread of the Coronavirus. That means the pandemic is over, right? Well, sadly no – what that means is our so-called leaders are putting economic recovery ahead of our health. As stated in The Atlantic, “Americans may wish the virus to be gone, but it is not. While the outbreak has eased in the Northeast, driving down the overall national numbers, cases have only plateaued in the rest of the country, and they appear to be on the rise in recent days in COVID Tracking Project data. Twenty-two states reported 400 or more new cases [last week] and 14 other states and Puerto Rico reported cases in the triple digits. Several states—including Arizona, North Carolina, and California—are now seeing their highest numbers of known cases”. Also, as Dr. Fauci warned, the “pandemic is far from over.” So what is it about the majority of the US population that wants to ignore the clear facts because they’re tired of the “burden” of keeping themselves safe? For some it is clearly a desire to earn a living again, as the struggle to meet one’s family’s needs is real. But for others…well…let’s let the comics page answer that question.
· I’ve picked-on Vegas in this blog a few times, and felt bad about that, until I saw this video last week posted by the columnist Arash Marazi (click the photo to view the video):
The video walks us through the casino, showing nearly all visitors without masks, no distancing on the walkways or at the tables, and no one in the casino doing anything about it. Having a situation like this initially happen may have been out of the casino’s control, but allowing it to continue with no intervention is totally on The Cosmopolitan management. If you ever wondered if the casinos cared about their patrons, just look to this for your answer. As I stated in a prior blog, this brings a whole new dimension to the term “gambling.”
· I think I’ve found that term I was looking for for people who aren’t paying attention to what’s really happening and risking their and other lives. I had toyed with “Darwins,” the New Jersey based “knuckleheads,” “guinea pigs,” and the simple “idiots,” and none of them seem to fit the bill for the personality of people who have all the scientific evidence in front of them and are too thick to take appropriate precautions either out of a mob mentality or an acceptance of misinformation that things are safe when they clearly are not. Twitter comes to the rescue here with “Covidiots volunteer association” or simply “Covidiots.”
· As the stay-at-home orders are lifted, people are considering traveling again. Many of them are trying to figure out how safe the transportation options are, and how much they can trust transportation companies based on past interactions. Again, as I’ve said many times, there is ZERO trust between frequent travelers and travel firms based-upon past treatment – including the continuous, unilateral rule changes and plain and simple lies (like “blocking middle seats”) which have continued through the pandemic. Other than some scattered co-branding and co-marketing efforts with cleaning product companies, travel companies have offered nothing but hollow promises about safety. In that context, and with knowledge of the thousands of stranded, vulnerable passengers the cruise companies were unable to protect, I offer you the following email I received (again) this week without additional comment:
· The awesome company I work for has told all of their employees to “take Friday off.” They are worried that while we are working from home we’re spending too much time on work and not giving ourselves any mental downtime. It is a real risk of remote working that employees get so engaged and so productive that they often forget to spend time relaxing. It’s the total opposite of the ‘lazy’ home worker stereotype that has permeated businesses for far too long. As I’ve said before, I just wish it didn’t take a deadly pandemic to get people to see the light about remote working for knowledge workers.
As always, please feel free to write to me with comments or items I should add to a future Not Traveling blog (or if you just need someone to write to.) Stay safe, be well, hug those you’re sheltering with (but no one else) and do your best to stay positive. We’re going to be in this for a long while.
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.