David J. Danto


Business travel thoughts in my own, personal opinion




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


NOT Traveling Blog, 3rd Week Of March 2021

David Danto’s ongoing list of disjointed and occasionally random observations and thoughts as we wait-out the pandemic – mostly NOT traveling like we used to. 


 This past week the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) finally issued some guidelines for people who have been vaccinated against COVID19. The release of these guidelines was delayed a few times before finally coming out.  And unfortunately, in this era of a pandemic of the mostly unknown, they did not go far enough with information and advice.

The good news is that the CDC has laid-out some common-sense, logical thinking for interpersonal get-togethers amongst people who have already been vaccinated.  These guidelines are centered on your family…or household…or “pod” – all terms to describe and address small groups of people that have been living together in the same space.

·      A small vaccinated household can visit indoors with another small vaccinated household without masks or social distancing.

·      A small vaccinated household can visit indoors with another partially or non-vaccinated household without masks or social distancing as long as those non-vaccinated people are “low-risk” (based on age and pre-existing conditions.)

·      A small vaccinated household visiting indoors with a mixed or non-vaccinated household – where the non-vaccinated are at high risk – must continue to wear masks and social distance.

Key elements of these guidelines are that they are for a small a household that are living in the same space.  Not a dozen people living in separate houses/apartments that are coming together for a dinner party.  That category was intentionally omitted from the guidance.  The guidelines interestingly echo Schopenhauer's Law of Entropy:  “If you put a spoonful of wine in a barrel full of sewage, you get sewage. If you put a spoonful of sewage in a barrel full of wine, you get sewage.”  This means just one unvaccinated grandma in the living room means everyone at the dinner needs to wear masks all the time and social distance regardless of their vaccine status. 


Two other key guidelines that were announced were:

·      Vaccinated people who find out they were exposed to someone with COVID19 but who do not show any symptoms do not need to quarantine anymore.

·      Travel is still not recommended at this time.  CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky specifically stated at a White House briefing that, "…every time there's a surge in travel, we have a surge in cases in this country…"


That last one predictably has airline companies in a snit. The industry group Airlines for America (likely renamed from the Professional Liars Club) has already issued a statement claiming again that air-travel represents a low risk.  They’re obviously relying on the Defense Department research done last year (which I showed as severely flawed in my blog last October.)  The airlines will always go out of their way to show why anything they don’t like is ‘wrong’ and anything that lines their pocket is ‘right’ with any logic and facts always twisted to meet their objectives.  The only difference from their usual standard procedure during this pandemic situation is that a majority of people have now recognized that the airlines are serial liars and have ignored their BS.  As I said in that October blog, “The airline CEO / President and his family needs to show me video of them boarding and flying a standard commercial flight in coach.  When they believe it is safe enough to risk themselves and their families then I’ll believe them when they say that it’s safe enough for me and my family.”


Beyond what the guidelines did state, really important pieces of information were left out of the guidance…and their omission is not a good sign.  We still don’t know how long the vaccines last.  I think all of us by now expect that COVID19 vaccines will be a regular part of our lives going forward, but will it be annual (like the flu shot) or every six months…or even every three months?  My huge fear (which I pray is wrong) is that the big deal the US government is making about having enough vaccines for everyone is distracting us from the fact that we’re going to need to keep getting them (or redesigned boosters of them) forever – meaning that this will be a constant way of life.   This is especially concerning because we still don’t know if the vaccines have any long term side effects.


Also left out of the guidance was indoor public gatherings.  The announcement only addressed one small private group visiting with another small private group – it didn’t address having dinner in a restaurant.  If vaccinated people are truly immune is there any reason they can’t eat out in public, or go to a concert or play or movie?  Clearly eating/drinking are the specific areas where masks have to be removed – and therefore pose the greatest risk.  I wonder if the omission is due to a lack of clarity on how to determine if someone has actually been vaccinated, a fear of people lying or causing trouble about it, or – in a more worrisome possibility – that there is some evidence that the vaccines may not protect against the newly emerging virus variants.  Not addressing the public gathering situation allows speculation to run-rampant about the reasons why it was left out.


Ultimately, most everyone who looks at the guidance will develop their own post-pandemic strategy based-upon their own comfort level with risks.  Where the directives are not specific they will create their own plans.  That has begun to happen already.  Just as the airlines have already said they disagree with just the part that effects them, people will also likely disagree based on their own self-serving logic.  “Most of us are vaccinated, so that’s OK.”  “Yes, my kids are not living with us but they’re not sick so it’s OK that we’re not in the same household.”  “Disneyworld is open so it must be safe to go there.”  Sadly, human nature often shows that people hear what they want to hear, not what they should have heard – which essentially makes the guidelines moot.  It is then fair to conclude that – while we are closer to the end of the pandemic – we are likely not out of it yet.






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 while longer. 

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.


The Explanation for my Not Traveling blogs:  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.