Normalization Good news Monday – The path of recovery to a post-Covid-19 world.
Normalization of our lives is on everyone’s mind. Today, Monday the 12th of July 2021, marks day number 473 since the start of the first hard lockdown in South Africa on the 26th of March 2020.
At the start of that first lockdown in South Africa, we were breathing a sigh of relief in our office. Our group of ten travellers from the USA had managed to get on the very last Delta Airlines flight out of Johannesburg before they curtailed all the regular scheduled flights.
This group travelled with Africa Explore Safaris for two weeks doing a spectacular safari trip at Karongwe Private Game Reserve before moving on the Cape Town. In Cape Town they spent five days exploring the natural beauty of the Tours in Cape Town and wine tours from Cape Town. Wine tasting at amongst others, KWV Wine Emporium following a guided cellar tour and a Master Wine Tasting which is a pairing of eight award-winning wines and cheese all produced at Fairview Wine Estate in the Cape Winelands. Their travel itinerary included a three-day stay at the spectacular Victoria Falls. They stayed in the Avani Victoria Falls Resort to the end of their holiday in style.
Many people in the Tourism and Hospitality industries speculated at the time that this pandemic may interrupt the trading of our businesses by up to six months and we continued to plan for the next season. We deferred bookings where possible and we were generally upbeat about the pandemic. Little did we know of the trials that we were to face!
The leaders and governments around the world took different approaches to try and control the devastating effects of the virus. The USA was rather slow off the mark to deal with the spread of the virus. This resulted in the USA experiencing the world’s worst outbreak. The Countries in Asia and Australasia such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia were different. They opted for strict border controls, shutting down travel and a zero tolerance towards small outbreaks of infections. These outbreaks were met with decisive action and local lockdowns.
The USA has been successful with a massive turnaround. The extensive rollout of vaccinations is leading to the lifting of restrictions and allowing travel for those people that are already vaccinated. Asia and Australasian countries gained early success with the closed borders approach and this has led to a very slow rollout of vaccinations. This leads to continued lockdowns of local cities like Sydney.
The NEW measure
Now the world is measuring normalization and central to that is the country’s openness and accessibility to the world – The Reopening Progress according to Bloomberg’s Covid Resilience Ranking.
The USA is now listed at the number one position in terms of normalizing life while dealing with the pandemic. Countries like Australia and New Zealand had early successes in dealing with the spread of the virus. Now they find themselves in a precarious and difficult position because their approach is a stumbling block to returning to life with some normality, and opening their borders to allow travel. All this while the USA travellers have regular and numerous media articles like CNN Travel and Travel & Leisure advising on locations they can plan to include on their travels.
The one glaring truth has emerged from this Covid-19 pandemic. The rich nations are able to take drastic action while the poor nations are left waiting, or wanting! This is the huge Global Divide as referred to by the Director-General of the WHO, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. He stated that the global divide is a “catastrophic moral failure”.
We are OPEN!
South Africa, Southern Africa, and East Africa are open for travel. Our vaccination rollout gains momentum by the day. We trust that the citizens of the rich countries will recognize that we are ALL citizens of the world and we must cooperate to beat the Coronavirus.
We wait to welcome you in style!