I’ve always been a proponent for traveling more, seeking discomfort, and unearthing the wonders of both the self and the world.
A related mission of mine, however, is that I want people to travel smarter, both so that they can get more out of their experience and so that the act of traveling can serve as a net positive for the places they go. When disaster strikes around the world, those two missions—to travel more and to travel smarter—can feel at odds with one another.
Indeed, the coronavirus has introduced a new level of complexity to our lives right now. And as travelers, we love uncertainty, but we should never throw caution to the wind. Not when it comes to our health.
You should avoid travel if you can, and if you absolutely must travel, then you should be smart about how you do it.
That means what it always means: traveling consciously, with awareness and respect for the place you’re visiting. In the case of this epidemic, it means taking State Department advisories and the advice of industry professionals seriously, and of course, exercising the common sense precautions every major news outlet has been offering.
We are all in this together, which is exactly why you shouldn’t be traveling right now.
Even if you are in the young and healthy demographic who aren’t likely to fall ill or worse, you can still carry—and transmit—COVID-19 to others.
By choosing to travel in the midst of a pandemic, you not only put yourself at risk, but worse, you put those around you at risk.
If you travel from a congested city, where you are more likely to come into contact with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, you risk carrying it with you.
There is no time better than a global crisis for people to come together and show the good nature of humanity through thoughtful acts of compassion and empathy.
Travel for travel’s sake is a selfish privilege and one for which I’m, admittedly, a glutton. But we should never risk our own safety and especially not the safety of others. We should be helping those around us, carrying our weak and holding up our ill.
Instead, some are choosing to take advantage of flight deals, jaunting off to new countries, where they risk spreading the virus further.
It’s not about whether or not you’re at risk. It’s about whether you’re putting others at risk.
And if you travel, you likely are.
You should not be traveling. Not right now.
Right now, I dare say, the world is off-limits. This is not a time for sightseeing and mojitos. This is a time for us to come together.
That means we may need to stay in our corners of the world for a short while, but it certainly won’t be forever. Stay still for now, for there is plenty of time.
UPDATE: As of 1:30pm EST on March 11, Condé Nast beauty network will be working from home until March 31st or later. They are no longer accepting deliveries to their offices at 1 WTC for containment reasons.