2-3 more weeks before we know how Omicron effects upcoming travel. The demographics of Omicron patients are right now being compiled: age, are they vaccinated and how many times and with which vaccine, are they a breakthrough? Laboratories around the world are mixing their serum with the antibodies current vaccines produce. What happens? One, two, a hundred experiments aren’t enough. 2-3 more weeks.
America is a horrible place to try to figure this all out. We’re either alarmists or aggressive reactionaries to alarm. But there are authorities and sources that if we’ll just be patient enough will give us good answers. 2-3 more weeks. Read more ›
Seven of us returned from 3-4 weeks in Tanzania on Thanksgiving Day. This is a report of the formalities required with regards to Covid. This is a very small sample of how people travel to and from Tanzania, but every little bit helps.
Like all unexpected obstacles to travel, it’s usually a lot easier than presumed. I often refer to the time in 1970 when New Orleans announced the first metal detector for departing passengers. For a year no one flew through New Orleans. Today it’s second nature to us all. Read more ›
This is not a recommendation that you should not mask. But the personal experience that seven of us just completed in Tanzania has a remarkable affirmation from … the travel insurance industry. That experience does not comport with many of the recommendations about masking. Read more ›
Steve Farrand and I have now completed four days in the northern Serengeti after a couple down at Manyara. Tomorrow we pick up five more intrepid travelers to continue my survey of post-pandemic Tanzania.
The troubled world goes well beyond Fox News. Vaccine is available in the most remote corners of Tanzania, but much of it’s sitting in fridges unused. One of Africa’s most prestigious safari companies, AndBeyond, admitted to me this week that most of their staffs remain unvaccinated. Read more ›
The malaria vaccine is continuing good news in the battle against disease in Africa, but it’s not a cause for great celebration. I’m a bit peeved, in fact, with the PR-rollout of Mosquirix by GlaxoSmithKline which strikes me more as an attempt by the pharma to remain relevant after the failure of its Sanofi–GSK Covid vaccine.
Here’s the thing. Mosquirix has been around in some form since 1987. Much improved, its efficacy is still as low as 26% (the highest in any study was 50%) and only for toddlers. It’s not effective against young adults and older. Read more ›
What’s the greatest risk to an international traveler right now? Obviously, Covid, but NOT for the reason you think! A vaccinated traveler is very unlikely to get sick from Covid. More vaccinated travelers are going to get hurt and some die from slipping on the stairs of the jetway than from Covid. More vaccinated travelers headed into wild jungles (who are taking malaria pills) will still get sick from malaria than from Covid.
The Covid vaccine is as much a game changer as Delta. Its efficacy is better than all the vaccines before it, better than malaria pills, better than attending daily mass, better than practically anything! So what’s the problem? Read more ›
The “Death Shaming” controversy is on big time. It’s on because Delta is mowing down those who flaunt it, and it’s on because the madness that denies vaccine science can just as readily deny the anti-vaxxer’s obits. Read more ›
African tourism has tanked. A decline was predicted off the promising numbers of June but nothing like we’re seeing, now. The nosedive is exactly inversely proportional to the rates of virus spread, which both in the west Africa are much higher than had been predicted.
It means that travelers who had paid deposits and possibly even full payments are bailing. Since travel insurance no longer covers itinerary impacts from covid, these represent difficult decisions from a lot of angry travelers. Read more ›
Data collection and compilation varies so dramatically one country to another. Moreover collection and compilation has improved equally dramatically since the start of the pandemic, so each country’s numbers may be inflated by their improved collections. Suffice it to say that not a single African country reports the situation improving and many are sounding the alarm. Read more ›
Travelers are growing weary of Delta and I’m not referring to the airline. What exactly is your risk, especially if you’re contemplating a far-away journey?
Voluntary travel is rarely determined by facts, alone: It’s how you “feel” about the trip. But the more you’ve invested the more you need to understand the facts. If you cleared your calendar, made a deposit, bought airline tickets – well, then, go a little bit further than just how you might feel after watching the evening news.
So which would you choose as the best protection against Covid? (1) Surrounding yourself with a portable plexiglass outfit; or (2) getting the shot? The quarterback of the Minnesota Vikings proposes the former.
Vaccine hesitancy is worldwide and you might be surprised that the U.S.’ vaccine hesitancy rate is actually relatively low worldwide. African hesitancy is relatively low too, Mideast (excluding Israel) is the highest, Asian hesitancy (excluding China) is moderate, South American hesitancy (excluding Ecuador) is on the high side and European hesitancy is just a little bit greater than America’s.
Think of anything positive Covid has done to the tourism industry?
Maybe the ridiculously long prepay period for a tourism product will now shrink to something fairer. Maybe there will even be more tourism products, like your individually booked hotel room, that you only pay for after you’ve used it.
It took a pandemic that killed millions of people, but the developed world seems ready to manufacture a malaria vaccine that works.
The Covid pandemic clearly demonstrates that Africa will never vaccinate enough of its people against Covid-19 (or any other disease) until manufacturing takes place there. It also made clear that if a disease is allowed to flourish in Africa, it will forever be present globally.
The scientific triumph and economic success of Pfizer’s mRNA Covid-19 vaccine juxtaposed on the battle Africa is losing with Covid because it can’t get the vaccine has finally shamed enough western powers to loosen international patents and in other ways underwrite the serious acceleration of both a Covid and a malaria vaccine for manufacture in Africa. We could have the malaria vaccine within a few years.
Here’s what yesterday’s CDC mask-wearing recommendation changes means for travelers:
For the foreseeable future if you travel most anywhere you’ll be significantly changing the way you traveled before: Mask wearing, social distancing and many other pandemic protection characteristics will now become the status quo when traveling, perhaps for years to come. Read more ›
The spike in Covid-19 in certain countries in the southern hemisphere is causing mayhem in the travel industry. Today South Africa moved to an “adjusted alert Level 4″ which further closes down the country, and separately, the CDC advised even vaccinated travelers against visiting Tanzania.
This needs much explanation, especially since the new Tanzanian president is really moving the country in the right direction. But the one thing she refuses to do is specifically why the CDC kiboshed Tanzanian travel. In South Africa’s case, it’s just rotten luck.