This morning alone I glanced at dozens of emails from lodges and hotels offering the normally high end-of-the-year season for less than a third of its cost only a year ago!
In one remarkable case the super luxury company Sanctuary Retreats – one of my favorite vendors – offers December specials for a quarter of their former price!
Nothing has more long-term disastrous effects than impatience. I remember trying to sit up in my hospital bed in Mayo, with who knows how many people circled around me, my wife with her hand on my arm urging me to stop scolding the best minds in medicine for refusing to treat my malaria. I didn’t have malaria that time. And these lodges and hotels don’t have customers.
The come-ons testing you, the traveler, to believe you won’t get sick traveling now are as transparently dangerous as was my resistance to letting experts figure out why I was having cyclically increasing fevers.
I was delirious. What’s their excuse?
That’s probably not being fair, because in many cases I know the answer: cash flow. Particularly in places like the United States and Africa, the economic relief has ended. There is no government support for small business.
If an African hotel or lodge can just get enough funds to pay essential staff and to pay essential utilities that keep the place from collapsing then they’ll be ready to go once the coast is clear.
But my criticism is more cynical. The hoodlums protesting the closing of Britain’s pubs, or the neo-Nazis polluting Berlin against virus mitigation efforts aren’t because either country’s small businesses or workers aren’t being compensated. They are being compensated in those countries.
Much less so in Britain than Germany, but still beyond sustenance. Those protests are from selfish individuals moralizing personal liberty. Or maybe a hybrid: selfish individuals who believe that government relief is too much less than profitable enterprise.
My point with the British pubs or the Kenyan safari lodges ends up being the same, though: lure customers in now and you won’t have many, later. Another way to say it: get your cash flow now for what?
That isn’t necessarily because everyone who falls for your deal will end up intubated. There’s a growing realization among customers of all stripes that not buying into restrictive mitigation efforts kills people. Maybe not you, but somebody.
As you whiz through airports an asymptomatic fortunate you spread death and destruction like a wheel of fireworks.
If you’re a pub or safari lodge owner if you’re not killing your staff, you’re probably killing relatives of your staff. Just like teachers at schools.
So when the skies clear who will patronize a place, or return to work in a place that put the owners’ bank account or the errant customer’s freebasing freedom above community safety?
God, I hope nobody. At least that’s the way it should be.