Woeful World

Woeful World

Of Kayak’s 226 countries it provides travel service to, only 6 are open to travelers without restrictions. 52 are closed entirely, sometimes even to citizens trying to return. That leaves 168 which you can visit provided that you are fully vaccinated, have a negative PCR test and are willing to quarantine on arrival for various lengths of time.

Trouble is to get to some of those 168 restrictive countries, you normally fly through one of the 52 (like Japan) that you can’t, now. So the practical number of countries that you can visit is probably less than 80, and almost all of them require quarantine on arrival.

There are those six: El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Colombia, Costa Rica and Romania.

Venezuela, Columbia and Costa Rica are cool places. I know someone who just went to Columbia. Any more takers?

No. Too difficult, uncertain: And we’re the vaccinated bunch.

First, the hurdles of travel seem insurmountable… They aren’t, I just did them with six other people. But we got home before the current curtain dropped. We couldn’t do, today, what we did only a week ago.

Second, if entire governments like Japan and Morocco have decided to shut themselves off entirely to the rest of the world, are they crazy? … Yes, they’re crazy. Especially the large percentages of their population that won’t get vaccinated. So from a public health perspective there’s some rationale to their decision: There’s no standard global vaccination card, and there are a dozen vaccines with various efficacies, and somebody said one Omicron carrying passenger will infect 15-16 others. Woeful world. Crazy souls.

Yesterday for only the second time in its history WHO convened a world summit that actually voted to prepare in a global way for the next pandemic. WHO’s chief, Tedros Ghebreyesus, called it “historic.”


South Africa discovered Omicron, did its first complete genetic sequencing, compiled every available piece of data, proffered hypotheses for its evolution, and told the world right away. The world stopped all tourism and lots of trade to South Africa, a gut punch to the good guy. Do you think they’ll tell us about the next one? Should they?

I bet we’ll find out that those of us fully vaccinated are protected just fine from Omicron. So why can’t we go on safari?

Ask Boris Johnson. Ask your neighbor who won’t get vaccinated. Ask Iowa Gov. Reynolds who signed into a law a measure that prohibits mandating vaccines, even for school children! Ask the airlines why they canceled your flights. Ask your local political representative whether to use salted or unsalted butter to make Christmas bread.

Woeful world. Crazy souls.