For Hardcore Travellers, There Is No COVID-19 and This is a Problem

In the Eyes of a Hardcore Traveller, There Is No COVID-19 and This Is a Problem

Stop acting like COVID-19 doesn’t exist.

The world right now at a glance

covid-19 problems

Image credit: Edwin Hooper

We’re all roughly a year into COVID-19, and thereby, no stranger to the drastic problems that have arisen globally. As an old soul who expresses interest in the intricacies of the Roaring Twenties (think jazz parties and the Great Gatsby), I never thought that we would end up experiencing something similar to the Spanish flu pandemic that likewise struck during the period. This 21st-century global pandemic has erected a barrier against almost every travel opportunity, and has not discriminated in choosing its victims. 

The lives of many are in jeopardy due to the actions of a few

covid-19 problems

Image credit: Clay Banks

However, you may have observed that some have already been enjoying privileged opportunities — as a select few wiggle their way through this barrier. By ignoring the serious health implications that come with COVID-19, a real problem arises: Quarantine and stay-at-home orders fall on the deaf ears of this arguably ignorant minority of hardcore travellers who choose to continue with travel plans, disregarding the world which is currently at a standstill. 

How unfortunate is it that as governments curb travel in the hopes of lowering rates of transmission (hopefully eliminating COVID-19 altogether) and as communities abide by these enforcements, that the problem of the deadly virus lurks due to the choices of the inconsiderate few who carry on with their travelling plans? Consequently yet unsurprisingly, the reality is that the lives of everyone else still remains largely at risk and many countries are still struggling with high numbers of active cases.  

Also read: Southeast Asia — Home of Tropical Wonders and Fake Swab Test Travellers

Social media as a vehicle of resentment amid a pandemic

covid-19 problems

Image credit: dole777

Ah, social media — the tie that binds us as much as it alienates us. It bridges geographical gaps while evoking a sense of wanderlust and fond memories of experiences we’ve gained from different parts of the world. At the same time, it elicits strong resentment towards people who are doing the one thing most of us crave but now cannot engage in: travel. 

Also read: Don’t Hate: There are Healthy Ways to Deal with Travel Envy

So, who are the culprits — the hardcore travellers — spurring social media audiences to feel this way? Mainly, celebrities. With such huge followings of thousands and even millions on Instagram alone, their travel-related posts give their followers the false impression that it is indeed normal — and even acceptable — to travel during these times; thus, encouraging and normalising risky behaviour to the masses. Yet again, another problem arises: Allowing people to think that it’s okay to visit friends or travel when COVID-19 cases are still high is like setting off a minefield of transmissions that ultimately turns everyone’s stay-at-home efforts to ashes.

Kim Kardashian’s Instagram page is a popular example of many travels to holiday destinations, accumulated within the span of the past year. While most of us have been stuck at home or at least confined within the geographical limits of our country, the Kardashians have been associated with creating a serious problem of disregarding the presence of COVID-19. Their ability to ignore measures that have become a routine for us has rightly been deemed as unadulterated privilege. It is no surprise that they’ve been met with criticism and backlash from online communities who can only hope to experience the same luxury. 

As one of many who yearn for travel to return so we can be relieved from this humdrum life, I think what exacerbates the actions of the Kardashians is that their “escape” (if you can even call it that) is from one opulent mansion to an even more extravagant paradise resort or villa. 

While other celebrities also lamented that their millionaire homes encouraged boredom and listlessness during lockdowns, everyday folk met them with much criticism, pointing out that “the celebrity lifestyle” is a privilege that only few can enjoy. 

The pandemic calls for a new perspective on social media

There are certain mindsets that as consumers of social media, we should aim to adopt instead. 

Image credit: Brett Jordan

We can begin by being socially conscious consumers of social media by understanding that the nature of online content does tend to be fallacious for the sake of appearances. As people have full control over what they post on their social media accounts, one alters and chooses content by posting only what they want others to see. Therefore, we need that awareness as consumers that not everything posted on social media is 100% authentic, especially when celebrity accounts have a pervasive influence and portray extremely affluent lifestyles. 

If all else fails and you still find yourself subject to what has been known as “travel envy”, we can tackle this problem by reminding ourselves of the benefits of staying home and more importantly, staying safe in this pandemic. We can always make plans to travel and to save up for it when travel borders open up again, but it is best to heed what many of our Asian parents have told us since our youth: “It is better to be safe than sorry”, and “Prevention is better than cure.” 

And as always, a worthy break from social media can do us all some good to remind us of the things that really matter — our mental and physical health, and those that care for and love us. 

FB featured image credit: geraldfriedrich2

About Author

Cassandra Nerva
Cassandra Nerva

Cassandra seeks comfort in warm blankets, period dramas, and all things hazelnut. If she's not getting carried away with a wartime novel or decorating her house with plants & fairy lights, she's uncovering hidden gems around her as she continues to embrace her keen sense of adventure.


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