Posted By Jassim Mohammad
As the corona-virus pandemic ebbs and flows around the world, people everywhere are cutting back on
traditional holiday trips, spending more time at home, and vacation homes in many places. But this
pandemic is not a vacation, and many leaders want you to stay at your regular home of record.
No matter the country, vacation homes tend to be in areas that are less populated year-round, and
therefore have fewer available services, including medical services. Rural areas may only have primary
clinics, and the nearest hospitals may not be able to service the most severe medical emergencies.
Norway is one country that wants its citizens to stay at their primary residences in the cities, rather than
isolating in rural cabins. The government, led by Prime Minister Erna Solberg, has implemented a fine
equivalent to $1952USD or 15 days in jail for anyone staying somewhere other than their home address.
The rural areas of this Scandinavian country are small and distant, but the populations can fluctuate wildly
during typical summers. Local leaders of the small towns warn that if large numbers of people come and then
contract the corona-virus, the virus would be likely to spread quickly, but the small hospitals would not be
prepared to handle a large number of sick patients. Large cities have more hospital beds and more health care
In the United States, the state of Colorado is home to Estes Valley, the gateway to the Rocky Mountain National Park.
The small town, with a population of around 6,600 permanent residents, asks visitors not to visit or move to Estes Valley
at the current time. With a 23-bed hospital for the day to day health care needs of residents. With over half the population
being 65 years old and older, the community has a high percentage of at-risk members. The mayor has closed the Rocky
Mountain National Park, in the hopes that it will keep people safe in their own homes. Unfortunately, people are still
traveling to and visiting the area.
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On the other hand, tourist towns that work with precautions and modifications to keep tourist dollars flowing into the
local economies. In the state of Wisconsin is the ever-popular town of Wisconsin Dells. Filled to the brim with water and
theme parks, entertainment centers and activities, and camping and other outdoor activities, the city needs visitors to visit
and spend their money. Free live music is accessible downtown; outdoor venues are safer than indoors, and the city has
hired a full-time cleaner to sanitize seats and tables nightly and ensure that tables kept 6 feet apart.
With visitors continuing to flock to Wisconsin Dells, Noah’s Ark is the largest water and theme park in the town, faces a
different problem. The ban on international flights due to COVID-19 has cut-off the usual crop of international students.
Parks used to hire them for the summer, but now, local business owners focused on engaging more locals for the part-time
summer jobs, and the closure of some rides got canceled due to lack of staffing. Other parks and entertainment venues in
Wisconsin Dells have also had to cut back on some available activities.
It will be summer 2020 to be the summer of the corona virus, so should you travel for a summer vacation or relax in your
hometown for a stay-cation? To help you make the decision, consider the following:
> Is anyone in your household in an at-risk category for corona, due to advanced age or preexisting conditions?
> Are embers of your household currently practicing frequent hand-washing/sanitizing, social distancing, and mask-wearing?
> Are they prepared to follow directives of local authorities at a travel destination?
> Can you call ahead to a venue and ask about the precautions they are taking?
> With spikes happening quickly and all over, will you be ready to be quarantined for 14 days if you end up in a contact situation?
> Are you financially secure and flexible enough to cancel your plans at the last moment due to an outbreak?
> Is the area you are in or the one you are traveling to having a spike in cases?
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