A very good article by Mr Nick Ray, putting things into perspective on the COVID -19 Virus, well worth a read….
That New C-word
The current global crisis from a different perspective.
Coronavirus, or the exotically named Covid-19, is
the new C-word, at least in the world of travel and
tourism. Media and social media hype are combining to create a crisis in the industry that will have
repercussions long after the immediate hysteria
The effects are about so much more than tourism
statistics, they are about real people, real lives, real
jobs and real struggles. Every cancelled trip adds up
to a climate of fear and uncertainty within the travel
industry and companies begin to tighten the pursestrings.
It has an impact all the way down the food chain
as overseas tour operators cancel holidays, airlines
ground flights and local DMCs cancel itineraries.
This in turn means hotel cancellations, tour guide
cancellations, vehicle cancellations, restaurant cancellations, excursion cancellations and so it goes on.
This can have a negative impact on morale in a
brittle industry in a less-developed country where
the margins between progress and poverty are wafer
thin. It can also have a disastrous impact on income
for those many millions of individuals involved in
making a living in this industry.
. . . Relevant Statistics
Let’s pause and reflect for a moment on what has
happened to date, according to World Health Organization (WHO) statistics. Around 90,000 people
have been infected globally to date, although the
numbers are still spiking in some countries, and
about 3000 people have died.
This is undoubtedly a terrible hardship to endure
for those most immediately affected, but it might be
useful to put this in the perspective of some other
• 250,000 to 500,000 flu deaths occur annually
according to older WHO statistics, some put the
numbers at closer to 290,000-650,000 annually
• 250,000 people have been hospitalised in the USA
with flu this winter alone (and it’s not over) with
about 14,000 deaths
• 1,350,000 traffic-accident related deaths occur
worldwide per year according to the WHO
• 228 million cases of malaria were diagnosed in
2018, of which 405,000 proved fatal, according to
• 464,000 murders took place worldwide in 2017.
This information is not shared to appear fatalistic or
pessimistic, but to help rediscover our sense of perspective in these dark times. Flu happens every year
in every corner of the world and all-too tragically
kills an awful lot of people, but we still go about our
daily lives and continue to travel the world.
Traffic accidents are a clear and present danger to
our lives, but we still need to drive from A to B as
part of our daily lives.
Malaria has been a constant in many parts of the
world for too many years to remember, but locals are
forced to live with its threat (despite the availability
of affordable treatments) and many visitors continue
to travel to countries where malaria exists.
Murders are a horrible reality in almost every country
of the world, often quite random in nature, and the
total number is beyond comprehension. However,
once again, we continue to explore and experience
other cultures and other places.
. . . In Context
So, let us put the C-word in its context among a myriad of other problems that face many people in many
parts of the world as they go about their daily lives.
Let’s not make the small medical crisis of a new flu
strain become a socio-economic and political crisis
that tips the world into a global recession and devastates not just the tourism industry, but every other
industry on this planet.
The human cost will be too great to bear and undo a
generation of progress in many parts of the developing world.
Mr Nick Ray, a Lonely Planet writer.