“I just needed to hear your voice,” said our ex-pat daughter in Europe.
How the Pandemic has influenced our thinking
Wow, what a week! We spent way too much time watching the news (even watching news sources we usually eschew, in order to see how outlets vary in their reporting), we stocked up on groceries a little without going nuts (no toilet paper shelves were emptied by us), and at the last minute we decided to skip our community’s monthly wine share event.
My company started the week by leaving meeting and travel decisions to our discretion, only to later ban all non-essential travel and in-person meetings. So far I’ve cancelled three trips and had some conferences postponed. The silver lining for me is getting more time at home, but I’m quite frankly gobsmacked at the changes this pandemic is making in everyone’s lives.
When the Europe-to-USA travel ban was announced, my daughter in Europe called because “I just needed to hear your voice.” And I needed to hear the voice of my constantly-traveling son, who at the time was in Kansas City on business, and to check in with friends in Seattle, Westchester County, and Detroit.
Like so many others, we have overseas vacation plans that may be impacted. That led us to ponder how we’ll handle situations like this now, in our small Texas town, and especially later, if they occur when we’re roamers.
We are fortunate to have the means to get home if we need to, and we do generally purchase travel insurance for airfare and sometimes lodging. But the more personal impacts, such as having to self-quarantine in a foreign country where we don’t have a network of friends and family, or not being familiar with medical resources, transportation options, and other necessities, gave us pause.
One scenario we discussed was similar to the current situation in Italy. “What if we were in Italy now, stuck in a short-term rental apartment, with everything closed and nowhere to go?” If we couldn’t fly home, we’d have to stay indefinitely. How would we handle it?
And then I saw videos of Italians joining in song from their balconies. I read about NBA players pledging financial support for arena workers. And I was reminded that the best part of the human spirit can come forward in times of crisis.
In the end, we agreed that neither of us feared being stuck together in a small apartment. As long as we’re together, we are confident that we can weather the storms. And if by roaming, and sharing our experience by writing about it, we can help make the world just a little smaller, for just a few people, it will all be worth it.