Let’s step back and examine the short term consequences of Covid-19.
Here is a quick overview, and here is how it goes. With each city variation of a “lockdown”, it doesn’t really matter until we are all set free to wander away and gain control over everyday life.
The virus isn’t going away, its the flu, so while people are doing their best and coping by being locked up – it is a band-aid on a chainsaw wound.
Australia shut its borders to protect its citizens, and next it will be New Zealand and so on. The situation is all based around protecting our citizens and our borders are closing until we have a reliable test. But even still there will be some doubt cast on the test and the risks of spreading Covid in a commercial airplane are huge.
The problem is asymptomatic Covid spreading and until we have a test there is no more air-travel. And a test isn’t PCR testing because it isn’t reliable. We need a test before anyone can get back onto an airplane and head on a vacation, and return home.
Airlines will go bankrupt and if they don’t Governments will throw lots of billions at the industry just to keep them floating in debt. Massive furloughs impacting unemployment and at the end of the day, no one can risk travel. Now imagine the consequences on and I use France as one example: Tourism in France directly contributed 79 billion euros to gross domestic product, 30% of which comes from international visitors and 70% from domestic tourism spending. The total contribution of travel and tourism represents 10% of GDP and supports 3 million jobs (10.9% of employment) in the country.
If we take Italy in 2019, the contribution of travel and tourism to the Italian gross domestic product amounted to 238 billion euros. The industry, which is one of the most important ones for the country’s economy, constituted about 13% of the Italian GDP.
Now take Greece, tourism provides 18% of GDP and can you imagine, you travel to Santorini for vacation and use Easyjet or a charter. On the plane one person is asymptomatic and he spreads Covid to his nearby passengers. They get all get off the plane and spend the next days going to the beach, parties, restaurants, etc.
Then all of a sudden a fever and cough, so what do you do? You need to be quarantined and you only have a week’s vacation and you cannot get home for another 4 days. This is the start of a mystery spread and patient zero goes under the radar.
I won’t get into the math but the spread rate of such a situation would be a disaster, and the problem surfaces when locals start getting sick and the spread is on. I shudder to think of the short term future and I pray we find a way to get people protected because we cannot stay locked up for much longer.