Annelise Capossela for the New York Times
Earlier this month I did something that, in this pandemic times, could fracture some of my relationships with friends and family and maybe you’ve done the same:
I went on vacation. With another family! We shared a house together and didn’t wear masks. The risk seemed minimal in relation to the benefit it brought for all of us. We rented a car (avoiding public transportation, we stayed in state (only traveling about 80 miles away, we didn’t even need to stop for gas), we spent the entire time at the house and didn’t see anyone outside our group (save for one trip to the grocery store at mid-visit), and we traveled with friends who had been in our little bubble of a handful of families this summer. We had such a great time getting a change of scenery and enjoying the outdoors and lots of extra space than we’re used to that I booked another weekend getaway in October (this time just the four of us). No one in my life gave me any beef about taking this risk, but that hasn’t been the case for many people choosing to vacation during a pandemic.
The Times explored this phenomenon in an article published this week entitled, “The New Pandemic Flash Point: Your Vacation.” In it, the author asks: “What kind of travel, if any, is acceptable? Opinions on what’s OK and what’s not are causing fights between family members and fissures among friends.” One gentleman who runs a travel blog, has traveled from Liverpool to Spain for a vacation, and has been on a handful of other trips within Britain said:
“I’ve been getting criticism in my professional life and from people in my personal life. Some come at it from an ethical point of view and think I shouldn’t be traveling and spreading disease anywhere, and then others come from the emotional ‘you shouldn’t be traveling because you’ll kill my grandma’ point of view.”
Obviously, there are different levels of risks in travel and as many opinions about what risks are ethical and which ones aren’t.
“Some people say that people should only go on essential trips. Others say pleasure trips within driving distance are acceptable. Others, like Mr. Huxley, who is from Liverpool, say traveling is fine, as long as travelers follow rules like washing hands and maintaining a clean environment and keeping distance between themselves and others. The various delineations of what’s right and what’s not are causing fights between family members and creating fissures among friends.”
So, I’m curious: Have you experienced any of these fissures in your own relationships with friends or family? Have you been accused of taking an unethical vacation that wasn’t worth the risk? Have you side-eyed others who have gone on trips you disapproved of? And what do you consider reasonable risks? *Are* there any reasonable risks, in your eyes, during a pandemic like this one?