This is the second year that Covid-19 has upended holiday travel, after nearly two long years of plans undone, loved ones unseen and life milestones unmarked. Now that vaccines are widely available in the United States, it's especially frustrating that we are still held hostage to a pandemic fueled by the people who refuse to get vaccinated and by the policy choices of wealthy nations not to treat this pandemic like a global pandemic and vaccinate the world. But here we are, and despite the fact that the United States has some of the highest Covid-19 case and death rates in the world, our Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning US citizens to avoid travel to over a dozen countries and has banned visitors from eight southern African countries.
Not that Americans are all staying home: Some 2 million people traveled through US airports daily on December 16, 17 and 18 -- more than double last year's numbers, although still lower than pre-Covid-19 rates. Full disclosure: I was one of them. Like millions of people the world over, I'm taking a hard look at my own risk (including the risk I pose to others) and making careful choices about how and when to grab back some aspects of pre-Covid-19 life. Travel is often necessary for my job; it's also one of my greatest joys and a requirement to see many of my loved ones, family members and closest friends.