Is Coronavirus keeping us grounded? – 10/03/20

Coronavirus has massively impacted the travel industry through its disruption of airlines, student holidays and international study.

Currently, over 95,600 cases have been confirmed worldwide. Around 3,285 deaths have been recorded so far. 85 countries have been impacted in total. However, almost 54,000 have been recorded as recovering from symptoms, others are recovering within quarantine.

The World Health Organization has defined the spread of coronavirus as a, “Public Health Emergency of International Concern”. The use of international highlights that the disease is affecting many different nations, and it is spreading as a result of international travelling.

Coronavirus has impacted some airlines, particularly because flights increase the risk of infection due to the confinement and the use of closed air filters. The air quality on planes is infamously poor, and in times of crisis, such as the coronavirus outbreak, it is imperative that passengers’ health is made a priority. The ‘bleed air’ that passengers breathe in during flights is infamously terrible. It’s a combination of cabin air, and air compressed within the aircraft’s engines. The recycled air is known as a breeding ground for infection and disease. Therefore, with the outbreak of coronavirus, it is important that passengers catch their sneezes and coughs in tissues and regularly wash their hands. The increased danger of flying and infecting others is clearly important. Last Wednesday, United Airlines became the first US airline to cut its domestic service.

The outbreak has had an instrumental impact on all aspects of the travel industry. Those waiting to book summer holidays have had to pause their plans to see if the Coronavirus spreads further, and it becomes increasingly dangerous to travel internationally.

Coronavirus is also impacting students going on semesters abroad. One female student at UEA who went to Italy to spend the semester studying, has now been made to return to the UK as the risks posed to her health are imminent.

Students are famed for travelling, even spontaneously booking city breaks in the middle of term. However with the vast spread of Coronavirus, students are no longer booking to go away for a few days and experience a different culture, for fear that this will make them ill. This in turn has made the cost of travelling go down, flight tickets are cheaper and accommodation costs have gone down, which is very appealing for money scrimping students. It’s a case of weighing up the pros and cons of travelling currently, and at the moment it looks like Coronavirus is winning.

Societies who are organising trips for their members are also having to proceed with planning their trips with caution. Often, societies plan trips in order to increase the sense of community amongst their society, therefore the bond that is established between members will be put at risk.

Overall, the effect of Coronavirus is vast, the effects of the disease upon the travel industry will only grow greater over time.

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