NATURAL BEAUTY: Clare Goodfellow admires Yosemite National Park in California, USA. Photo: Mitchell Keenan
NATURAL BEAUTY: Clare Goodfellow admires Yosemite National Park in California, USA. Photo: Mitchell Keenan

Travel during COVID-19: Great escape, or brush with fate?

2020, what a time to be alive.

Emerging from a horrific bushfire season in 2019, it was easy to believe the New Year would bring a sense of optimism - but it couldn’t have been further from that.

After planning a trip to the United States last year it was finally time to board our flight in early March and while there were small signs this could become something bigger, my partner and I had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.

We had been informed there would be an increase in security as we left the country but we were met with a largely unchanged process. No temperature checks, no extra forms, nothing.

In Los Angeles, entering the country was again, surprisingly easy. While I didn’t have the urge to cough, we felt as though it may have the same effect as blurting out the word “bomb.” But aside from a passing comment, everything seemed normal.

For the rest of the trip we were able to steer clear of any large groups of people, appreciating the incredible nature the country has to offer in a hire car. As the situation rapidly evolved it was clear we were going to have to cut our losses and find our way back, cutting our trip in half.

On our return we were convinced the national security measures would be much tighter, and in a way they were, but I was still disappointed with the self-reliance on travellers.

I expected medical checks as we entered the country but instead we were handed a form to fill out and that was it. I couldn’t quite believe it.

But while Australia was slow to act, the United States are suffering even more for their negligence and I’m glad we got out.



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