March 8, 2020

 

palermo Italy square

If you’re looking for another one of those “woe is me” blog posts about the COVID-19 Coronavirus, then you need to move on because this is definitely not it. In fact, I feel a rant coming on. By now, the whole frigging world knows about this virus and people are absolutely losing their minds and expecting a Dawn of the Dead zombie apocalypse. I am reading reports of people stockpiling crap as if the world is coming to an end. Stop the insanity already. Here is why l think we are hurting ourselves more than helping.

street in palermo italy

Exploring the streets of Palermo. This one is close to our centrally located hotel that we got for a steal thanks to the Coronavirus.

Travel In The Age Of Coronavirus:

I posted this video of Nonna (Grandma) on Facebook a few days ago to try and knock some sense into people. Yes, I know this Coronavirus is new and people are worried that we are doomed as a race, but really, if you calm down and think things out rationally, you should realize that this too shall pass.

Firstly, we all need to stop this “I am an expert on the virus simply because l believe what l read online” or the my cousin’s sister in law’s boyfriend heard it from the pizza delivery guy  that we are doomed, therefore it must be true mentality and actually listen to medical professionals… or to Nonna!

I am shocked at the fact that simple hygiene (that should be part of everyone’s daily routine needs to be highlighted and reiterated). Really! While it is understandable that we should be concerned about this novel virus, losing your mind is counterproductive. We know that the virus is here to stay.

Choosing not to travel in this age of the COVID-19 virus out of fear of catching it  probably just means that you’ll catch it at home instead of on the road if you’re meant to catch it. Long time readers know that my motto is “I shall not fear. Fear is the mind killer”. l have written about it before.

Why Fear should have your ears, not your balls!

Valencia Fallas and Coronavirus: Have no fear

travel in the age of coronavirus

One of the almost thousand ninots on display at the museum. Everyone gets to vote for their favorite. The winner is saved from burning and moved to the Fallas museum. Nope, I did not vote for this joker inspired one.

Our original plans had been to flee Valencia during the  three weeks of Fallas fiesta. We’ve participated in it for three years and needed a break. Our friends in Portugal wanted this “new to them” experience.  We arranged for them to watch the dogs while we took off for somewhere else, destination unknown at that point, (about six months ago). Turns out there was a travel blogger conference scheduled for around Fallas time and it was taking place in Sicily. Of course we decided to attend the conference and made our plans accordingly.

Related Reading: Fallas in Valencia

Fast forward to the hysteria of COVID-19 as the virus came to be known. Little by little, the momentum shifted and cancellations started happening at an alarming level and ultimately the conference was cancelled, along with the other huge one in Berlin. 

My take on the whole Coronavirus thing?

 I wrote something on Facebook about my suspicion of this whole thing being a stroke of genius, completely manufactured and very well executed plan of action by the big pharmaceutical companies (part of me still thinks so ). 

The rich were going to get richer because their shares would go through the roof price wise, and the shareholders would be very happy indeed come dividend time and quarterly results. The market has indeed fallen, but the Biotech companies have had their prices going through the roof through all this. Follow the money l had said. Are they that evil you ask? Yes is my answer. Am l being paranoid? Maybe.

What you should do about the Coronavirus:

  • Stop panicking with the doomsday thinking
  • Take extra precautions if you are a high risk group (elderly, immunocompromised etc.) as recommended by experts, not your hairstylist or bartender.
  • Stop hoarding crap! You do know you can wash your bum with soap and water… right?
  • Enough with this frigging masks already unless you’re about to rob a bank! 
  • Practice good hygiene – ALL THE TIME! Duh!
  • Stop watching “those” movies. You know the ones l mean. “Contagion” for one.
  • Don’t use it as an excuse to discriminate.
  • Keep on living your life as best as you can.

The Show Must Go On: So Says Valencia

 

ninot for fallas valencia 2020 - travel in the age of coronavirus

My vote for the one to be saved. Amazing detail and color.

Ultimately, the city of Valencia decided to go ahead with Fallas. From what l understand, this biggest party of the year expects about two million visitors, up from one million last year. Are the citizens panicking? Not that l noticed. The crowds are ramping up and very few masks sighted. 

I think at this point, trying to shove the genie back in the bottle is not working and life needs to go on. I am sort of proud of them to be honest. I also see that the city of Dublin has decided to go ahead with the St. Patrick’s Day festivities as of now. Perhaps we have seen the peak of panic? Really! How long can you ask people not to work, go out, go to school, stay at home with said kids, travel etc. etc? Indefinitely? I think not. We’ll see how many people actually attend Fallas. 

Where are we?

a selection of mousse in cups

I chose the pistachio on the left, and l chose well because it rocked.

In case you haven’t figured it out from the images, we are in Palermo, Italy and are having a wonderful time so far. Very few tourists unfortunately. Sucks for the small businesses and people that depend on the tourist dollars. We were talking to this guy who runs one of the most amazing dessert places that is attached to the Palermo Teatro and he was telling us how their business was devastated.

Fede holding canoli and torta

Now l understand why in the Godfather, that guy said “Leave the gun, take the cannoli :-). It is magnificent.

The lines that would ordinarily be flowing out the door was now a tiny trickle. All performances canceled and he was wondering “why the heck would they do that because of some coronaveerus? (because that is how Italians, including Federico, pronounce it). His words were a lot more colorful though..haha!

You might like: Verona Italy

Putting Things In Perspective with regards to the Coronavirus:

I was reading some online forum where the whole discussion was of course on the Coronavirus. Some guy volunteering in a third world country was saying how he teaches kids whose stomachs he could hear rumbling because they literarily did not know if they were going to have food for the day. 

Kids who were hungry, but still had to go sell little things like gum and tissues after their classes in hopes of making enough money to be able to buy something to eat for the day. He said those kids didn’t care about some virus that they maybe/could/on some off chance might/perchance/possibly catch. They had too many pressing problems. Like hunger.

Think about THAT for a minute, and then thank your God for the good fortune you have to be able to whine about not being able to travel or how this virus is wrecking your life and the other hundreds of stupid, ridiculous and absolutely selfish reasons you can come up with.

Did we do the right thing to travel in the age of Coronavirus hoopla?

Only time will tell. We could have canceled, stayed and mingled with the possibly millions of people descending upon Valencia or  we could have hoarded crap and await the apocalypse. Meanwhile, we will continue to indulge in the wonderful Sicilian food and hospitality.

woman sitting at table in cafe with pumpkin appetizer and arancini on travel in the age of coronavirus

My allergies are kicking my butt, but l am thoroughly enjoying myself. This pumpkin appetizer is the bomb, sort of like sweet roasted peppers drenched in vinegar, a specialty here.

Hopefully, a food tour like we had in Rome will be on the itinerary even though l am beginning to doubt it. One thing l know for sure. If l’m going to be quarantined, I am totally okay with it being in this amazing part of the world with the other #TBEXsurvivors – I think maybe 20 of us left in total compared to the hundreds originally scheduled.

arrancini in Palermo Italy

Why we chose to travel in the age of Coronavirus: Yum yum! Arancini ragu.

Here’s an idea. Start worrying about COVID-20.  Too soon? :-) . Pretty sure there are many wishing me ill as they read this, but l think a voice of reason is needed right now, so suck it up buttercup! See you soon or not.

How has the Coronavirus affected your life and plans?