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A Dose of Healthy Fear

Marion Charatan

Posted on July 5, 2020 18:50

5 users

With summer in full swing, bookings for hotel stays are still down.

One of my guilty pleasures has been to book an occasional hotel stay. It's pure relaxation and self-indulgence. But those days have changed -- not just for me but for many other folks. 

When COVID-19 reared its ugly head earlier this year, life as we know changed very quickly. We were advised to stay six feet away from other people, wear masks, not touch surfaces, disinfect, disinfect, disinfect! -- and more. 

Gone are the days when I went out and felt carefree. I now think about everything I do. A simple thing like filling my gas tank has become a process. I wear disposable gloves before I touch the pump that dozens of people have handled that day, too. Yep, it's inconvenient but I'd rather take a few minutes of precautions than risk making myself or someone else sick. 

In another life, I enjoyed a short road trip and overnight hotel stay. There are many choices for staycations in WA State. Ocean Shores, WA (about a 3 hour drive south of Seattle) is a magnificent setting with plenty of accommodations close to the beach. Hospitality accounts for a good part of the town's income. Hotels and motels reopened on May 19 for Memorial Day guests, following a two-month closure. However, the County is in Phase 3 -- with restrictions. The recommendation is still in place that people don't gather in groups of more than fifty.

There have been relatively few cases of the novel coronavirus in Ocean Shores (Gray Harbor County) -- just 15 -- since March. Contrast that to King County, where I live, which has 11,182 cases confirmed as of this morning, July 8. 

Although COVID-19 cases have been just about non-existent in Ocean Shores, who knows how that will morph now that summer has geared up? People come from all over to visit the delightful beach area, which boasts a beautiful and expansive shoreline with horse riding for those who want to saddle up. 

But people congregating together is a Petri dish for germs. And beaches, hotels, restaurants and stores are where people in a resort area gather. 

Right now, huge discounts are offered for hotels. I've seen up to 75% off. Unheard of prices are listed. 

Personally, I'm still too scared to go to a hotel. I know that hospitality has been hit the hardest from huge revenue losses. I'm truly sorry for those who've been impacted. In April, 7.7 million hospitality workers lost their jobs and hotel profits fell by an astounding 117 percent. There has been rebound but it's still not enough. This is why the government should extend assistance to laid off workers, including unemployment add-ons of $600 weekly.

Even though hotels and motels have imposed stricter sanitizing guidelines, they cannot control the behavior of their visitors. I'll play it safe for now and keep out of hotels and motels -- or look into the options of travel in an RV or a stay in a stand-alone cabin. 

Marion Charatan

Posted on July 5, 2020 18:50

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Source: BBC

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