Sunday 17 May 2020

COVID CHRONICLE How Covid-19 has forced Mobile Homers to become Stay-At-Homers


My husband and I became proud owners of a Motor Home two years ago and quickly discovered the joys of travelling, with all its freedom of movement and a life lived mostly outside. We have travelled with our little dog to France, Italy, Switzerland, Spain and Morocco. We have been amazed by stunning mountains and coastlines and enjoyed that most wonderful of things – sunshine.
Earlier this year we drove to Marbella in Southern Spain and then slowly made our way up the Mediterranean coast in ignorant bliss of the growing Covid-19 pandemic. We'd heard about a virus in China from short snatches of news on the BBC but had no idea how serious it was and most of the focus at home was on 'Get Brexit Done.'
After our last campsite in Northern Spain, we travelled back through France to our ferry crossing in Caen, increasingly puzzled by the many large signs above the autoroute saying Corona Virus with a radio station frequency.
Just one week after our return, Lockdown was declared but by then we knew how dangerous this nasty little virus was. We had already booked our next travels to Morocco at the end of May, where we were looking forward to two fabulous concerts showcasing Morocco's Gnawa Music.
Of course, that's not going to happen now and, instead, we have offered the use of our Motor Home for any key worker needing a safe haven.
Like everyone in the world, we are hoping for an effective and safe vaccine so that life can resume. But we want a new way of life where climate change is tackled seriously, where people will continue to look after each other and where the NHS is properly funded.
Naturally, we'd like to resume our travels but we're wondering how long it will be before countries feel safe enough to open their borders and when they do, what kind of reception will we get? Even with proof of vaccination, will we be viewed with suspicion?
And in tourist areas within the UK, how keen will residents be at the prospect of an influx of holiday-makers given the large numbers of unwanted visitors who are shamefully disobeying the Government's travel rules and putting the lives of locals at risk.
The future is uncertain but it could, in the long term, be a better future. And since I'm an optimist, I suspect that travellers will be welcomed back because we may well be the ones to help kick-start their economies.

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