Unicorns, Clark W. Griswold, and Travelling in a Pandemic


Summer! As seasons go in the ol’ NWO, summertime is our unicorn… a mythical beast that always seems like it’s just around the corner but never quite within reach. And when we finally get a glimpse, it feels like it’s gone before we really get a chance to enjoy it.

So what we do when it’s here? Squeeze every last drop of enjoyment we can out of the warm weather, often by travelling to our favourite vacation spot, camp (or cottage if you’re one of those, don’t get me started...) and extending that summer-loving as long as we possibly can.

Well, here we are, nearly 4 months in from when this pandemic really started hitting us and changing the way we live. And what do you know?! We’ve had a beautiful spring, a warm and sunny June, and now many of us are itching to get out and vacation like we’re Clark and Ellen Griswold, loading up the kids in the station wagon and heading to Wally World! Just throw caution to the wind and let the hi-jinx ensue!

But hold on there, Sparky! Have you forgotten something? “Let’s see… sunscreen, bug spray, anti-diarrheal meds… Nope! I think it’s all here.” Well, let me remind you then. The unfortunate truth is, that despite what the POTUS predicted a few months ago, COVID-19 did not miraculously disappear with the warmer weather. Nope, the virus is still out there and if you decide to travel, it comes with its own unique set of inherent risks.

So what’s to be done? If you choose to travel, here are some tips to keep yourself and others safe:

  • Recommendation 1: If you or someone with whom you’re travelling is sick, don’t leave home. If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, you should call about a test and follow all instructions.
  • Recommendation #2: Stay close to home. Travelling from one health jurisdiction to another brings with it the risk of spreading the virus to a less affected area. You know how you’re not allowed to bring firewood from one area to another because you could be inadvertently transplanting an invasive destructive pest? In this case, you’re the bundle of dried, split birch.
  • Recommendation #3: Check the travel advisories for your destination and the local situation. Visit websites of provincial governments, local health units or other authorities for the latest info.
  • Recommendation #4: Avoid public transportation (such as airplanes, buses, subways, etc.) and crowded areas whenever possible and practice all personal infection control measures.
  • Recommendation #5: Monitor yourself for symptoms when you are travelling and when you return. Have a plan of where to self-isolate and if you develop symptoms, even if mild, seek assessment and testing.

So that’s that. Summer is just the best, but seeing as we’ve done a remarkable job of flattening the curve here at home, the last thing we want to do is bring on the second wave by acting as the personal valet of a piggy-backing coronavirus. If you’re feeling nervous about people travelling again, try to keep in mind that you can only control your own actions. Take comfort in knowing that many other public health measures are still in place to keep the community safe. So be diligent, go out smart, and let’s all enjoy these warm weeks before they give way to the next ice age, aka every winter in NWO history.