We’re halfway through summer and travel has been quite active both domestically as well as internationally. Since many Americans are fully vaccinated many protocols have eased across the globe. That doesn’t mean that it is only downhill from here but it is a step in the right direction. To put it in perspective, the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo were cancelled last summer but went on this summer despite being closed to fans. Again, not ideal but at least we are moving forward.
That said, here are some things to keep in mind regarding hotels, new CDC mask guidelines, and how people are coping.
Hotels have been busy this summer and new openings in the US and Mexico have continued with one of the newest in NYC. If you have not already experienced a stay in a hotel this summer, you can expect safety measures like indoor mask requirements to continue but things do feel less restrictive as opposed to last year. Also, as hotels have struggled with guests in the past year, they are becoming more creative in their offerings such as “work-from-hotel” packages if you need to extend your stay into the work week.
The CDC once again recommends wearing masks in public indoors settings even for those who are fully vaccinated. It is a reversal of their earlier recommendations but this shift seems on par with what we have seen globally with the Delta variant of COVID-19 but also in preparation for the fall and the seasonal effects the virus may have. Therefore, don’t be surprised if you are required to wear a mask again in hotels, restaurants, etc. This brings us to the most important aspect of all…us (people).
I think it is safe to say that not only are people tired but also frustrated with the pandemic which has led to serious mental health challenges. Many have waited over a year to travel and as restrictions lifted the world started opening up but the social stigma around travel and fear of infection has not been as easy to switch off. In the midst of excitement for the opportunity to freely move about the globe, there is still an underlying sense of uncertainty and anxiety that can make people feel a bit overwhelmed. As all people had to adjust to the new realities and difficulties of the pandemic it is understandable that the transition back to “normal” will not be seamless either.
We are human and, as humans, we can quickly adjust to rules and protocols and even physical changes but psychological adaptation takes more time. Therefore, give yourself more time before you jump back into crowded hotel bars, long-haul flights, or large social gatherings. It’s ok to take a slower step back into your old norms because with time it will get better as we have already seen—just think how much nicer this summer has been as opposed to last.
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