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How You Can Help Open Borders Where Americans Are Shut Out

Posted by Randy LeGrant | Aug 17, 2020 2:26:42 PM

So you're eager to travel and you're an American. You're ready to pack your bags, plant your butt into an airplane seat and fly away. Your passport is ready to be stamped. It's time. What international travel restrictions are being placed on American travelers? And why?

Starting on March 16, 2020, anyone entering the US was required to quarantine for 14-days. Why? On that day the US recorded 1,718 cases of COVID-19. Remember way back in mid-March 2020? 1,718 cases. As I write this post, the US has now reported a total of 5,312,940 cases. FIVE MONTHS. In those five months (almost to the day) we have recorded 5,311,222 add'l cases. That's 38,210 cases PER DAY since that fateful March 16, when official quarantines began.

That's why US Citizens may not travel outside the US, unless you're eager to go to Albania, Haiti, Egypt, Slovinia, Hungary, Turkey, Ukraine and a handful of others. Nothing wrong with those countries. It's just that GeoVisions doesn't have any programs there. Coronavirus travel restrictions have curbed the way Americans used to travel, without really thinking about it.

If we all do our part (like GeoVisions programs, it isn't about you) we can lower the case count and we can get other countries to trust us and open their borders to US Citizens. But not until we do our part. Without that, US travel bans are simply going to keep us all home.

If you want to go on a cruise or go on a tour ... that trip is about YOU. Enjoying the food and booze on the ship and all the places you'll dock. If you're on a tour, most certainly that's a bout you and what you're going to see and do on your tour. But a GeoVisions program? Not so fast, fella! That's about your students, your host brothers and sisters, your new community. GeoVisions isn't about you. It's about the people you're going to assist. So traveling with GeoVisions is different, and it takes a little getting used to.

Taking care of others so that the COVID-19 cases go down isn't about you either. The 4 W's are about others:

  • Wear a mask. It dramatically reduces the risks of infecting others and being infected. The mask protects the people you're with from YOU.
  • Watch your distance. Keep 6 feet between you and others. If you sneeze or cough, your mask will hold most of the droplets back, and anything getting through your mask will not reach six-feet away.
  • Wash your hands. If you scratch your nose or rub your eyes, no germs will be on your hands. And if you touch something someone else might touch, you won't spread germs.
  • Watch group sizes. In some communities it is recommended to keep groups to 10 people max. In other areas the number is 100. Whatever it is where you are, stay away from large groups. One person can infect a large number of people.

We have all heard people (and we may know people) say wearing masks undermines our freedom. Think about it though. What do you do each and every day to keep yourself and those you care about safe?

  • We wear seatbelts in our cars and trucks.
  • We wear motorcycle and bike helmets.
  • We make sure our children are strapped into car seats at the appropriate ages.
  • We don't smoke near others because of the scientific information about second-hand smoke.
  • While it's legal to drink alcohol, there are laws that impact that liberty to keep drunk drivers from driving.
  • Mobile phones are illegal for texting and driving in most states in the US.

The list goes on and on showing the liberties or freedoms all of us enjoy, and the laws used to curb those freedoms to keep ourselves and others safe. Wearing masks, keeping your distance and staying out of large groups of people are no different.

If we will all take care of one another and also be kind we will, together, bring down the cases of COVID-19 here in the US. When that happens borders will open. Americans will be welcome again around the world.

Written by Randy LeGrant

Randy is the Executive Director of the GeoVisions Foundation. He has spent the last 44 years managing organizations that send people abroad on cultural and educational exchanges.

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