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  • With mass vaccine rollout going quite fast in the US, UAE, Israel, UK, and select other

  • parts of the world - aka rich countries - many people in these nations see an end in sight

  • to the current pandemic.

  • One of the first things people can't wait to get back to is travel.

  • After all, most people put all international travel plans on hold since the first lockdown.

  • However, if you live in one of the countries with a fast vaccine rollout and are planning

  • an immediate trip out after vaccination and herd immunity in your country, make sure to

  • delay travel to some destinations.

  • These include...

  • [INDIA]

  • An incredible country full of culture, historic sights, amazing food and landscapes, India

  • is high on many travelers' bucket list.

  • Unfortunately, India is also currently going through a huge crisis in its healthcare system

  • because of a huge surge of COVID-19.

  • The virus has overflowed Indian hospitals, to the point where oxygen delivery systems

  • in New Delhi and other major Indian cities collapsed.

  • Worst of all, many local health experts point out that even this shocking amount of COVID

  • hospitalizations and deaths is likely undercounted.

  • Rural Indian citizens, or those living in the huge slums outside the central cities,

  • are unlikely to have access to healthcare.

  • Therefore, there are probably many more people than are being reported getting infected,

  • sick, and dying at home, without ever making it onto any official count.

  • Tourists visiting India now would create an unnecessary burden on a healthcare system

  • in crisis.

  • With oxygen supplies low throughout the urban areas, doctors and nurses working overtime,

  • and hospitals packed to the brim, India can't handle foreigners coming in, contracting the

  • virus, and then also needing medical assistance.

  • Furthermore, a “double mutantvariant of the virus was recently detected in India.

  • Virologist Shahid Jameel warned that such a variant may be more resistant to vaccines.

  • As he stated, “double mutation in key areas of the virus's spike protein may increase

  • these risks and allow the virus to escape the immune system.”

  • So if you want to experience the beautiful sights and sounds of India, maybe wait just

  • a little bit more.

  • [BRAZIL]

  • Brazil.

  • In the last few years, the country of stunning beaches, samba, and the most envied Carnaval

  • in the world has become synonymous with its aggressive and often ignorant leader - Jair

  • Bolsonaro.

  • Progressive Brazilians have bristled at the President's COVID-denial, which continued

  • up until the point where Jair himself became infected.

  • However, it doesn't seem that contracting the virus whose existence he denied did much

  • to open up Jair's mind.

  • His refusal to acknowledge the spread and danger of the disease, as well as his general

  • disregard for indigenous people of Brazil, protecting the Amazon, and most of Brazil's

  • working class, may explain why his approval rate was hovering around 24% in May of 2021.

  • When the pandemic's death toll surpassed 162,000 in Brazil, Bolsonaro had the following

  • words of comfort to offer: “Everyone is going to die….we have to stop being a country

  • of sissies.”

  • As you might imagine, this ridiculous announcement offered little consolation to hospitalized

  • Brazilians or those grieving loved ones' deaths.

  • Though Brazil's vaccine rollout was progressing on schedule, it recently stalled due to various

  • failures of federal, state, and local governments to ensure the rollout went smoothly.

  • Additionally, Bolsonaro's government has repeatedly been in favor of easing social

  • restrictions regardless of expert advice, leading to Brazil being one of the worst hit

  • countries in the world during the pandemic.

  • Brazil's death toll and virus spread was also exacerbated by an infectious variant

  • that sprang up in the region, which experts determined was around 2.5 times more infectious

  • than the first virus variant.

  • Since trust in Bolsonaro has fallen to an all time low, causing doubts about the pandemic

  • numbers being reported and general social unrest, perhaps tourists can wait another

  • year before visiting the beaches of Rio.

  • [COLOMBIA]

  • Heading further north on the South American continent, you may have caught wind of Colombia

  • in the news lately.

  • Though the country had instituted a strict lockdown, it has recently experienced another

  • deadly surge in viral spread around the country.

  • However, there are other problems to deal with in Colombia right now.

  • Before the pandemic, social discontent had formed with the government of Ivan Duque Marquez,

  • leading to youth protests across the country.

  • Now, with many young people unemployed or barely surviving off their diminished income

  • during the pandemic, this discontent has only grown.

  • Everyday Colombians, especially young people who see Marquez as allied with the wealthy

  • and dismissing the concerns of the middle and working classes, have been protesting

  • daily on the streets, leading to violent clashes with police.

  • As of mid-May 2021, 19 people have been killed, and hundreds more injured.

  • The protests were re-triggered when Marquez' government proposed a new tax plan which favored

  • the wealthy, while taking away many tax exemptions for everyday goods and placing a higher tax

  • burden on most citizens and small business owners.

  • Though Colombia is home to some of the most beautiful destinations in the world - Cartagena,

  • Medellin, and Santa Marta, to name a few - the atmosphere is tense as tens of thousands of

  • young Colombians are currently out on the street all across the nation to protest for

  • their rights.

  • Hopefully, the protests lead to a plan that will ease the economic burden on Colombian

  • people, and tourists can return to a happier, more peaceful country soon.

  • [RUSSIA]

  • Perhaps it's no surprise that the widespread corruption in Russia has bled through to COVID

  • numbers as well.

  • Demographer Alexei Raksha is among many experts and officials who think Russia's official

  • numbers barely even approach the actual tally of the sick and deceased.

  • Raksha worked at Rosstat state statistics agency until summer of 2020, when he was forced

  • out over disagreements regarding the COVID numbers.

  • The disagreement basically came down to Raksha wanting to report accurate numbers and give

  • civilians an idea of the present risk, while Putin's government was more interested in

  • pretending everything was OK.

  • Raksha believes that the death toll as of March 2021 was around 450,000; way more than

  • the 94,300 deaths Russia's COVID headquarters were officially reporting.

  • Russia has repeatedly opened up against expert advice, favoring its economy over its citizens'

  • health, and even opened up to allow a referendum that would help Putin stay in power.

  • Of further concern is Russia's use of the locally-developed Sputnik V vaccine.

  • International experts and scientists peer reviewing Russia's findings have expressed

  • skepticism about the trial methods, results, and even group sizes.

  • Sputnik V's phase 1 and 2 trials, published inThe Lancet”, counted only 38 participants

  • each.

  • Though Russia approved a fast-track rollout of the vaccine in August of 2020, it still

  • has not made primary data available to an independent or international drug testing

  • authority.

  • So while Russia claims to be progressing on the vaccine rollout, we have no idea how effective

  • the Sputnik V vaccines actually are.

  • A visit to the Hermitage Museum or an adventure on the trans-Siberian railroad might sound

  • like the trip of a lifetime, but these are all good reasons to hold out on your Russia

  • visit just a little bit longer.

  • [TANZANIA]

  • Even for the stunning continent of Africa, Tanzania seems especially blessed.

  • Those who visit the Serengeti to see majestic animals up close or seek to climb Kilimanjaro,

  • one of the world's “Seven Summits”, do so in Tanzania.

  • However, Tanzania is currently experiencing a problem during the pandemic; or rather,

  • two problems at once.

  • COVID denial coupled with rampant vaccine hesitancy.

  • In February of 2021, Tanzanian Health Minister Dorothy Gwajima publicly demonstrated her

  • own take on how to prevent COVID-19.

  • Did she get vaccinated in front of the cameras?

  • No.

  • Instead, she made a smoothie with ginger, onions, lemon, and pepper.

  • Besides sounding alarmingly like the Master Cleanse, Gwajima insisted that this smoothie

  • mix was Tanzanians' best defense against viral infections.

  • Perhaps most distressingly, she also went on to state that her country has no plans

  • to receive vaccines for the pandemic, and citizens should rely on herbal steaming and

  • natural remediesinstead.

  • When your Health Minister is spouting advice usually heard echoing off the walls of Gwyneth

  • Paltrow's GOOP-funded mansion, you should be worried.

  • President John Magufuli stepped in to back up his health minister's claims.

  • After months of denying the existence of COVID in the country, he finally admitted that the

  • virus had indeed been making the rounds, but advised citizens to pray the virus away instead

  • of observing any lockdown measures.

  • As you can tell, this doesn't make us confident that Tanzania plans to reach vaccine-based

  • herd immunity any time soon.

  • [FRANCE]

  • We hate to take the City of Love off your travel plans, but we just might have to for

  • now.

  • Paris is frequently listed as the number one tourist destination throughout the world,

  • but there's something else France may be number one in: it is now considered one of

  • the most vaccine-hesitant places in the world.

  • In early 2021, a survey in Le Journal du Dimanche newspaper showed that only 41% of French people

  • planned to get vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.

  • Although experts expect that percentage to increase as the vaccine rollout accelerates

  • and more people observe its safety and effectiveness, France has a contentious relationship with

  • vaccines that might keep that number far short of what is required for herd immunity.

  • Prior to the current pandemic, a Gallup survey conducted in 44 countries, surveying 140,000

  • people in total, found that France was actually the most vaccine-sceptical country in the

  • world.

  • One in three French people surveyed said they did not believe vaccines, almost any vaccines,

  • to be safe.

  • Even if the number of French people willing to get the COVID vaccine increases, if approximately

  • 33% of French people remain opposed, it means herd immunity will never be within reach.

  • Perhaps scientists can find a way to deliver the vaccine via croissants or cigarettes instead.

  • But for now, the Eiffel Tower will have to wait.

  • [MEXICO]

  • Mexico?

  • But how is that possible!

  • Mexico has been open to travelers through most of the pandemic!

  • In fact, it was probably the top visited location for US tourists in 2020, welcoming hundreds

  • of thousands of US citizens who wanted to escape the lockdown.

  • How can it be a bad place to visit after the pandemic ends?

  • Well, everything we just said before kind of answers your question, doesn't it?

  • Mexico was involved in a lot of scandals regarding the presence of COVID-19 in the country.

  • In late March of 2021, the government released a statement revising its total number of COVID

  • deaths - up 60% from the original estimate to a total of around 321,000 people at the

  • time.

  • Back in December of 2020, the virus was spreading like wildfire throughout the country, and

  • especially in densely populated Mexico City.

  • With a central urban population of almost 9 million, and a metro population of 21.8

  • million people, COVID spread almost completely unchecked and did untold damage to Mexico

  • City's massive population.

  • Federal officials kept insisting that the virus was at bay; spreading for sure, but

  • nowhere near the levels that would necessitate a lockdown.

  • However, independent journalists, including reporters forThe New York Times”, found

  • that Mexico City had far surpassed their own thresholds while shoppers, diners, and others

  • were still clogging the streets.

  • President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was accused of downplaying the pandemic, partly

  • in order to keep tourism, especially tourism from the US, open.

  • Tourism accounts for about 8.5% of Mexico's GDP, and the pressure to keep borders open

  • and people employed in the sector was intense.

  • During the height of the surge, President Obrador was found telling Mexicans to ignore

  • stay-at-home orders and telling people that masks weren't “essential”.

  • As the recent revision of the COVID numbers show, Obrador also spent quite some time lying

  • about the numbers.

  • Contrary to his claims, Mexico had one of the highest recorded COVID-19 death tolls

  • in the world.

  • Like Brazil's Bolsonaro and Tanzania's Magufuli, Mexican President Obrador also set

  • a bad example from the top.

  • He often refused to wear a mask, and would even hug and kiss supporters at huge public

  • events.

  • On January 23, President Obrador started to experience flu-like symptoms.

  • Though he took a COVID-19 test, he also had no intention of holding up his schedule to

  • protect any of his citizens.

  • In fact, while waiting for his test results it seems like he tried to spread the virus

  • to as many people as possible.

  • He held an indoor dinner with business leaders, met with top government and military officials,

  • attended four public events in two different Mexican states, and took three commercial

  • flights.

  • After his little viral tour of Mexico, he got his test results and tweeted that he was

  • positive after all.

  • In addition to President Obrador's own personal mission to infect his people, he made it extremely

  • difficult for Mexican citizens to test and isolate.

  • His government called free COVID-19 testing a “waste of time…[and] resources”.

  • That means that while Mexico was reporting very few COVID cases, the actual numbers were

  • through the roof, reflected in the very high positivity rate during surges, which sometimes

  • hovered close to 50%.

  • However, many people in Mexico live at or below the poverty line, and could not afford

  • COVID-19 testing, or get access to healthcare.

  • This means the numbers reported in Mexico, even now, are probably way below the real

  • ones, and Obrador's government has every incentive to keep lying about the extent of

  • the viral spread.

  • At the end of the day, even though some countries have done a commendable job with the vaccine

  • rollout, thanks partly to massive funds and resources, scientists and epidemiologists

  • emphasize that we are only as safe as our neighbors and other countries throughout the

  • world.

  • That's why it's important for those nations nearing herd immunity to help vaccinate other

  • countries, for people around the world to be educated on the vaccine and the virus as

  • much as possible, and perhaps most of all, for leaders around the world to set a good

  • example for their people.

  • Where do you want to travel, or not travel, when the pandemic ends?

  • Tell us in the comments below!

  • In the meantime, since you're sitting at home anyway for the foreseeable future, click

  • on one of our hilarious and informative videos, here, or maybe here!

With mass vaccine rollout going quite fast in the US, UAE, Israel, UK, and select other

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Avoid These Tourist Spots When Traveling After the Pandemic

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    Summer posted on 2021/06/16
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