Thursday, 21 May 2020

Summer Holidays 2020.



Tourism will probably be on hold this year; at least, I hope it will.

It's all well and good wanting to get away for a couple of weeks in the countryside, in the mountains, or by the sea, but please think of those of us who are living in rural areas where we are still free from COVID-19.

Town and city dwellers who dream of bucolic freedom risk spreading their urban viruses, and causing chaos where previously there had been calm. So please be aware of our concerns.


Travelling from crowded inner-cities to the peace and quiet of the countryside may sound like your ideal Summer holiday, but do resist. Sunbathe in your back garden or local park; we really don't want you, or your wretched COVID in our tiny hamlet! Above is how they make clear their attitude up in Scotland.

A lot of Brit ex-pats have been unwise enough to rely on income from holiday accommodation, and frankly they need to re-think what they're doing. I've said it before; ex-pats should be financially self-sufficient before moving abroad, and not have to rely on holidaymakers to boost their incomes.

It's a funny old world. Most ex-pats move to the countryside for peace and quiet, then as they find themselves strapped for cash, they 'do up a barn', and let Gites to tourists. It kinda defeats the purpose; and at present could prove extremely dangerous.

There are three Gites next door to us, and a 20-guest 'tin box holiday village' being built just 300 metres away. There is also another Gite within about 400 metres; the new owners of which might not use it as such. I hope they all remain empty; or at least demand that any holiday makers abide by a strict 14 day quarantine on arrival, and another 14 day quarantine on returning home.

I now understand that most governments (other than those whose countries exist almost exclusively on tourist dollars) are suggesting people stay at home this summer. I can but agree.

Don't you hate that word 'STAYCATION'. Ghastly, but an important message for 2020.

46 comments:

  1. Several small settlements here in the north had road blocks to stop people visiting.

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    1. It's normal that small communities, where they have no virus, should try to keep visitors away. To welcome people in would be madness.

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  2. Sadly tourism is not on hold!. Your PM is touting for business from mid June. UK and FR have agreed to not have quarantine between the 2 countries. Crazy
    . You do not know covid is not in your area. Most people only have mild symptoms or none. No where and no one is immune to this sadly.

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    1. I believe there have been two cases of COVID in my area, but both were between 20/30 kms away, and were dealt with very quickly. I heard that the UK and France would allow people in, but they'd have to face a 14 day isolation on returning home; which is as good as saying 'don't bother'. Info changes by the hour!

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  3. It is nice not having townies wandering about but not really fair on them. I find Alpacas roaming free are really good at keeping them in order.

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    1. I propose a few Italian Virus Villages where they could all go and rub shoulders with fellow Covidiots. Leave us (and any vicious Alpacas) alone.

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    2. The alpacas aren't vicious but they are intimidating.

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  4. We have the Lake District and miles of Solway coast which attract many tourists,

    A lot of people seem to be wanting to be here now the weather is getting warmer, despite all the warnings.

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    1. I've only seen pictures in the papers etc, but people really do seem to want to get out. No doubt back in my UK town of Brighton, the Prom' and beach will be overflowing.

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  5. Italy will be open on 1st June, summer holidays aren't going to be put on hold. We are going nowhere this year.

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    1. They are desperate for tourist money. Italy is a beautiful country, I'm not surprised they will be open for business.

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  6. The lack of holidaymakers may delay the tin box development for a very long time.

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    1. Our fingers are crossed. I hear that he's now hoping to open in 2021... we'll see!

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  7. Soon you'll be suggesting reintroducing leper colonies. JOKE!

    There are a few holes in your reasoning. For all you know you may have/had the virus. Statistically unlikely, but not improbable. As Athena above points out it can be totally asymptomatic (no symptoms); for all I know I am a Trojan horse. Merrily going about my business blithely unaware; though I am so strict with the two meter distancing rule in the UK the other day I stepped away from my shadow on the wall. No shit. How I'll ever unlearn this distancing business is anyone's guess.

    The main hole in your argument that even within hamlets like yours people will "travel" to towns in the line of their daily business (not least key workers), get in contact with others, go home (to your unsoiled hamlet), potential Trojan horses. As they say, just because you are paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you. Insert smiley.

    As to going on holiday, what about the French themselves? Are you suggesting that Parisians stay in Paris (the place is usually deserted in August) instead of seeking a bit of solace in France's country side (or on its beaches)? I am not advocating one way or another, however, I do believe that we need to be measured in our response lest it turns into some exercise of more than mild hysteria.

    U

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    1. The main problem is that in France 'second homes' are very common. Almost every Parisian with a decent job has a little Chateau, or cottage, in the country. Trying to stop these people coming down in their droves will be almost impossible. I can but hope that the Parisians stay at home.

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  8. Well our borders are still closed for the time being so that should keep the plague at bay for a while. Unfortunately that also means that the tourist industry here has all but collapsed so there are lots of people needing financial support from our government's dwindling reserves.

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    1. Better to be poor than die a horrible death from Covid. I think your people have it right. Keep it out.

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  9. Like JayCee's Isle of Man, most of Scotland's Islands are off limits and it's relatively easy to enforce. A few places in Wales that I'm aware of have set up road blocks with 'residents only' notices. The pictures from the last few days would seem to indicate that substantial numbers of people in the South of England are now ignoring lockdown and social distancing.

    However, I do think that your comment that "ex-pats should be financially self-sufficient before moving abroad, and not have to rely on holidaymakers to boost their incomes." is rather unrealistic and basically limits moving to people with financial independence or who get a job or are self-employed in the community. There is no difference between a French person having a gîte and an incomer having one from the Covid-19 point of view.

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    1. I find it quite shocking seeing all those pictures of people thronging in parks, on beaches, etc. They don't seem to realise how serious it is; people are still dying in their hundreds.

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  10. Well said Cro. What I can't understand is this obsession that the Brits have with descending on beaches and being surrounded by hundreds of other descendees, where's the fun in that?

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    1. Especially at the moment. I was once on holiday on the tiny island of Formentera, when a fellow hotel guest actually went home after a couple of days because it was too quiet for him. He should have gone to Benidorm.

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  11. As far as I know my area is Corvid free, nothing has been reported. No one wants to come to this corner of North Lincolnshire. I don't think I have had it, no noticeable symptoms, but I would like to have a few days away at another quiet area, keeping well away from the cities and towns. The locals might not want me there though.

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    1. Travelling is a risk in itself. You never know who you might encounter on the train, in a bus, or at the petrol station. The virus could be lurking anywhere. I honestly think you'd be better off staying at home.

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  12. Hotels open in Greece from June 15. Who is going to come? I wouldn't travel overseas, especially in June. By August my thinking may have changed..maybe. just now I'd rather everyone stayed at home.
    Foreigners who own property here will probably the first to turn up and there are many rental properties too which they own and will be pushing to fill. I hope they don't.
    My 2 sons in law make money from summer visitors and will be hoping for some influx . A lot of our tourism is local, from Athens and beyond. As long as there are no cases here it may be just a slow summer.
    Yes I wish we could stay isolated for a while but we need the income.

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    1. I wouldn't travel at the moment. Also I wouldn't want to eat in a hotel, restaurant, or café. I'm very aware that certain countries depend on tourist money, but I think they'd be better off waiting a while.

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  13. Is an ex-Pat someone who used to be called Patrick or Patricia? I guess that during your life in England you were known as Pat Magnon. Doesn't that sound better than Cro Magnon? I do not mean to cause offence but Cro is a strange name - especially without the "w" at the end.

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    1. We Magnons have strange names. As for the term ex-pat, it describes someone (possibly Irish) who started life as Patrick, then became Patsy. I would have thought you'd know that.

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    2. Isn't "Cro Magnon" a reference to pre-historic humans/Neanderthals, whose remains have been found in France? (I just read that up while studying for my French citizenship. Don't suppose THAT question will come up though)!

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    3. Yes it is or maybe the cave they found them in.

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    4. The family have lived hereabouts for centuries!

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  14. It is difficult.. but staycation...yes an awful word..is not all bad. People want to Get Away...but they don't even know their home area properly.
    Like you, we have family all over the world and I have not long ago made proper contact with and met cousins in NZ. The thought of not seeing them and close friends there again...

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    1. I'm a very bad tourist. As you say, most of us have so much to learn around where we live. I could spend months just visiting tiny villages around here. When things are more settled, I might just do that. A new village, and a new restaurant, every day.

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  15. The travel industry is pretty much done for at least this year (my daughter, who was sales manager for 25 yrs. at a resort lost her job). I do think you are right, but people are people and naturally selfish and will do what they want to do. If they own another home in the country, they will go without a thought to others.

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    1. That's what we dread. A lot of the Brits and Dutch with homes down here will be wanting to see if everything is OK. I just hope they all bring plenty of Baked Beans with them; and STAY AT HOME.

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  16. I don't wish to be contrary for the sake of it. However, reading some of the comments above (and your replies) a lot is being made of OTHERS being selfish and "without a thought for others". But aren't you selfish too? Without a thought for others? And THEIR mental/psychological/physical wellbeing?

    You mention Parisians having second homes in the country. What harm can it do if they drive (in their own vehicle - forget public transport which I myself wouldn't use at the moment) and then spend a month, more or less self isolating, in more pleasing surroundings? Change of scenery. The same pleasing surroundings you enjoy by default.

    One thing that appears to be forgotten by many, including some of your readers, why lockdown was implemented. It wasn't so much to protect YOU or, indeed, OTHERS as to not overwhelm health services/hospitals with the fallout of an as yet difficult to gauge newcomer. One might say those in charge of logistics were and are, at best, hoping to stagger the fallout. Damage limitation in other words.

    Still, I do realise, as they say in the motherland, that I can talk sense till my lips are frazzled and my mouth comes apart at the seams, it won't make fat all difference.

    Wishing you and your readers happily cocooned days; may your butterflies, unblemished, soar when lockdown is (officially) lifted,
    U

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    1. OF COURSE I'm being selfish. I have just one life, as does my wife; we really don't wish to die of some nasty imported virus. I would have thought that this was plainly obvious to everyone. Anyone who says they think otherwise is lying, or a fool!

      One of the most lauded countries that have refused 'lockdown' was dear old liberal Sweden. It might change your mind if you read of the disaster that is now happening there. To attempt to preserve economy over life, and now see the disastrous results, to me is appalling.

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    2. Having read your reply I looked into Sweden's policy in more detail. It is rather interesting since, in so many ways, Sweden has been held up as an inspiration for the rest of Europe in terms of their social ideas for many years. IKEA and their Billy bookcases notwithstanding.

      Essentially their laisser-faire attitude a daring experiment. Who knows how it'll all pan out.

      In the meantime we have floods and locusts somewhere in Africa. I also happened upon onto a study re Tuberculosis and fight thereof. An eyeopener. In the immortal words of Michael Caine "Not many people know this", did you know that tuberculosis which has been around forever, only just about being reined in (vaccine for children, none for adults), is still the biggest killer within the spectre of potentially deadly infections, spread from person to person? Neither did I.

      Think about it, Cro, if you aren't already: The attention we give to THE Virus distracts. Not only from other ills that befall people, but politics, policies. I am not one for conspiracy theories but even so I can't help thinking that the Virus is the eye of the perfect storm. All attention taken away from every day's ebbs and floods.

      U

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    3. You're right; it's all-consuming. There is hardly a moment on Radio or TV when they are NOT talking about it. I try not to write about it too much, but the consequences are far ranging.

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  17. As I too live in a tourist area I largely agree with you Vro except many folk up here rely on the income from tourism - B and B's, hotels, pubs, gift shops, ice cream parlours - I could go on. It is all worrying for so many people.

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    1. There are so many people whose incomes have been affected, but if the result is to save lives, it's surely preferable!

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  18. "Better to be poor than die a horrible death from Covid." That's how I feel also, Cro. What good is it to save the economy if there's no one left to save it for.

    And yes, you see pictures of people in restaurants, at the beach, parks, etc. not wearing masks and not social distancing. What are they thinking? Our DIL's are nurses and see every day how horrible this virus can be.

    We are sheltering at home - don't leave the house except to pick up curb-side groceries... and walk the neighborhood on occasion (wearing a mask). Restaurants and other businesses are re-opening (crazy) here, but we won't be going anywhere for quite a while. On the upside Dallas number of new cases have finally gone below 250 a day...

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    1. Whatever Macron says here, I shall continue to self isolate to the extent that we already do. I certainly shan't be rushing to restaurants, and I certainly won't be welcoming Parisian tourists.

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