Although you can do all the right things – social distancing, covering your mouth when coughing, wearing a face mask, disinfecting surfaces and avoiding large crowds – you can still catch COVID-19. The worst part, as one traveler shared, is that you might not even know it.
The trip outside the Caymans
According to the traveler, the trip took him to Mexico, Cuba, Central and South America. No COVID-19 related issues were encountered on these outgoing sections.
In fact, COVID-19 requirements were met for each destination and tourism activities were fully and safely enjoyed.
PCR tests were also carried out if necessary for specially organized functions.
PCR test not required for all destinations
The traveler noted, however, that while a negative PCR test was required for some destinations, it was not required for all.
The variation was that instead of the PCR test, some countries only required proof of full vaccination, the definition of which, according to the traveler, is changing.
Previously, the full vaccination consisted of two doses of Pfizer or another approved vaccine. However, some countries change the rules to indicate that a complete vaccination cycle will consist of two doses plus the booster. That’s three hits for something that we don’t even know will be effective against future variants.
Seeking to comply with the rules, the traveler said he took a PCR test on the return trip to the Cayman Islands, at which point he discovered he tested positive for COVID-19.
I did not really have the symptoms announced by the health professionals. Just a stuffy nose. I just felt like the air conditioning system in the hotel room was maybe a bit too cold and made me feel a bit stuffy.
More embarrassment than frustration
After testing positive, the hardest part was having to adjust all plans, including work meetings.
When it comes to airfare, he said he dreads having to pay fees or other penalties for changing travel plans. Fortunately, the fee did not apply, probably because he had purchased a ticket with flexible conditions, allowing him to change without penalties.
It’s more about the inconvenience of having COVID-19 and the frustration you feel having to rearrange everything. I had to ask myself, you know, after doing everything right and following all the roles, where was the mistake that exposed me to COVID-19?
The lack of information displayed at the hotel and the lack of advice from the well-known hospital that carried out the PCR test added to the frustration.
The period of isolation
After using government notices on the internet to confirm next steps and quarantine locations, the traveler said he spent the isolation period in a foreign government-approved hotel.
He explained that the hotel was not cheap by any measure.
It was like one of those well-kept old hotels where you find old money.
But I’m not rich.
Putting this into perspective, one wonders how governments decide which establishments to allow as places to stay, with the full cost to be borne by the tourist. And if the authorized space greatly exceeds the budget of the traveler, for example? Will the traveler spend all their vacation money in quarantine and then have to board the next flight home due to lack of funds after leaving quarantine?
This is an important point to ponder, unless it is not important to the stakeholders as they are not trying to attract low or middle income travelers to their destination.
About this, the traveler said that he had his own opinion.
The poor also travel.
I know people who have saved a lot of time just to take a trip.
The trip itself is a luxury for them.
It is also a form of stress relief.
Since they are willing to spend some of their savings on travel, we should have affordable accommodation options when it comes to isolation.
Finally arriving home in Cayman, the traveler said he was relieved to be surrounded by familiar faces.
“Knowing who to contact, where to find information, and not having to translate from different languages to understand protocols or next steps, is priceless,” he said.
Despite his experience, the traveler says he is ready for his next trip, but maybe this time… to Cayman Brac.