Are we really serious about stopping this pandemic?
“Following orders from the Department of Homeland Security, airline officials are now asking all U.S.-bound passengers if they have recently visited mainland China amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak," according to FoxNews.
The Trump administration said it would begin enforcing new travel restrictions on much of Europe, barring most foreign nationals and screening all Americans arriving from countries identified as hot spots for the COVID-19 virus.
On March 24, my husband and I flew from Dubai, United Arab Emirates to Seattle. We had been on a planned 82-day Viking Cruise from Sydney, Australia, to London. Unfortunately, the cruise started on Feb. 11 and it was immediately obvious that many of the countries that we planned to visit (China, Cambodia, South Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore) would not be safe because of COVID-19.
The ship was not allowed to dock to resupply at several ports even though all passengers and crew members passed temperature tests (a total of four checks were given over a six-week period). The ship was finally able to dock at Dubai long enough to fly passengers home.
Since Washington is a hot spot and Seattle is one of 20 airports enforcing the Trump’s travel restrictions, we expected a long delay at the airport. But there were NO applied entry restrictions. We were not asked where we had traveled the last two months. While Emirates flight attendants wore masks the entire 15-hour flight (as did we), no Alaska Airlines representatives wore a mask.
If we really want to “shut it down,” we need less talk and more effective actions.
Laurel A. Murphy
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