For months, scientists have been hard at work trying to figure out what measures can help slow the spread of COVID-19. Should we wear masks? Should we lock down our states again? Should school start in the fall? What about sports? There are so many more questions than answers. Some world leaders (including our own) have faced criticism for slow and ineffective responses since the outbreak of corona virus began in January, while other leaders have been praised for curbing the spread.
One particularly hot topic right now is the closing of international borders for travel. Itʻs a practice that leader have used for centuries, dating back to the Black Death Plague of the 14th century. Right now, 91% of the worldʻs population (about 7.1 billion people) live in countries with restrictions on people arriving who are tourists, business travelers, and new immigrants. This heated debate will no doubt continue for a while and I find the variety of opinions on the topic interesting. Late last week, the World Health Organization (WHO), made their position clear by stating that the spread of COVID-19 must be dealt with within a countries’ own borders because the ban on international travel cannot remain in place indefinitely. According to the WHO director, “Only through strict adherence to preventive health and safety measures, such as mask-wearing and social distancing, will the world manage to beat the pandemic. Where these measures are followed, cases go down. Where they are not, cases go up.” That certainly makes it sound simple, but I’m not sure yet what position I will take. It is interesting to hear the reasoning and arguments behind these statements. Here are a few of the most important points taken directly from the World Health Organization’s address last week:
Canada, China, Germany and South Korea have corona virus outbreaks and community spread under control, and are good examples for the rest of the world to follow.
It is unrealistic and almost impossible for the world’s countries to continue sealing off their borders. Economies have to open up, people have to work, and trade has to resume.
The public will not adhere to mandates if they do not fully understand or accept containment measures.
European summer vacation season is meeting with a lot of resistance from those who say that the closed borders will further weaken all of the countries’ economies, and stifle the tourism industry’s reopening efforts.
Do you agree that borders should be closed and international travel should be banned during our worldwide pandemic? I would love to hear your thoughts!