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News

Mar 13, 2020

Letter from the Editor: COVID-19 Crisis

We are, by our very roots, a publication focused on borderless travel, humanism, ecocentrism and internationalism. This crisis feels unprecedented.

WRITTEN BY

Apoorva Prasad

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When something like a pandemic strikes humanity, it strikes all of us, yet different countries have completely different reactions.

For us at The Outdoor Journal, we know that it is time to stay home, be safe, take care of family and those you are close to. I’ve myself canceled travel plans, despite my family’s very strong personal inclination to keep traveling (we almost go stir crazy when we cannot!)

However, like many of you, I have older parents and family, as well as a set of grandparents whose age puts them in the danger zone of the COVID-19 crisis. As a European resident, I will now be unable to travel to see them in India or the US. Closing borders feels like anathema to our purpose. Germs don’t carry passports. Viruses don’t politely stop at border posts for immigration officials. Like climate change and the changes it will also bring, some challenges are for all of humanity to tackle, as one, together.

We will commit to ongoing coverage of adventure, outdoors, the environment and travel, from all corners of the planet. Our reporters and writers live in every corner of the globe, and even if they’re unable to travel, our modern, online tools like Slack, Skype, Zoom and Whatsapp let us source information, write, edit and publish from our homes.

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. Note the spikes that adorn the outer surface of the virus, which impart the look of a corona surrounding the virion, when viewed electron microscopically. A novel coronavirus, named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

This crisis is corporeally dangerous to many of us, but also dangerous to the livelihoods of peoples in the regions we cover. Our playgrounds are in places that rely on tourism for a living. The businesses we cover and work with, are often small, individually-owned adventure travel companies, who support a local ecosystem. Therefore we urge you to not forget about them. Don’t cancel your trips, postpone them to a later date. Your commitment will matter, to them, and to us. From a practical point of view, just a postponement may enable these companies to access bank loans and maintain day-to-day operations and jobs, while a cancellation may force them out of business. Your commitment will make a difference to their businesses and their lives.

If you are a travel company or operator, we urge to you communicate with your customers, work to help them out as best as you can, waive cancellation fees or other charges, if you are able. Your commitment to them will matter, to them and to you.

We are committed to continuing our mission of authentic journalism, led by the diverse voices of the outdoors. We will do so, safely from our homes as much as possible, all over the world. We are also a platform – in this time of ‘social distancing’, we are here to help connect.

Stay safe, and don’t hesitate to reach out to us with your thoughts, your opinions, and your own stories during this time via editorial@outdoorjournal.com

 


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