Last night I spent a merry hour or so before I went to bed sketching out some rough plans for my August trip to WDW.
This morning I woke up and all I could think about was cancelling it.
You may well argue that there’s no point in cancelling it — well, rescheduling it — until there are no other options. I’m due to walk up Main Street in 81 days time, and a lot can happen in 81 days.
Well, can it, though? Here are the facts.
The UK’s vaccination programme has been a real success. I’m fully vaccinated — both shots and the last one was two weeks ago. I’m good to go. Except, you know, I got the AZ shot and none of them are 100%.
The trends in UK hospital admissions and deaths are down. We’re seeing under ten people a day dying of COVID, in a population of around 70 million.
But the trend in daily cases is up, and it’s rising steeply. Thanks to the Indian variant.
See for yourself:
Does the Indian variant really matter? Yes — it’s why France has just slammed the door in our faces. Well, they’ll let us in, but we have to quarantine for seven days upon arrival. And we have to quarantine for ten days on our return.
The US, of course, is still not letting us in and I’ve heard nothing to say that they’re even thinking about it. No doubt you’re worried about the Indian variant, too. Is Biden going to change US policy in the next two months?
From the UK’s perspective, the US is an amber list country, which means ten days quarantine when I get home, plus two COVID tests during those ten days — at my own expense. And a COVID test before I take the flight home — again at my own expense. The UK may reclassify the US as a green list country — so, no quarantine — but our government has said that there won’t be a whole lot of reclassification going on any time soon. They’ve been saying for a while now that we should not be expecting to take foreign holidays this summer. The green list is very short, and mostly includes countries that are not letting us anyway.
Then there’s the issue of whether visiting the US is wise right now. The impression I’m getting is that it’s back to business as usual. Crammed theme parks filled with people not wearing masks. Some people vaccinated, some people not.
What if I got COVID while I was there? Well, I’d be denied boarding, so I’d have to somehow extend my stay. And be in quarantine. My insurance will cover it, but that’s not a great situation to be in.
Having said all that, I’ve pretty much convinced myself that I should cancel the trip.
Yet, still — why not wait? Well, because of the costs associated with changing my flights. Virgin Atlantic are being pretty good about this, but if your new flights are more expensive, you have to pay the difference. I’ve already had to do this once. It’s a one-way ratchet. The longer I wait, the fewer the options in terms of dates and the higher the prices.
And then there’s the mental health aspect. I despise uncertainty. I’m beginning to have that feeling once again that I’d rather be certain that it’s not happening, than uncertain about whether or not it is.
Finally, if I do give up on August, I can firm up on alternative plans. I do actually have a UK hotel reservation in reserve and I may just go with that. Doesn’t look like DLP is going to be an option.
Anyhoo, here’s my point: What would you do?
Oh, I nearly forgot. If I do reschedule — when do I reschedule to? My initial thoughts were December — one of the quiet weeks early on in the month. But who knows what things will be like then? I keep hearing vague threats about a third wave. Do you really think all this will be over by then? And if not December, then we’re probably looking at August 2022. That’s two years and eight months after my last trip. And two years and two months after the next trip I was due to take — that’s what COVID will have cost me. Two years and two months of disappointment and frustration and uncertainty.
Can you see now why I genuinely hate so many of you. You’ve been booking and taking trips for nearly a year without so much as a second thought. And then posting jolly trip reports of what an awesome time you’ve been having. Meanwhile I’ve cancelled June 2020, October 2020, April 2021 and now, maybe, August 2021, with a return perhaps not for another year after that.