Think Twice Before You Travel to Tulum, Or Anywhere

Coronavirus, as tired as we are of talking about it, remains the elephant in the room that has required a complete reform of daily life world wide. According to the NY times, the United States has surpassed the 8 million number for coronavirus diagnoses, and unfortunately, new states are seeing surges in cases. In my opinion, the issue that this country is having is that we’ve gotten accustomed to the virus, so now we’re trying to adapt our pre-corona way of life to the current state of the world. A pandemic is not like cold weather; you’re not supposed to just bundle up and co-exist. A virus as deadly as Covid19 should be treated with care so that the world can properly heal. 

Many have proceeded with life as if we aren’t in a pandemic at all, resuming usual social pastimes such as clubbing and traveling. Not only is traveling dangerous for obvious reasons, it’s cruel and inconsiderate to underdeveloped countries that were otherwise not hit heavy by the Coronavirus pandemic. 

I know many of you have been hearing about Tulum more and more as a desired vacation spot. Many influencers have traveled to this destination recently, and posting their locations and images of the serene, tropical scenery has only generated more of a buzz about Tulum. When you pair captivating images in conjunction with affordable flight prices, unfortunately, it is almost impossible to convince some people not to travel. 

Because of its prior scarcity in visitors, Tulum did not have its own airport. Vacationers were flying to Cancun and driving for 90 minutes south to reach Tulum. However,  because Tulum has been experiencing such a spike in tourism in the last several months, the Mexican city is now in the process of building its own airport. 

Yes, this will generate the Tulum economy. But is this the best option for the health of Tulum citizens and hospitality employees? 

As of October 20th, the New York Times reported that  Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico has 13,067 confirmed coronavirus cases. Considering that Tulum experienced its first cases as a result of tourism, the idea that tourism is doing this small city more harm than good is highly likely. 

While the money vacation destinations are making off of tourism is essential to their economy, the number of human lives at stake makes one wonder if it’s even worth the chance. I fully understand cabin fever; I’m an HBCU student distance learning during Homecoming season. However, the urges and anxiety we feel to get back to normal life doesn’t negate the fact that everyone, everywhere, is safer at home.