Talk:COVID-19 pandemic

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Face masks[edit]

Swept in from the pub

There is current discussion on what advice to give on face masks at Talk:China#New_coronavirus. I think the topic is broader than that, so I am raising it here.

There are multiple uses for masks.

  • I was in China during the SARS outbreak & had one then. Now many people use them against the new coronavirus; in parts of China it is even mandatory to wear face masks in public places. I doubt this offers much protection if you are not infected but am reasonably sure that if those who are infected cover up it reduces risk for others. I could be wrong on either point & would like to hear from those more knowledgeable.
  • People are using masks to avoid inhaling volcanic dust from the eruption of Taal Volcano.
  • They are often recommended for dust storms, e.g. see Beijing#Stay_healthy

There are several types of mask:

  • surgical masks, I think treated as single-use disposable items by surgeons but often re-used by others
  • N95 masks, see w:NIOSH air filtration rating
  • at least in the Philippines, reusable masks with some kind of fashion statement design -- wolf muzzle, vampire fangs, Hello Kitty, ... -- are fairly common

My guess is we need a discussion of these masks somewhere -- new travel topic? section of Infectious diseases or Travel in developing countries? elsewhere? -- and links in other articles. Pashley (talk) 04:25, 28 January 2020 (UTC)

Availability may be a problem. I've seen a "no more masks in stock" sign in a Filipino pharmacy and there are web reports like this: Sold-out Amazon sellers warn shoppers about counterfeit face masks as demand soars amid coronavirus fears Pashley (talk) 04:35, 28 January 2020 (UTC)
Actually, it can be confirmed that wearing surgical masks prevent the spread of diseases to some extent, as per this NYT report and this BBC report. However, it should be stressed that it is surgical masks, as normal dust masks are too loose.廣九直通車 (talk) 09:46, 28 January 2020 (UTC)
I agree that this might be a topic for us to cover. Cultural attitudes to masks vary as well – in parts of East Asia it's reasonably common to wear a mask when you have a cold, but not in the US. One challenge is that there seems to be some uncertainty about how effective surgical masks really are at stopping viruses.
Availability is indeed a problem. I'm in Cambodia, where there is only one confirmed case of the novel coronavirus, but even so surgical masks have become hard to find, let alone N95 masks. Hand sanitizer is also sold out at most pharmacies I've checked. —Granger (talk · contribs) 01:02, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
We have some existing content about face masks: Wildfires#Risks, Air pollution#Stay safe, and Severe weather#Air pollution, plus some notoriously smoggy destinations. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:59, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
Official position of the WHO is that face masks for asymptomatic individuals is not recommended at this time due to the lack of evidence that it'll prevent infection. Face masks are, however, indicated for symptomatic individuals to prevent spread. Best thing asymptomatic people can do is hand hygiene and social distancing.Thuegh (talk) 04:02, 31 January 2020 (UTC)

Coronavirus... Single collation page?[edit]

Should there be a single page collating all the disprate warnings and advice from various pages? (There was a single page for Zika...) ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 18:38, 26 February 2020 (UTC)

I look forward to the day when we could archive such a page, but I think that right now, it's a good idea. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:55, 26 February 2020 (UTC)
Yes it will be a travel topic and breadcrumbed from Stay healthy. Once it's well developed, it should be prominently posted on the main page and if need be, social media. But it will have to be continually updated. The Zika virus article is a good starting point in terms of structure. Gizza (roam) 23:09, 26 February 2020 (UTC)
Agreed, such an article can be useful. Ypsilon (talk) 16:22, 27 February 2020 (UTC)

@Doc James:, Your thoughts? Asking so that someone with appropriate expertise can draft an appropriate article. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 13:13, 27 February 2020 (UTC)

For what it's worth I'll link this here - being the advice from the UK. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 18:35, 27 February 2020 (UTC)
As far as I know pings don't work when you edit the username without a new signature, so re-pinging User:Doc James. —Granger (talk · contribs) 00:45, 28 February 2020 (UTC)
Agree in my opinion a single page with all the various travel recommendations is better than multiple ones. Expecially with the recommendations changing so frequently. Travel Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 00:58, 28 February 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for your view, Is anyone (rapidly) drafting the relevant page? ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 11:02, 28 February 2020 (UTC)
Also - , Is there a recognized symbol that could be used to mark a health alert type warning box, as opposed to the default warning triangle? ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 11:01, 28 February 2020 (UTC)
One more point, while I'm not any kind of medical professional if there's just one or a few cases in a country and the number is hardly if at all changing, I don't think there's a reason for warningboxes or other warnings in articles. In that case I'd imagine the few people unlucky to have been infected are most likely in the hospital or otherwise quarantined. So, for example a warning like the one added to the Nigeria article isn't necessary - the country has exactly one case as of now. If the number of cases on the other hand is rapidly growing (ie. dozens of new cases in a day), it means the disease is loose and if you happen to be in that area there's a real risk you may catch it. --Ypsilon (talk) 14:02, 28 February 2020 (UTC)
I agree, Given the wording of the relevant section certain other diseases are more likely to be encountered.ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 14:21, 28 February 2020 (UTC)
I have plunged forward and started a coronavirus outbreak article. It only has the bare minimum for now so please add more information! The name may also need changing but I strongly suggest keeping "coronavirus" in the title instead of technical names for the virus or disease (nobody searches for SARS-COV-2, COVID-19 or nCov-2019). Gizza (roam) 04:59, 1 March 2020 (UTC)

This is an exceptionally useful article. A big thank you to those who put it together. I'm in SE Asia now and am watching the situation carefully as I am concerned about being stranded here (which would be very nice in many ways, but I have obligations at home). I am going to plunge forward and find a place for a link to it on the Main Page. Ground Zero (talk) 01:43, 3 March 2020 (UTC)

Social media nomination[edit]

I have nominated the 2019-2020 coronavirus outbreak article to be shared on our social media platforms. Please see the proposal at Wikivoyage:Social media/Nominations. Thanks. Gizza (roam) 00:23, 6 March 2020 (UTC)

Gizza - That social media nominations page is not very active. Luckily, I'm the sole administrator of Wikivoyage's Facebook page who also remains active on Wikivoyage itself. I will make sure and give the coronavirus article a mention when I can.
I think Wikivoyage has a Twitter account too, but I'm not sure if it's being actively updated. I'd volunteer if I were on Twitter, but I'm not. This is probably something we should look into addressing.
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 01:04, 6 March 2020 (UTC)
Yes Done -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 22:13, 8 March 2020 (UTC)


The title of this article is too ambiguous. There are different kinds of coronaviruses; the world has seen outbreaks of other kinds in the past and will surely see others in the future. I suggest moving this article to COVID-19, COVID-19 outbreak, or maybe 2020 coronavirus outbreak. —Granger (talk · contribs) 05:38, 1 March 2020 (UTC)

@DaGizza: Thanks for creating the article, by the way. —Granger (talk · contribs) 05:40, 1 March 2020 (UTC)

Wikipedia calls it the 2019-2020 coronavirus outbreak. We could use the same name and redirect the official names. Gizza (roam) 05:57, 1 March 2020 (UTC)
Agree with Mx. Granger and name change to 2019-2020 Coronavirus outbreak. May then want to change it to COVID-19 when/if this is over. Thanks for the article creation. I'll keep it on my watchlist - topic relevant to my work. Thuegh (talk) 06:30, 1 March 2020 (UTC)

2019-2020 coronavirus outbreak sounds good to me. Of course we can always move it again later on if other terms become more recognizable. —Granger (talk · contribs) 06:35, 1 March 2020 (UTC)

Page banner...[edit]

This should be changed to the one article like the Zika one use, as it's health related. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 10:08, 1 March 2020 (UTC)

I was going to try to create a banner from a picture of one of the bottles of hand sanitizer that have appeared in public places around Bangkok. Maybe more directly relevant than the banner at Zika virus. We can see how it turns out – I took some photos today but haven't tried cropping them to banner size yet. —Granger (talk · contribs) 10:33, 1 March 2020 (UTC)
Option 1 - general disease banner
Option 2 - hand sanitizer at a mall in Bangkok
Here are two banners for comparison. I had a harder time than expected making a 7:1 photo where the hand sanitizer is recognizable without a lot of other distracting stuff filling up the frame. —Granger (talk · contribs) 12:58, 1 March 2020 (UTC)
Personally banner 2 for me since it aligns with messaging about hand hygiene.Thuegh (talk) 14:14, 1 March 2020 (UTC)
Banner 2 personally. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 14:27, 1 March 2020 (UTC)

Pandemic Preparedness?[edit]

Current switch in key messages in several countries including the US, UK, and Canada is now onto pandemic preparedness for COVID-19. Think a section on what you can do for this is valuable? It's less travel related, although you can argue that it's also generalized to the measures needed to be taken if you're being quarantined/isolated. Thuegh (talk) 14:12, 1 March 2020 (UTC)

Could you give some examples of what you're thinking of? —Granger (talk · contribs) 15:35, 1 March 2020 (UTC)
Stocking up on non-perishable food for up to 2 weeks if quarantined. Refilling prescription medications in advance. Stocking some household cleaning supplies. Making plans for your children/dependents. Thuegh (talk) 16:38, 1 March 2020 (UTC)
To me most of that doesn't feel like travel advice - it's not realistic for a traveler to lug around 2 weeks of food and cleaning supplies. Also, advice seems to vary. —Granger (talk · contribs) 00:24, 2 March 2020 (UTC)
Fair enough. I was thinking more about for when you return from a trip and the potential for self quarantine. Restrictions are changing day to day, so between the time you leave and the time you come back, there may be quarantine restrictions for the locale from which travelers returned from.Thuegh (talk) 02:18, 2 March 2020 (UTC)


Apparently the Louvre is closed. Should we mention this somewhere, like in France or Paris/1st arrondissement? Or should we just mention in this article that lots of tourist attractions and events are closed in countries affected by the outbreak? —Granger (talk · contribs) 15:34, 1 March 2020 (UTC)

I'd keep it centralized to this article. Likely other attractions will be closed if this keeps on going. The Duomo in Milan and various other museums are also closed. Lots in Tokyo too. Thuegh (talk) 16:42, 1 March 2020 (UTC)
At what point do we know if the Olympics is still happening? That's sufficiently major that people will be make bookings or already have... ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 17:16, 1 March 2020 (UTC)
As of today, still happening. I'm sure it'll be big news if it gets cancelled.Thuegh (talk) 17:35, 1 March 2020 (UTC)

A WHO video[edit] ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 17:31, 1 March 2020 (UTC)

UK Gov advice (this appears to be being update continually[edit] ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 12:50, 2 March 2020 (UTC)

"Present on all continents"[edit]

Including Antarctica? Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:35, 2 March 2020 (UTC)

The news reports I've seen say "every continent except Antarctica". —Granger (talk · contribs) 00:48, 3 March 2020 (UTC)
So that's what this article should say, too. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:18, 3 March 2020 (UTC)

Staying healthy on flights[edit]

The New York Times published an article about avoiding infection on a flight. Maybe some of the advice could go here or in Flight and health. —Granger (talk · contribs) 13:38, 4 March 2020 (UTC)

Please do. At present the article is a little light on actual travel advice. I thought of adding some info on booking flights, but the consumer protection aspects vary depending on which country you are in when you book. AlasdairW (talk) 20:46, 4 March 2020 (UTC)
I have added some. But when it comes to prevention, there's not much to say that's specific to this virus. The advice is mostly the same as for other respiratory diseases. When it comes to travel restrictions (quarantines, self-quarantines, temperature checks, denied entry, transport shutdowns, etc.) there's more that we can say. I think advice about booking flights would be good if there's anything reasonably general. —Granger (talk · contribs) 02:14, 5 March 2020 (UTC)
Regardless of whether advice would also pertain to other respiratory diseases, it should be mentioned here, since we have no general "Respiratory diseases" article and people are very reasonably quite worried about this disease right now. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:22, 5 March 2020 (UTC)
Fair enough, and I think that's what we've been doing. We do have some basic advice in the relevant section of Infectious diseases; going forward we may want to expand that with some of the information from this article. —Granger (talk · contribs) 11:42, 5 March 2020 (UTC)

Will COVID-19 go away on its own in warmer weather?[edit]

"Probably not" --Ypsilon (talk) 07:02, 7 March 2020 (UTC)

Lasts on surfaces up to 9 days?[edit]

Where are you getting 9 days from? Have a look at this. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:00, 13 March 2020 (UTC)

I don't know who added the "9 days" claim to this article, but the source you linked seems to support it. —Granger (talk · contribs) 03:12, 13 March 2020 (UTC)
6-9 days on plastic only for Strain FFM1 of SARS-CoV and not Strain HKU39849 or Strain P9, yes. So yes, strictly speaking, "up to 9 days" is accurate, but "on surfaces" in the plural doesn't appear to be, unless there's another source that shows the persistence of any strain of up to 9 days on any other surface. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:32, 13 March 2020 (UTC)

New research on surfaces. I would take the aerosol numbers with a grain of salt given it's within a contained experimental rotating drum and not indicative of real life.Thuegh (talk) 18:32, 19 March 2020 (UTC)

The study I linked didn't actually have data on the persistence of SARS-CoV2, only other related coronaviruses. I misread SARS-CoV on their charts for SARS-CoV2. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:19, 19 March 2020 (UTC)

Border closures...[edit]

Been hearing some nominally Schengen countires are closing borders? If this is so it should be mentioned.. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 21:20, 13 March 2020 (UTC) ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 21:21, 13 March 2020 (UTC)

Catalonia in lockdown...[edit]

ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 22:45, 13 March 2020 (UTC)

The U.S.[edit]

Should we mention anything specific to the U.S. regarding the coronavirus. To my knowledge, there is a severe lack of testing kits in the U.S., meaning that the authorities here have not been able to test everybody who is at high risk, so the real number of cases is probably much higher than the official number. The U.S. has tested fewer people over the past month than South Korea is able to test in a single day, so that is a cause for concern. And not to mention, some parts are going into lockdown. Here in Chicago, events are already getting cancelled, and we have already been advised to work from home if possible. The dog2 (talk) 03:11, 14 March 2020 (UTC)

I don't think that's lockdown. Most events in New York have been cancelled. There's a state of emergency here, but there isn't a lockdown, which would mean that you can't get in or out of the city, right? Anyway, the rest of your remarks are all true, and you could simply add those verbatim. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:14, 14 March 2020 (UTC)
It hasn't gotten to that extent yet, but you can already see the effects, with the supermarket shelves virtually empty as people start panic buying. And it's sad to say this, but the U.S. is woefully unprepared for this. The dog2 (talk) 03:52, 14 March 2020 (UTC)

US ban on travel extended to cover UK and Ireland...[edit] 20:49, 14 March 2020 (UTC)

South Africa....[edit]

South Africa is another country to close it's border. 18:59, 15 March 2020 (UTC)

Netherlands...[edit] ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 20:45, 15 March 2020 (UTC)

Germany (Translator needed?)[edit],RtJd8Xp ? ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 20:46, 15 March 2020 (UTC)

Translating this with Chrome, from 8am Monday, they are partially closing the border with Austria, France, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Denmark. Commuters and goods (and presumably those driving goods vehicles) will be allowed in. AlasdairW (talk) 22:10, 15 March 2020 (UTC)
Germany is temporarily closing their borders with Austria, France, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Denmark for others than German citizens, work commuters and cargo transport. 22:16, 15 March 2020 (UTC)
"Reisende ohne triftigen Reisegrund dürfen deshalb nicht mehr ein- und ausreisen aus Deutschland." — Travellers without convincing/valid reasons for travel are not permitted to enter or leave Germany. 22:21, 15 March 2020 (UTC)
"Ab morgen Früh 8 Uhr wird die Bundespolizei die Kontrollen an den Grenzen zu fünf Nachbarländern durchführen." — Effective 08:00 AM tomorrow morning (16 March 2020) the Federal Police will commence controls at the borders of five neighbouring countries. 22:25, 15 March 2020 (UTC)

UK is closed ...[edit] —The preceding comment was added by ShakespeareFan00 (talkcontribs)

And all Baltic states, Poland, Norway, Denmark, within a few days probably Finland... I think there are few countries in Europe without some kind of border controls or closures right now. Maybe best to add them to 2019–2020_coronavirus_pandemic#Lockdowns_and_other_internal_restrictions. --Ypsilon (talk) 18:07, 16 March 2020 (UTC)
The UK is NOT closed. The only mention on the UKBF website was information from last month on visa extensions for visitors from China who were already in the country. At the moment the biggest issue for visitors is the reduction in flights and events are being cancelled. We must distinguish between politician's bluster and actual controls at the border. AlasdairW (talk) 20:53, 16 March 2020 (UTC)

Canadian government website out of date?[edit] still says registration can be done facetoface. I bet this is probably a website that is not maintained on a daily basis, something goverments should do during this crisisis. Just my opinion Ottawahitech (talk) 10:23, 20 March 2020 (UTC)


This page is trying to describe current events so it's overwhelmed by them, overlaps too much with WP, and only tells prospective travellers what they already know. But travel (especially for WV) is all about planning, so it would help to raise our eyes from the present deluge, look further ahead, and concentrate on the macro stuff. We've had three months of this so we can reasonably distinguish what is barndoor obvious (eg if you keep doubling a given number, and doubling and doubling) from those unknowns where you need to listen out. I'm inserting two sections accordingly then pausing for comment on whether this helps. Initially they'll be a bit rough-hewn and not well integrated with other content, but that will be easily sorted if the page focus is sharp and agreed. Grahamsands (talk) 11:27, 21 March 2020 (UTC)

I don't think that this kind of speculation is useful on a prominent page. I am not even sure that all of it belongs on this talk page, but this is where it should start. If we agree that there are clear evidence based arguments for any of the points, then thay can be put on the page. AlasdairW (talk) 14:39, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
Let's also try to focus on practical advice relevant to travellers. Detailed understanding of the rationale and goals of public health policy is important but not for Wikivoyage. —Granger (talk · contribs) 15:03, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
Just to put this out there, I don't think speculation belongs here, but for anything that is scientifically verified and useful for the general public to know, we should have it here. If anyone needs help, I'm happy to read medical and scientific journal articles to verify information. I have access to them through my workplace. The dog2 (talk) 15:52, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
A good place to start is what WHO is publishing, but if you feel my stuff is speculative, you'll need to avert your eyes from their figures, estimates and projections. There are conversations to be had elsewhere about editorial principles and priorities for other pages thru the crisis, and on how WV can be best positioned for the future. Because you may not want to hear this, but need to grasp: this is an existential threat to the entire travel and leisure sector, including travel publications. WV as an online free collaboration is in a much better place than most but is not exempt, and the tenor of responses here gives little cause for optimism. Grahamsands (talk) 15:34, 22 March 2020 (UTC)
I think there's a chance this will change the travel industry as we know it, but people will still travel in the future (and indeed people are still traveling now), which means that Wikivoyage will still have a purpose. If you want to discuss Wikivoyage's future in light of COVID-19, we can do that. Personally I think it's too early to get very far on that topic—too much is unknown.
As for the article content issue: projections and planning for the future are important, but the focus of our articles has always been practical advice for travelers, not Wikivoyage editors' analyses of complex and uncertain future trends. —Granger (talk · contribs) 23:54, 22 March 2020 (UTC)
Grahamsands, what tone would you like us to have? I'm interested to hear more of your thoughts. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:01, 23 March 2020 (UTC)
Different person responding here... I don't think we need to speculate on the course of the pandemic itself, but I'd love to see some speculation on how it will affect travel. How might airlines be affected long term? When will people be able to resume limited vacation travel with added precautions, or unrestricted travel like before the virus? With many people stuck at home accumulating vacation time that they can't use while slowly going stir crazy, might we expect a travel and vacation boom in the next year or so? --Bigpeteb (talk) 18:27, 23 March 2020 (UTC)
Maybe Wikivoyage should have a blog for that sort of thing, travel opinions and experiences etc. I'm not really comfortable putting speculation about the future into our articles, unless they're very brief and/or have basis in some actual facts.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 18:43, 23 March 2020 (UTC)
I definitely agree. Any speculation about the medium-to-long-term effect of this pandemic on the travel industry would be highly speculative. We have no way of knowing how long this pandemic will rage and how many people it will kill. Speculation would be both ignorant and irresponsible. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:53, 23 March 2020 (UTC)
As long as there is no effective vaccine, the travel industry is closed for business. Nobody wants to travel a world where the virus keeps bouncing back. An effective vaccine distributed to all corners of the world has a time frame of 1 to 1½ years. Some scientists are speculating that there are two versions of the virus. 20:04, 23 March 2020 (UTC)
Actually, the coronavirus is known to mutate in a fast pace. A mapping study on Iceland made by the private company DeCode Genetics, where almost 10,000 persons were tested for the coronavirus, shows, that 40 mutations specific for Iceland exist. Some persons are infected with multiple of these mutations from different stages of the mutation process. Clusters can be traced to Austria, Italy and the UK. 48 of the tested persons have not shown any symptoms at all. Source in the Danish language. 21:12, 23 March 2020 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── the difference between the two strains is tiny and for now, a single vaccine would be able to cover both strains ([1]). Also the mutation rate is about 2 to 4 times slower than the flu ([2]). Not that it is relevant for this page. Gizza (roam) 21:19, 23 March 2020 (UTC)

I take no joy in predicting this, but the smart money says that long before the pandemic itself recedes or a vaccine becomes available, defiance among the public will become too widespread, and stay-at-home regulations too unenforceable, for world governments to have any choice but to call off the lockdowns, especially as winter ends in the Northern Hemisphere and the weather becomes more outdoor-friendly. This is obviously not ideal from an epidemiological perspective, but admittedly very much in tune with human beings' status as social animals who are neither psychologically wired for long periods of isolation nor particularly adept at wise decision-making. Anecdotally, even before this morning when Trump and other right-wing elements of the U.S. government began test-marketing their new "cure can't be worse than the disease" line in earnest, I was already noticing a distinct shift in tone in the online comment-o-sphere. At any rate, I think predictions of the imminent death of the travel industry are highly premature. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 21:47, 23 March 2020 (UTC)
It is indeed hard to predict. Some countries are more collectivist and do not care about personal freedoms to the extent of other countries. It also depends on how close it hits home. The moment someone's friend or family member dies from the virus (especially if the person who died wasn't that old), that person will be become fearful and more willing to comply with isolation. It will vary at the individual level too. But yes, nearly every industry will recover from this. If tourism recovered from two World Wars, the Great Depression and most aptly, the Spanish Flu, travel and the rest of the economy will get out of this challenge too. Having said that, unlike planes which have improved their ventilation systems over time, cruise ships are stuck in the 50s and seriously need to upgrade their ventilation systems close to modern medical standards so that 99% of viruses and bacteria floating around the ship are killed through the filtering system. Otherwise, the cruise industry will never recover. Gizza (roam) 22:11, 23 March 2020 (UTC)
(GS reply to IK) Future of the travel sector and of WV for me are currently on the “unknown unknowns” list. So they just need acknowledging as big coming topics – let’s start a thread in the pub, though it may become very long and labyrinthine. Coming back to the content of this particular page, I am concerned that looking ahead is being equated with speculation. Why are all the hotels and restaurants shut in your town right now – did you not see that coming? We wouldn’t be wrangling like this if we were in the first-affected areas of China, Iran and Italy. There the crisis is already upon them. Their way of life has been swept aside, and for many their life itself.
But the English-speaking countries are not there yet. The travel and leisure restrictions are infuriating but covid illness and deaths are just something on the news feed, not our personal experience. The sun is shining, in the northern hemisphere winter is ending and the birds are singing. Town is strangely quiet, but it just feels like an extra public holiday, and the threat is all media / political flimflam. It’s so easy and comforting to equate “two months from now” with doom-laden rumour-mongering.
But travellers need help to plan. For instance, are the Olympics going ahead in July? The IOC doesn’t like “speculation”, so they’ve kicked the can away down the road. They’ve thereby lost credibility and events will no longer be in their hands. Others – governments, sports organisations, travel providers and individual travellers – all will make their own decisions. Are there some known factors that they should compute into those decisions? Yes just a few: the method and rapidity of spread, the severity if you catch it, the prospect of other prevention that would make current restrictions unnecessary, the circumstances in which those restrictions might be relaxed . . . if only this stuff could be collated in some sort of easily readable online travel guide? And what other nasty surprises are further down the line? These concepts are not complex, and I was expecting a spirited discussion on how best to lay them before the travelling public. Instead what I’m hearing is a great gasp of horror that the subject’s been broached. Grahamsands (talk) 22:08, 23 March 2020 (UTC)
12 months as a timeline for a vaccine is ignorant. A 14-month study of a vaccine just recently started in Australia. If it proves safe and effective, it will take time after that to ramp up production and distribute it widely. In the meantime, the best hope is for effective drug treatments to be made available. It's hard to know how long that will take, but it's at least distinctly possible that we're talking a matter of months in that regard. I hope it can be sooner, but even during a pandemic, it's important to make sure treatments are not only effective but safe. Chloroquine, for example, is a drug with lots of possible side effects, but perhaps the worst is poisoning from an overdose. I'd really like to know what doses they're using experimentally, but I haven't found out that information for chloroquine so far. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:11, 23 March 2020 (UTC)
"Why are all the hotels and restaurants shut in your town right now – did you not see that coming?" Yes, I surely did, and it should have happened sooner. "covid illness and deaths are just something on the news feed, not our personal experience." Speak for yourself! Several friends of mine in New York and Berlin are currently suffering from COVID-19 or recovering from it. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:15, 23 March 2020 (UTC)
Grahamsands, if you want to talk about help to plan travel, that's fine and should be discussed somewhere, but not in a thread covering a pandemic. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:28, 23 March 2020 (UTC)
Grahamsands, you say "We wouldn’t be wrangling like this if we were in the first-affected areas of China, Iran and Italy." You might be interested to know that I've been living in China for most of the past two years, and was there for part of this month. Some good friends of mine are in China right now. So I know that, while the crisis is not over in China, life goes on. Some tourist attractions are reopening and domestic travel has resumed. My favorite baozi shop has reopened, and one of my friends is planning to fly across the country this week. I don't want to minimize the severity of the problem—some countries are going to be more severely affected than China, and even China is still a long way from being back to normal. And I don't want to minimize the very difficult experience that many people are going through right now. But let's not declare the end of the travel industry yet. —Granger (talk · contribs) 00:43, 24 March 2020 (UTC)
The travel industry as such wouldn't die out, at least in the long run, but many businesses in the hospitality and tourism industry will go bankrupt or run into serious trouble. For example Norwegian Air Shuttle, one of Europe's biggest low cost airlines got problems when the Boeing 737 MAX planes were grounded a year ago and now reports say the corona epidemic could be the final blow to the company. So there are going to be less capacity in these sectors (the planes still exist, hotel and restaurant facilities still exist but new businesses won't open overnight). Not to speak of unemployment in these sectors – former employees (and for small businesses, employers too) who will have their income slashed, can't afford to travel like before.
If the corona epidemic would go on for a longer time, say a year or more, then we're probably talking about permanent damage to people's interest in traveling. --Ypsilon (talk) 10:10, 24 March 2020 (UTC)
I've opened a new thread in the pub where we can discuss the long term view, while keeping this page focused on the near-to-medium term. Granger, what you are saying is crucial. What I earlier sought to argue, and you are demonstrating, is that restrictions may relax even though the threat has not receded. This relaxation may take different forms as the different first-affected countries come out of the initial shock. It seems relevant to say so on WV, and while other sources are not saying so then people may read it here first. They'd be glad that they stumbled upon WV. And to those like your good self and Ikan Kekek, who are deeper into this than most, my very best wishes for the health and wellbeing of you and all your family, associates and livelihood. Grahamsands (talk) 10:53, 24 March 2020 (UTC)
I think the article could say that the timeline for restrictions is unclear and will vary by country. That's grounded in what we already know, not too speculative. —Granger (talk · contribs) 12:55, 24 March 2020 (UTC)

Advice to return home[edit]

Apparently, my government has just issued advice that all UK citizens abroad should return 'home' immediately. Is this something we should mention, and if so have other governments issued similar recommendations for their citizens? --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 18:21, 23 March 2020 (UTC)

It should be mentioned somewhere. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:54, 23 March 2020 (UTC)
I think most countries are doing this, see this article about New Zealand. Canada announced a loan program for travellers who need to borrow money to get home. AlasdairW (talk) 19:30, 23 March 2020 (UTC)
Well, it is really late for that call. Worldwide flights have dropped about 40% since 12 March 2020. Many countries have already closed their airspace. 19:34, 23 March 2020 (UTC)
I added something to this effect last week. Indeed, many countries have made these recommendations. And yes, in some cases it may be too late. For instance the US embassy in Montevideo is now advising Americans there to prepare in case they "need to remain in Uruguay for an extended period of time." —Granger (talk · contribs) 00:47, 24 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Actually there are still a large number of snowbirds (Canadians who spend the winter in the USA). They are arriving by car in large numbers, and according to news sources not heeding the request to stay home to self-isolate for 14 days. Ottawahitech (talk) 03:08, 25 March 2020 (UTC)

Apparently there are a significant number of travellers who didn't make it home in time. CNN reports that from the U.S. alone, there are 13,500 citizens abroad currently seeking government assistance. —Granger (talk · contribs) 20:20, 25 March 2020 (UTC)

Prevention advice - method of payment[edit]

I think we should add advice under the prevention to use contactless function of debit/credit cards where possible. Some stores in Britain have advised it and discouraged (even banned in some cases) the use of cash. -- 09:39, 24 March 2020 (UTC)

canadians abroad[edit]

I just saw the tail-end of something on ctv: email address: x@ there was also a phone # that I did not mange to capture. Anyone? Ottawahitech (talk) 18:53, 25 March 2020 (UTC)

Sorry, what are you asking? Can you rephrase/explain? --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 19:50, 25 March 2020 (UTC)
I imagine it must be a phone number and email address for Canadians abroad to contact for assistance related to the pandemic and travel shutdown. I suggest looking at the relevant Canadian government website or contacting your nearest Canadian embassy or consulate. —Granger (talk · contribs) 20:12, 25 March 2020 (UTC)
@ThunderingTyphoons! Oops sorry for missing your question. Yes as @Mx. Granger says, this was an ad for Canadians abroad providing a phone number and email address to contact for assistance related to the pandemic. I haven't looked recently, but last I looked did not have up to date info. Ottawahitech (talk) 21:30, 26 March 2020 (UTC)
This article should certainly link to Diplomatic_missions#Visitor_registration_services & probably include advice that during the pandemic even tourists should register. Pashley (talk) 10:24, 28 October 2020 (UTC)
Good idea – I've added a sentence about that. —Granger (talk · contribs) 18:29, 28 October 2020 (UTC)

Migrant workers in British Columbia[edit]

I never thought of farm workers as travellers, but now I realize some are. In a recent article COVID-19 outbreak investigated at West Kelowna plant nursery, they are talking about outbreak of COVID-19 involving a group of temporary foreign workers in West Kelowna. The CBC reports that 4,500 migrant workers are needed every year to work Okanagan fields and orchards.

Does wv consider the needs of so-called temporary foreign workers? Just curious. Thanks in advance, Ottawahitech (talk) 22:29, 1 April 2020 (UTC)

Wikivoyage articles have some information for foreign workers. Work visas and work-related "Stay safe" issues are sometimes covered in the relevant sections. Some articles have a "Work" section, and we have a few articles specifically about working abroad (such as Working abroad, Teaching English, Working in China, and Working in the United States). In general, though, our core audience is short-term visitors (thus, "Sleep" sections don't usually include advice on leasing an apartment). —Granger (talk · contribs) 22:42, 1 April 2020 (UTC)

Link to this page from Meta? - help please[edit]

I would like to post a link to this page from m:Coronation#Sister projects, but I don't know what letter goes in front of the ":".

Am I making sense? Ottawahitech (talk) 15:34, 2 April 2020 (UTC)

[[voy:2019–2020 coronavirus pandemic]] —Granger (talk · contribs) 17:05, 2 April 2020 (UTC)

Coronavirus banner link doesn't work on mobile[edit]

Swept in from the pub

I noticed the Cornavirus banner isn't linking to the article on mobile (the other banner links work). Is anyone else having this problem? JakeOregon (talk) 04:31, 10 April 2020 (UTC)

I can confirm that as well. OhanaUnitedTalk page 07:12, 10 April 2020 (UTC)
The coronavirus link doesn't work on my phone in mobile view either (the Dotm banners work perfectly). On the other hand it works on my phone in desktop view, and on my laptop in both mobile and desktop view. --Ypsilon (talk) 08:51, 10 April 2020 (UTC)
It continues to not work on my phone in mobile view. Anyone who edits the main page/ knows the main page template system know how to fix this? Should this discussion be moved to Talk:Main Page?JakeOregon (talk) 06:13, 12 May 2020 (UTC)
User:SelfieCity started a discussion at Talk:Main Page. I don't know if we have any active editors who know how to fix this. I'll put a note at the pub to see if anyone can help. —Granger (talk · contribs) 13:05, 12 May 2020 (UTC)
Thanks, I missed that. The main discussion can probably be centralized there. JakeOregon (talk) 20:28, 12 May 2020 (UTC)

Treatments in a travel article[edit]

There are plenty of sources available that discuss treatment, which doesn’t exist at the moment with the exception of ventilators, and recommending to avoid drinking bleach is surely obvious no matter what President Trump says.

What do these treatments have to do with travel? Isn’t treatment (or the lack of it) global right now? --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 20:22, 28 April 2020 (UTC)

(To clarify, I am referring to the last paragraph.) --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 20:24, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
I agree. I would say hydroxychloroquine and MMS can be removed. At most, we can say to follow doctors' advice and not take any medication that hasn't been recommended by a doctor. Which may be common sense anyway. —Granger (talk · contribs) 21:23, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
Yes; though like you, I'm not sure about the other statement either way. On one level, it's good to repeat good advice, but on other, it's obvious. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 21:30, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
I agree the last paragraph should be removed. A large range of treatments are being tried in hospitals, but I don't think any are worth mentioning here. I would keep the treatment info in the first paragraph. There are reliable sources suggesting paracetamol for symptom relief, although some suggest that ibuprofen may best avoided. AlasdairW (talk) 22:05, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
Hello all, just a quick note— I added this partly because it’s been pretty visible in global headlines recently and thought it deserved acknowledgement since there was already an existing ‘treatment’ section, but more practically because when these headlines come out it takes the science a while to follow, and whether or not something is presented as an uncontested ‘cure’ can often be location-dependent. As for obviousness, one would think but enough people are still getting poorly from misusing this stuff that reiterating the risks can’t hurt. Nonetheless, feel free to edit out if it’s not appropriate! Best wishes, Eben PresumingEb
IMO there should be no mention of treatments when there isn't any with conclusive evidence yet. In any case, there is evidence for other viral illnesses such as the flu that anti-pyretic drugs including paracetamol/Tylenol suppress the immune system, increase the number of days of infection and chance of mortality [3], [4], [5], [6]. It's best we stay out of it as we are not a medical wiki. Gizza (roam) 23:04, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
Agreed. Thanks for the contribution, PresumingEb, and we’ll definitely continue to appreciate more of your contributions in the future. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 23:29, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
Given DaGizza's comment, maybe the best course of action is to remove the "Treatment" section altogether and leave it to doctors and public health authorities (some of which are linked in the article) to give that type of advice. —Granger (talk · contribs) 01:36, 29 April 2020 (UTC)
I have removed that section's final paragraph according to the consensus here. I think it would also be reasonable to remove the section altogether, but I haven't removed it yet due to lack of consensus. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 14:22, 29 April 2020 (UTC)
DaGizza's links are a good argument for "sweat it out". My take from these was that the first link (repeated as the third) suggested lower mortality in critical ill patients if treatment was only used if the body temperature got above 40°C, the fourth link, a youtube video was the most compelling argument for not treating a slightly raised temperature. I didn't get anything useful from the 37 pages in the second link.
On the basis of this I would add a qualification to the first paragraph, that some sources recommend avoiding over-the-counter pain medications. I don't think any of the sources suggested that the other points, fluids and bed-rest, were in doubt. No objections have been raised to the other paragraphs. I think the only change from this is to either qualify or remove the words on pain medications. AlasdairW (talk) 21:34, 29 April 2020 (UTC)
The fact that we, a group of amateur travel guide writers, are examining scientific papers to decide what treatments to advise for a novel disease, is a problem. We are not qualified to be making these kinds of judgements and should defer to public health authorities. —Granger (talk · contribs) 21:45, 29 April 2020 (UTC)
I agree. This section of the article is becoming a burden for contributors to keep up with the latest scientific developments. Wikipedia has the editor base to cope with such a fast-moving situation, but not us, for a topic that isn't even directly travel-related. comment by SelfieCity
I think it is worth providing the advice to consult a doctor. It may seem obvious, but there are people following the US President's uninformed ponderings to their peril. Here a case where obvious advice is warranted. Ground Zero (talk) 22:07, 29 April 2020 (UTC)
I added "Mild symptoms may be relieved by taking paracetamol (acetaminophen)." on 22 March based on Scottish public health advice, and a link was given in the edit summary. At the time I saw similar advice on other public health sites. AlasdairW (talk) 22:18, 29 April 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing that out. In that case I think including it is defensible, but I'm still inclined to think it's better for us to just link to public health websites (and advise people to contact a doctor if they're sick, as indicated in the "Prevention" section). Especially since, as SelfieCity pointed out, COVID-19 treatment methods aren't directly travel-related—the disease is now widespread around the world. —Granger (talk · contribs) 00:47, 30 April 2020 (UTC)

Conspiracy theories[edit]

Should we do anything to debunk the conspiracy theories in this article? Donald Trump, Boris Johnson and Scott Morrison all claim that the virus was engineered in a lab in China, though the scientific consensus is that such a scenario is extremely unlikely for a variety of reasons. And likewise, early in the outbreak, there were theories that it was engineered by American scientists to only infect ethnic Chinese and not white people, and deliberately released in China by American spies. Of course, for the same reasons, this is extremely unlikely. The dog2 (talk) 19:42, 30 April 2020 (UTC)

My sense is that debunking conspiracy theories would be outside our scope. This article is for advising people who are travelling during the outbreak. Also, I don't know where you heard that Johnson claimed the virus was engineered by a lab in China, that's not made any of the news I'm in touch with.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 20:02, 30 April 2020 (UTC)
I agree with ThunderingTyphoons! here. See the "treatments" section discussed above, which came to the consensus that non-travel related content shouldn't be in this article. I think the same applies to conspiracy theories. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 20:15, 30 April 2020 (UTC)
Yeah, there's an insane amount of different conspiracy theories around the coronavirus, and I don't think it's our job to even attempt to debunk the most widespread ones. We're a travel wiki. --Ypsilon (talk) 20:19, 30 April 2020 (UTC)
@ThunderingTyphoons!: At least from news articles, it seems like Trump, Johnson and Morrison are putting up a united front against China. All three are focusing on blaming China for the pandemic. See this, though admittedly the sources are little sketchy. It wouldn't surprise me though given the close ties among the three countries. Interestingly, in Singapore, their embassies/high commissions are all next to each other, as well as, surprise surprise, the Chinese embassy. Almost like a perfect setup for conflicts to occur. Anyway, the scientific consensus on COVID-19 is still that it most likely came from the wild and jumped the species barrier to humans. The dog2 (talk) 20:21, 30 April 2020 (UTC)
Interesting, but I still agree with my earlier position that, being non-travel-related, this doesn't fit into this Wikivoyage article. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 20:25, 30 April 2020 (UTC)
You're not to know this, but "according to a Mail on Sunday newspaper report" is the UK journalism equivalent of saying "according to the school gossip." Do you have a blog? You've got a lot of interesting things to say, but some of them require a different outlet other than a travel wiki. "their embassies/high commissions are all next to each other" - it must be a conspiracy! Seriously, if you don't have a blog, get one. I'd read it.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 20:31, 30 April 2020 (UTC)
That was admittedly tangential and a little tongue-in-cheek. I was never intending to write any of that into any article. On a more serious note, my main concern is that prominent politicians are spreading ridiculous theories that have no basis in science, but I get that the issue on where the virus originated from is not directly related to travel. That said, there is a serious problem of dubious treatments being promoted by politicians, and for better or worse, some people have actually tried ingesting disinfectants, which is probably going to kill you instead. The dog2 (talk) 20:39, 30 April 2020 (UTC)
Mate, we are in a whole storm of shit, (geo)politically, culturally, technologically - it all stinks to high heaven, and has done since at least the middle of the last decade. But I honestly can't see room for that info on Wikivoyage, especially given the above discussion (also cited by Selfie City). --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 20:45, 30 April 2020 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I'm issuing a correction here. Scott Morrison has clarified that he wasn't accusing China of creating the virus in a lab, and has sided with the scientific community's position that it's probably a zoonotic disease. Not to try to ignite political debates or anything, but I thought I'd just put this out there because I do not want to unfairly malign anyone. The dog2 (talk) 17:35, 1 May 2020 (UTC)

Fair enough. The concern is not with accurate information, but rather with specifically which pieces of accurate information belong in a travel guide. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 17:45, 1 May 2020 (UTC)


I think we should probably cover the anti-lockdown protests someone, like telling people to find out where they're happening and avoid those areas. Of course, the ones in the US are probably the most well-known, given how some people stormed the Michigan State Capitol with assault rifles but I've heard that they're happening in other countries like Germany as well. Any thoughts? The dog2 (talk) 21:29, 3 May 2020 (UTC)

If protests are significant in a particular location, they should be covered in the relevant city or country article, just as we would cover protests about anything else. We wouldn't cover protests about train fares in Rail travel, so why should protests which are mainly in one country be covered here. AlasdairW (talk) 22:01, 3 May 2020 (UTC)
Agreed. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:08, 3 May 2020 (UTC)
Is anyone travelling now? That seems to be travel information without an audience. I wouldn't spend time on it. And let's not try to be a news website. There are other places that will cover the news better than Wikivoyage. Ground Zero (talk) 22:18, 3 May 2020 (UTC)
I agree, not worth covering. In general we shouldn't try to provide updates on protests. They're only relevant if they affect travellers (e.g. in Hong Kong last year), in which case they should be discussed in the destination article as AlasdairW says. —Granger (talk · contribs) 23:39, 3 May 2020 (UTC)
These protests are quite troubling, but tourists should have the common sense to stay away from them. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 01:19, 4 May 2020 (UTC)
If a tourist is stuck somewhere in a shutdown, they shouldn't be sightseeing, anyway. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:11, 4 May 2020 (UTC)

Rename this page?[edit]

At en-WP, w:2019–20 coronavirus pandemic was recently renamed to w:COVID-19 pandemic following this discussion. The considerations there ought to apply pretty much the same way here, so should we follow suit and rename this page? Cheers, Sdkb (talk) 23:02, 11 May 2020 (UTC)

If you want to be really technical about it, it's the SARS-CoV2 pandemic. We're not technical on this site, though. I think COVID-19 is used enough in English to be the most used name for the disease, which is our standard of WV:Naming conventions, so after all of that, I'd support your suggested name change. But let's see what others think. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:06, 12 May 2020 (UTC)
That makes sense. We don't have to follow Wikipedia, but common use has gravitated to COVID-19, so we should go with that. Ground Zero (talk) 01:21, 12 May 2020 (UTC)
I agree. —Granger (talk · contribs) 02:36, 12 May 2020 (UTC)

Yes DoneGranger (talk · contribs) 21:35, 17 May 2020 (UTC)

Long-term effects of coronavirus[edit]

Swept from the Pub

This is to open a conversation about the long term impact of coronavirus on travel and upon WV. There is already a specific page with its own discussion threads, but that focuses on immediate advice and there are limits to which it can look long-term. But as the pandemic affects all aspects of travel then it affects the entire content of WV. And as it threatens the survival of all travel-related business then it threatens the existence of WV.

Are we in accord about the gravity and extent of the situation? This is a novel virus that is spreading rapidly, roughly doubling every week in every country with the crucial exception of China, where it has halted. It causes severe illness in 15%, critical illness in 5% and death in 2%. In response there have been unprecedented restrictions on travel and on personal liberty, even denying travel and activity that would previously be seen as essential. This situation seems likely to go on for several months, and it could be many, many months.

We’ve all had travel plans thwarted, but what about updating of content? It feels like content on long-distance transport and amenity listings should mostly freeze; we don’t know what’s closed temporarily, when it might re-open, or what’s lost for good. There may be local transport and natural attractions and themes still worth working on. I’m not proposing any “policy” here, just a general commonsense approach.

The last calamity on this scale was 9 / 11, and its repercussions are still echoing. The travel industry was devastated but was then resurgent, with all sorts of new opportunities which we’ve been enjoying. WV can reach a good long-term position if it survives the slump, but no travel means no travel writing. Contributors find other interests, some may not return (beyond the normal turnover) and no newcomers join; then come the revival the content needs major overhaul but there are few hands to do it. Whatever we perceive as a weakness in WV right now (eg poor coverage of many areas of the world, and poor upkeep in other languages) will be exacerbated. Grahamsands (talk) 10:28, 24 March 2020 (UTC)

I think the most active editors just need to keep doing what we're doing. Unlike travel websites that operate for profit, as far as I understand our situation in the Wikimedia community, we don't need to make a profit every quarter. Therefore, if our web traffic declines for a time but then recovers after the virus passes, we can return to normal. We might actually find ourselves in a better position than commercial travel websites that are probably losing money right now due to the coronavirus. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 11:46, 24 March 2020 (UTC)
Grahamsands, in uncertain situations like this, it's a natural human instinct to crave hard answers about how everything will turn out in the end. But the "long term impact of coronavirus on travel and upon WV" is unknowable at this time, and thus there's no "conversation" about it to be had. Engaging in speculation is unhelpful, and trying to then establish policy (or "a general commonsense approach", or whatever term you want to couch it in) based on that speculation is even more unhelpful. And when the thinking behind that speculation is based on the absolute worst-case-scenario extreme of the range of possible outcomes, the idea becomes worse still. (For instance, I personally think it's very unlikely that lockdowns will "go on for several months, and it could be many, many months". World leaders, or at least certain right-wing elements of the U.S. government, are starting to suggest it will soon be time to get back to work to avert economic collapse, but it's actually much larger than just the economy: isolating en masse for long periods of time is not something that human beings have ever been asked to do before in all of history, including during pandemics, nor is it at all clear that such long-term isolation is within the capabilities of our species in a psychological/sociological sense, regardless of the epidemiological consequences. I say this not to engage in speculation after having denounced it, but as an example of how wide the range of possible outcomes is and that no, we are in no way "in accord about the gravity and extent of the situation".)
If you feel it's important for you personally to stop writing for Wikivoyage at this time, or to restrict your writing to certain subject matter only, then you personally are perfectly free to do so. But, I repeat, attempting to use pie-in-the-sky speculation as a basis for best practices for the whole community to follow is just as much a nonstarter here as it proved to be on Talk:2019–2020 coronavirus pandemic, and quite frankly, I really don't want to hear any more about this.
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 15:34, 24 March 2020 (UTC)
Of course anyone interested in discussing the long-term effects is free to do so, but those of us who don't find it very useful at this stage, like me and AndreCarrotflower, may focus on other things instead. Personally, I agree that it is too early to say what the impacts will be. Our time on Wikivoyage right now is probably best spent (a) updating practical information related to the crisis and (b) doing various maintenance and updates that we haven't gotten around to (like the cotm).
Regarding editing practices for the time being: I agree with the general sense that updates to things like national parks may be more useful than updates to things like long-distance transport. I don't think we should enforce this as a rule, though—anyone can make updates to whatever they think is useful. I agree that, at this stage, we shouldn't remove listings based on temporary closures until we know that they're closed for good. —Granger (talk · contribs) 16:21, 24 March 2020 (UTC)
Agree with Granger and Andre.
One thing about confinement, it is within our capacity as humans to isolate for extended periods of time due to pandemic - we can take our lead from the inhabitants of Eyam, a village in the English Peak District, who upon discovering they had bubonic plague in their midsts in 1666, quarantined themselves from the outside world and maintained it for 14 months until the infection passed, even though dozens of people succommed. Surrounding communities supported them by bringing food to the village gates and leaving it. While the story didn't end particularly well given the nonexistent medical care, we can all take inspiration from their altruism and resolve. If they could do it, with no hope of survival beyond praying, and with nothing to do but wait, then we can do this, for as long as it takes.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 17:29, 24 March 2020 (UTC)
By the way, although I didn't mention this opinion in my earlier comment in this discussion, I agree with the others that this kind of analysis and adjustment to speculation is unnecessary. Also, TT, thanks for the history! I never knew about that event before! --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 17:48, 24 March 2020 (UTC)
All I'll say is, we'd better isolate for months, because the consequences of not doing so could be hundreds of millions of deaths throughout the world. Otherwise, I agree with Granger's views on things to edit. I actually haven't changed my editing routine - I still patrol, fixing grammar and syntax and reverting touting. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:38, 24 March 2020 (UTC)
And returning to the topic at hand, this is what I said at Talk:2019–2020 coronavirus pandemic: "if you want to talk about help to plan travel, that's fine and should be discussed somewhere, but not in a thread covering a pandemic." So you started a thread talking about "the long term impact of coronavirus on travel" - a thread covering a pandemic. How about not speculating about the long-term effects of a pandemic on travel, at a time when we're still in relatively early stages of a deadly pandemic that potentially billions of people could be sickened by? I'd suggest showing a little sensitivity and waiting until it's under control before having this discussion. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:57, 24 March 2020 (UTC)
We are fortunate that we live in an internet era. In previous pandemics, like the Black Death, Spanish Flu and countless others, quarantine would have been a lot more boring. At least we can video call people. We can see and hear them. Just not touch and get close. Easier for some (but obviously not all) industries to work from home in modern times too so the economy while severely damaged won't drop to zero. The death rate when hospitals are overwhelmed (in Wuhan and Lombardy) is 10%. Let's all do our part in slowing this down. Some historians believe that Shakespeare wrote King Lear while in quarantine so this can still be a very productive time in our lives. Gizza (roam) 21:12, 24 March 2020 (UTC)
The biggest change to our articles will be the huge number of listings that will have closed when this is over. Many shops, restaurants, bars and hotels will disappear. Airlines and cruise ships too. Heck, maybe even other transport services. And even more sadly, the managers, workers, and regular customers of various listings will die. In my opinion, if I were to add new content, it would be on things that are guaranteed to stick around in a couple of years. Things like national parks and nature and very old historical monuments, statues and archeological sites that aren't run on a commercial basis. Also we can start a virtual tourism travel topic. Gizza (roam) 21:23, 24 March 2020 (UTC)
I agree. Some international ferry lines have already thrown in the towel, those without freight and cargo as their main income. Travel focus will shift from long distance travels to local and regional travels, to those who can afford it. Not that far away, but out of suburbia for a little comfort. 21:38, 24 March 2020 (UTC)
We've deleted all virtual tourism from this site before - remote cams, etc. I agree that we should focus on those now, as this is the time for people to travel vicariously from their own homes. As for creativity, well, I've already written two new tunes since the plague came to New York. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:41, 24 March 2020 (UTC)
In the past week or two several other travel sites have published lists of virtual tours, live cams, streamed performances, and so on from tourist attractions that are closed due to the pandemic. We could do the same. We can create a dedicated article with a list of "travel at home" options, which we could archive, like we do with past sporting events, after the crisis has ended. —Granger (talk · contribs) 21:49, 24 March 2020 (UTC)
Or we could not archive but embrace them, as travel sites are always partly about vicarious, virtual travel. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:21, 24 March 2020 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────As someone who is stuck in a foreign country far away from the rest of my family, I will say that having the internet is certainly making isolation much easier to cope with. Because of the internet, I am able to give my family regular updates on my situation. I can imagine how much harder it would have been for my grandfather during World War II when he was separated from his father due to the war (and his mother died young, so he was effectively an orphan for the duration of the war). There is already resistance to the shutdowns from within the U.S. Many people see it as an infringement of basic human rights and the first step in the path down to dictatorship. One common argument I have heard is that you should isolate yourself if you are scared, but the government has no right to limit people's movement as that is an infringement of personal freedom. So it is certainly conceivable that the lockdowns will end soon when people eventually become irate and start defying them en masse to march on government offices.

Regarding the long-term effects, I think it's premature to say that the travel industry will never recover. If there's something I learnt from studying history, it is that for as long as civilisation has existed, societies have gone through cycles of boom and bust. We've already been through multiple pandemics and multiple stock market crashes as a human race, and somehow, the world economy seems to always bounce back, so while things seem bleak now, I'm inclined to think we are currently just in the "bust" phase of the cycle, and a "boom" will come again at some point. The dog2 (talk) 01:14, 25 March 2020 (UTC)

In terms of what we can do, I think that in two or three months, we'll have a better idea of what's closed permanently, and we can go through our favorite articles and remove closed listings. This will be easier to do for relatively ephemeral attractions: closed restaurants are probably permanent losses, but a purpose-built building (such as a hotel) is likely to be re-opened as a very similar hotel later, even if it's under a new name and with different staff. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:53, 25 March 2020 (UTC)
I don't think speculation about ultimately unknowable outcomes should govern anything we do at Wikivoyage, but as long as we seem to want to speculate idly regardless, I'll take a swing. I don't think the premature end of the lockdowns will necessarily involve "irate" citizens "march[ing] on government offices", as The dog2 said. I simply think it will involve more and more people disregarding the warnings to leave their homes and congregate in groups, especially as the weather gets nicer, and perhaps businesses like restaurants reopening illicitly because it's either that or financial ruin for their owners. And in making the decision of whether to double down on enforcement or throw in the towel, our political leaders will calculate that defying the will of the people, as foolhardy as it may be, is not good for their future electoral prospects. I've heard it argued that people who currently aren't taking the disease seriously will be scared into compliance once deaths from the virus become widespread enough that everyone knows someone who's succumbed, but I fear the opposite is true: that as death tolls mount, a certain nihilism will pervade, and the general sentiment will be, as the old saying goes, "eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die". I think ultimately, the trajectory of this pandemic won't be substantially different from past ones: a quicker return to normal than we currently predict, but a much higher price to pay in lives lost than we currently hope for. And believe me, I hope I'm wrong about all of this. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 16:18, 25 March 2020 (UTC)
We will all, at some point, get the coronavirus. One may show no symptoms, one might show light symptoms or one might show severe symptoms. Only thing that really matters is, that we and the surrounding community do not get the virus in large numbers — at the same time. It could be as simple as that. But of course it wont be that simple. Keep distance, sanitise, stay home. 18:20, 25 March 2020 (UTC)
Even if you do get it, it is better to get it later (say 3-4 months from now) than earlier (right now). A vaccine won't be available by then but we will have a much better idea of which medicines used experimentally right now are effective in reducing the severity and likelihood of dying from it. Gizza (roam) 02:28, 26 March 2020 (UTC)
You'll also have a better chance of receiving life-saving supportive care if you don't get it until after the waves of critical patients who are and will soon be overwhelming ICUs in hard-hit areas. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:37, 26 March 2020 (UTC)
It feels better that we're having these conversations than not doing so, eg on editing priorities - I'm going to occupy myself with some of the parks. Another aspect that can be tackled is poor page structure, eg if the districtification is a mess. Those pages can be remedied without update to the listings, making them easier to overhaul whenever normality returns. Grahamsands (talk) 17:50, 26 March 2020 (UTC)
Exactly. Best to avoid the "eeny, meeny, miny, moe"-period. 18:14, 26 March 2020 (UTC)
Well, in these times of cancellations and suspensions, perhaps the next step will be to move the Easter holidays to Pentecost? 21:39, 26 March 2020 (UTC)
Responsible houses of worship have closed their doors. Mainstream Christians don't believe Jesus wanted more people to get sick and die - that kind of goes against the accounts of his ministry in the Gospels. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:45, 26 March 2020 (UTC)
We stated on Facebook that we will continue running as normal. Just because we feature Easter doesn't mean we're telling people to go to church. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 23:42, 26 March 2020 (UTC)
Lent was never that easy. Perhaps it should be prolonged for another 40 days? I have already got very much accustomed. 23:50, 26 March 2020 (UTC)
I think the IP user is being facetious. At any rate, we've got a solid consensus in favor of the status quo here, so I see no need to further prolong this discussion. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 00:26, 27 March 2020 (UTC)
No harm in a little light humor. These times are very depressing, so sometimes a slight bit of ironic humor might help us carry on, but it's admittedly a delicate thing online, and that's why I was initially opposed to the April Fools' Day joke article being done again this year. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:08, 27 March 2020 (UTC)
And there was me thinking that eeny, meeny, miny, moe (etc) were the moons of Jupiter. But I've updated the explainer on Eyam, since it's likely to be much quoted in days ahead. Grahamsands (talk) 21:11, 28 March 2020 (UTC)

Stay healthy[edit]

I read an article yesterday about tourists "sheltering" in small towns, and the stress this creates on locals. (This is a result of our thinking that the coronavirus is a "foreign" thing: it makes us suspicious of people who aren't "locals".) The article said something like, "Population: 750 year-round residents, and 3,000 during the tourist season. Number of hospitals: Zero." That got me thinking: a lot of our articles don't have content about hospitals or clinics, and they probably should. Maybe that would feel like a relevant project for someone. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:20, 19 April 2020 (UTC)

I tried this out in Western Iowa. Every city in the main list now has a {{listing}} for the nearest hospital. What turned out to be the most useful thing for this mostly rural area was finding a spreadsheet of "critical access hospitals". This is US federal bureaucrat-speak for "small hospitals with emergency rooms in the middle of nowhere". There are about 1500 of them in the US. If anyone has a favorite US state and would like the list, please ping me. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:41, 20 April 2020 (UTC)
This depends on the best access route to urgent health care for out-of-town visitors. In many places, the hospital is a bad decision, you should only go there if you're too ill to get there. A better option is the "out of hours" service or clinic, often primary care or nurse-led, who can triage, initiate immediate care, or place you into the appropriate second-level facility. So it's important for the relevant WV pages to explain that. Grahamsands (talk) 07:33, 27 April 2020 (UTC)
In a mid-sized or large city, I completely agree with you, and I'd usually list those instead of, rather than in addition to, the local hospitals. However, in small towns like Okoboji, the "out of hours" service – if one exists at all – is usually open for 12–20 hours per week, so usually, you'll need to go across the street to the hospital. WhatamIdoing (talk) 14:17, 27 April 2020 (UTC)
WhatamIdoing Is that list of hospitals available under FOIA on a link? ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 21:17, 24 June 2020 (UTC)
Hello, ShakespeareFan00. FOIA requests are unnecessary in this case. You can download a spreadsheet with each hospital's name and location at (among other websites). WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:17, 26 June 2020 (UTC)

Airlines re-opening?[edit]

American, United Airlines end social distancing, will book flights to full capacity Looks unbelievably stupid to me. Pashley (talk)`

True...will spread coronavirus very quickly. But they probably have little choice if they want to stay in business. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 23:46, 27 June 2020 (UTC)
Though lawsuits might possibly bankrupt them, depending on different countries' laws and standards of legal standing to sue. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:42, 28 June 2020 (UTC)
Also Air Canada, WestJet to drop physical distancing policies as air travel picks up Pashley (talk) 10:51, 28 June 2020 (UTC)
It’s interesting, since in Florida the opposite is happening. People who were going outside are deciding to stay at home and I don’t see businesses staying open long given the current trend. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 11:21, 28 June 2020 (UTC)


Should we have some short section on the theory of testing strategies. I suppose many naïvely think that if you get a negative test, you don't carry the disease, while it shows just in the active phase, from a while before symptoms appear until the worst is over (unless you got something else while weak). Thinking you do not spread the disease because you tested negative is dangerous.

I am puzzled by some testing strategies. What is the use of first testing, then quarantining? You should be OK after the quarantine anyway, unless the quarantine is so short that people getting a false negative (because it was taken early) would be spreading it afterwards. Just for statistics?

And the Icelandic strategy of testing + short quarantine + testing? What is the use of the first test? Are you spreading the disease also after the disease is not longer seen in the test, but for less than five days?

LPfi (talk) 11:24, 25 August 2020 (UTC)

I'm not sure if any of us have enough expertise to go into detail about this. Testing policies vary widely between countries; I assume different experts and policymakers weigh various tradeoffs differently. I know some countries require multiple tests because there's a risk of a false negative.
The idea of the Icelandic policy might be that if you test positive immediately they can put you into a stricter quarantine? And two tests is better than one in terms of the risk of false negatives. But I'm just speculating.
It's probably worth mentioning that there's a risk of false negatives, especially shortly after being infected. —Granger (talk · contribs) 11:53, 25 August 2020 (UTC)
As I understand it, the policy in New Zealand for arrivals is 14 days of managed quarantine in a hotel. There are tests on the 3rd and 12th day. People who test positive are moved to one quarantine location, which presumably has extra facilities or medical staff.
Tests are done both to manage the individual case, and to gather statistical information. If everybody tested negative on a single test, there might be political pressure to change quarantine, so evidence that people are infected when they arrive is useful. AlasdairW (talk) 20:29, 25 August 2020 (UTC)
I do not think we need to go into detail, but there are complications we might mention & provide links for. There are at least two types of test: test for the virus itself (usually in the nose) indicating active infection or test for antibodies (in blood) indicating the person has been infected at some point. The virus test can give false positives in a recovered patient who has dead virus around. See also Bill Gates on Covid: Most US Tests Are ‘Completely Garbage’. Pashley (talk) 01:00, 26 August 2020 (UTC)
I've understood that the window where you get positive results from the most common (virus) tests is short, only a couple of days (i.e. the main problem is not the test per se being unreliable). I don't know whether you are contagious before the disease shows in the test, or after that. Probably at least the latter, as you take the test from a specific place (the nose) and the infection can be elsewhere (the lungs), from where I suppose it can spread. I understand the usefulness of tests to get statistics, for adjusting policy and defend political decisions, but for that I suppose samples would suffice and be much more economical. And I understand if people who tested positive are treated differently, but that seems not always to be the case. –LPfi (talk) 07:24, 26 August 2020 (UTC)

Business class?[edit]

Would one be safer on a flight going business class, or even first, to keep further away from other passengers? Pashley (talk) 08:56, 28 August 2020 (UTC)