The Dangers of Travel Deprivation
The Coronavirus or COVID-19 is a newly discovered virus that is wreaking havoc around the world. In January of this year, 800,000 new cases have been reported in the United States and 117 million globally. Cases are continuing to rise at an increasing rate. When the Coronavirus was declared a worldwide Pandemic in March of last year, countries around the world took necessary precautions by closing their borders to stop the spread. Just last year, the United States banned travel to and from China (where the virus originated from). As a result, 90% of the world has been locked down and are required to stay socially distant. As of today, some of the lock downs imposed have been lifted. However, we still cannot travel freely and some are still being deprived the right to travel freely. The consequences of these lockdowns and the restrictions on free travel are devastating to every human on Earth.
This has dramatically reduced travel. The high-volume shutdowns that are in effect forced people to not travel since airlines suspended all services domestic and international. People are now required to stay home and quarantine themselves.
When people travel, they expect to gain satisfaction. It serves as an escape from their busy and stressful lives. There are different levels of satisfaction when traveling. In a journal article titled “Health and Wellness Benefits of Travel Experiences A Literature Review,” two researchers named Chun-Chu Chen from Washington State University and James Patrick from Texas A & M analyzed the emotions that a person feels during a vacation and they put them into four stages. Chen and Patrick named These stages: The Stages of Travel.
However, when people are getting denied the ability to travel for an intensive period, the opposite effects of the Stages of Travel occur. Instead of getting the benefits of travel such as happiness and satisfaction, they are feeling the opposite. A person’s satisfaction decreases throughout the process. These parallel stages are called the The Stages of Denial of Travel.
Not allowing people to leave their homes has devastating effects on one’s mental state. An article titled “The Psychological Impact of Quarantine and How to Reduce it: Rapid Review of the Evidence” written by multiple doctors and practitioners explains these effects. According to this article, quarantining within your home for an extensive period can contribute to psychological disorders such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), insomnia, and anxiety. This is because people are unable to be in close contact with one another and socialize which contributes to even more effects such as loneliness and irritability. These factors are reflected in the Stages for the Denial of Travel. Since people are unable to travel and escape the stresses of life, they are confined in their homes without any physical interaction with other people.
When humans go on a vacation, he or she goes through and experiences four stages of travel. Most of the time, people start to experience these stages way before the vacation even begins. Before vacation, a person is in the Anticipation stage. During this stage, people are generally happier because of the excitement and anticipation of going on a vacation to enjoy themselves for a couple of days. People also look forward to making memories and experience positive feelings while on their getaway.
The second stage of this process is called the experience stage. During the experience stage, a person is on the vacation enjoying themselves and making those memories they were excited about making. This increases satisfaction and carries over into the next stages of the Stages of Travel.
The third Stage of Travel is the Beneficial Stage which happens during and after vacation. Satisfaction is at its highest point during this stage. Eventually, people begin to reflect on their experiences, and they carry over to when they return home. Those experiences are shared with others. The person who went on the vacation has high satisfaction and wants others to know all about their trip.
Then during the Fade-Out stage, the happiness and satisfaction gained from their travel experience starts to diminish and they return to their normal lives like going back to work and returning to school.
People rely on travelling for pleasure and satisfaction. Depriving them of those characteristics can have devastating effects on their mental health. Because of the worldwide shutdown of travel due to the Pandemic, many people are not gaining that happiness from going on a vacation. Instead, they are going through the opposite. These feelings are explained by The Stages of Denial of Travel. Satisfaction and happiness decrease throughout the stages of Denial of Travel. In the first stage, also known as the Fear stage, happiness starts to decrease because of the fear and growing anxiety of contracting the Coronavirus.
The next stage is known as the Negative Experience Stage The effects of this period have the opposite effect than the Experience Stage in the Stages of Travel. In this stage, people are fully experiencing what it is like to not have any close contact with others. They often deal with anxiety and boredom because they cannot leave their homes and be in physical contact with their friends and family.
The third stage is the Harmful Stage. During the Harmful Stage, the negative effects, and consequences of the deprivation of travel come into effect. Sadness or the opposite of satisfaction is at its highest point here. The negative effects described earlier such as loneliness, Post Traumatic Stress Order, and anxiety take hold and begin to develop during this stage. Happiness and satisfaction are at their lowest during this. People begin to reflect their feelings and overall experiences of staying quarantined for a long period of time.
The final stage of this process is the Fade In stage. During the Fade In stage, the anticipation of returning to normalcy and traveling increases satisfaction and happiness. When people are excited about finally traveling again after a long period of being isolated from the rest of the world, the negative consequences from the previous stages begin to fade away. People are finally looking forward to resuming their regular lives by being able to travel and congregate in person.
The Stages of the Denial of Travel reflect what the majority of people are going through especially during this current Pandemic. People are longing for a sense of normalcy so that they could leave their homes and travel at last. It is evident from Chun-Chu Chen and James Patrick’s Four Stages of Travel that travelling or going on a vacation is an important factor for psychological benefits. Taking away something that has many psychological benefits could eventually damage the human psyche.
Being locked down and unable to leave our is detrimental to our mental health and potentially the people around us. Over this past year, we have seen increased rates of violence and protests firsthand in America that quarantining, and isolation can have on us humans. It wears us down emotionally and it brings the longing desire for changes that must be made to stop the spread of the Coronavirus. We want someone to blame for taking away our freedoms of interacting with others and going out. The Stages of the Denial of Travel supports the idea that people are angry and tend to lash out their anger onto others.
During this Pandemic, it is evident that enforced isolation or quarantine increases the rate of domestic abuse. A study conducted by Sabrine Sediri and others focused on the effects of how two Tunisian Women delt with being isolated for a period. Domestic violence nearly tripled with women being quarantined and isolated with their abusers. This higher rate of the abuse of women is linked to anxiety, depression, and stress because of the lockdowns and people’s inability to leave their houses. We are tired of being required to stay home and isolate from our friends and family. Constantly feeling angry and anxious is not healthy for our mental health and will contribute to irrational behaviors such as hurting a loved one physically or verbally.
Since Covid-19 came from mainland China; more specifically Wuhan, it is evident that people are becoming Xenophobic towards Asians because of the fear of contracting the disease. We tend to act irrationally in these types of situations and do things that any rational person would not do. This is all part of human nature. According to studies done by Angela R. Gover, Shannon B. Harper, and Lynn Langston, there has been a rise of hate crime towards Asian Americans in the United States. Gover and the other contributors state in their research that social media has been a place where Hate Crime towards Asians has spread and where it is exposed. There has always been some sort of Xenophobia towards Asians historically in the United States, but with the Coronavirus originating in China, that hate and violence towards Asians have increased. An example of such Xenophobia in the United States that was included in this academic journal was when a someone assaulted a Korean woman in midtown Manhattan on March 10th. This person was pulling on her hair and later punched her in the face yelling: “You’ve got coronavirus, you Asian (****)” and “Where’s your (****) mask. These verbal and physical assaults towards Asian Americans are how people are reacting to being isolated. Violence is their way of lashing out and scapegoating others.
This source also discusses the fact that former President Trump kept calling the virus “the Chinese virus”. Trump provoked Xenophobia towards Chinese and Asian Americans and pointed the blame right to China for creating the virus and allowing it to spread all over the world. Also, Trump blamed China for businesses leaving the United States and then he banned all travel to and from China because of the spread of Covid. President Trump’s claims and actions towards China fuels Xenophobia of Asians. He is painting targets on their backs which allows his supporters to point the blame by any means necessary. No one in this situation knows who to blame. Asians are being scapegoated because an authority of power is saying so. To find satisfaction, we listen to anyone that makes us feel any better about the situation, even if they are right or wrong.
People’s wishes for change are more apparent now than ever before. Just alone in 2020, we have seen riots, social movements, constant protests etc. and all during a worldwide Pandemic which isolated people from each other. This year on January 6th, 2021, pro Trump protesters stormed the capital building in Washington, DC for their hopes to overturn the 2020 election. Something like this has never been seen before in modern US history not since the Civil War. This all connects back to the Coronavirus. Because millions of Americans cannot escape to enjoy themselves and that they are socially distant, they want change. The virus is a “straw the broke the camel’s back” in this situation. Many Trump supporters and Republicans alike were outraged when Donald Trump lost the election. All the anxiety and stress they had to endure that past year pushed many to storm the capital that day. They were tired of sitting idle for so long. Sparking a revolution at the capital was a way to let their feelings all out from months of depression and anger.
Depriving a person of travel and the ability live a normal life has devastating effects on a country’s society. Us as humans are not made to sit idle in our homes for months on end. We thrive on social interactions and by taking away that factor, we are contributing to the increased rates of violence not just towards Asian Americans, but towards our loved ones as well. This as a result is why there is a rise of Xenophobia, revolutions, and hate crimes towards Asians. People use Asian Americans and others in power as a scapegoat for their terrible lives because they feel like they caused the problem. The truth is that we are all to blame for this disease that created misery upon the world.
Over the course of time, we have seen that going on a vacation is a healthy way for people to enjoy themselves and to escape their busy lives at home. It helps relieve stress and anxiety and overall, going on a vacation and travelling relaxes the mind and the body as shown in the Stages of Travel. However, it is obvious that travelling and going on a vacation also leads to some risks and other negative effects. Traveling in moderation is healthy, but it when we travel constantly in a short period of time is then these negative effects take hold.
When someone travels through multiple time zones in one flight, they experience what is called “Travel Fatigue.” An article titled, “The Stresses of Travel” by J Waterhouse, T Reilly, and B Edwards explains this. Travel fatigue can be caused by multiple factors. according to the article, Travel Fatigue is “Long-distance travel is associated with a group of transient negative effects, collectively referred to as ‘travel fatigue,’ which result from anxiety about the journey, the change to an individual’s daily routine, and dehydration due to time spent in the dry air of the aircraft cabin.”
For many people, travel is an escape from their daily routines and to enjoy themselves. When we travel, we feel exhilarated and excited to get to our destination. This positive disruptive change in our routine is healthy and benefits our mental health. It helps us escape the stress and anxiety of our regular lives. Going on a vacation and anticipating it blocks out many of the negatives of travel including Travel fatigue and others fears.
Many people also experience Jet Lag when crossing over many time zones. This impacts sleep because time is different across time zones. Jet Lag makes traveler sleep deprived since they cannot get enough sleep. People’s sleep schedules are messed up because of the time zone changes. In this sense, travelling constantly and crossing many different time zones wears down the body and the mind. Most of the time, travelling increases happiness and lowers anxiety and depression since they are escaping from all they hardships they are facing. Yeah, people may be always on the move and getting less than they are used to, but the benefits of travel outweigh even the slightest of negatives. Traveling is essential to both physical and mental health.
Another viewpoint that someone may take concerning travel is the rising chance of terrorism. Traveling anywhere in the world has its risks. An Article titled, “Tourism and the Globalization of Fear: Analyzing the Politics of Risk and (in)Security in Global Travel” written by Raoul Bianchi in 2006 expands upon this idea even further. Bianchi is a senior research fellow in the at the International Institute of Culture Terrorism and Development at London Metropolitan University. ” When people travel to places either nationally or internationally, there is chance of risks in security and terrorist attacks. In the article, Bianchi adds,” Tourists have increasingly become the specific target of ‘terrorist ’violence”. This statement leads to the idea that travelling does in fact lead to more violence because terrorists in foreign nations are constantly targeting tourists from the United States and Europe as well. In these scenarios, it is safe to say that not being travel deprived increases violence but by terrorist groups not by the tourists themselves. It would be foolish to live in fear of violence for the rest of our lives. Violence will be a part of society forever and there is no real way around it. Travel benefits all and it makes people visit cool places to escape the stresses of their lives.
Lockdowns have made us anxious and unrestricted travel makes us fearful because of potential terrorist attacks. This is seen during the Covid Pandemic. We are anxious and depressed because we were not allowed to travel due to travel restrictions. As the time went on with some restrictions still in place, society shifted the blame towards others such as their governments and people. When we are deprived of something, we feel trapped and seek a way forward. The January 6th riots at the United States capital and the shootings of Asian Americans in Atlanta are the most recent examples. Americans at the capital stormed the building to overturn Joe Biden’s presidency. They felt threatened by Biden winning the election. Americans are targeting Asian Americans to blame China for the spread of the Coronavirus and other events. Those two events are the most damaging events we have seen due to governments depriving people their right to travel or go on a vacation. It is dangerous forcing people to stay home. From this past year, we have seen that slowing down travel has damaging effects on society. The benefit of allowing travel outweighs all dangers. Allowing travel runs the risk of getting killed or seriously injured in potential terrorist attacks. But not allowing people to travel sparks revolutions and even more violence. Placing limits does not make sense and is unreasonable.
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