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A world we could travel

Posted April 14 by John Birmingham

This is my current lock screen, a scene from a bar we came to love to in Paris while there recently. Somebody on Twitter sent me a heads up on this place and I really should look them up and thank them for the pick. I think I fetched up at this joint on the edge of the Marais at least once a day (and a couple of times more than once).

It had everything you'd want in a Paris wine bar. Nice food. Great plonk. A surprising amount of space inside because the locals are smokers and have to take their coffin nails outside. It's a live photo, so all I need do to take myself back there is press a thumb into the image. Suddenly glasses clink, laughter rolls out, music swells in the background as people enjoy themsevles.
I keep this shot on my lock screen because it reminds me there was a world we could travel through, and it was worth the time and money to do so.

20 Responses to ‘A world we could travel’

Murphy_of_Missouri ducks in to say...

Posted April 15
Glad we got to NYC right before all of this crap started.

Strange to see those busy streets we traveled so desolate now.

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Dave W ducks in to say...

Posted April 16
If...If humanity comes out the other side of this...then I wonder what happens to travel and even the bigger picture of the "international human".

I don't see myself as particularly Australian. I carry two passports and have lived for a time in the UK. Mrs W and I like to travel, like to be in strange parts of the world and see different things. I find most difficult to imagine never being able to do those things, to be 'stuck' here in Oz (granted there are worse places to be stuck).

Sure, I was probably easily identified as a gape-jawed tourist, but I love nothing more than local food in local places, sitting with the locals and watching their world go by: roti canai in a market cafe in Borneo, a curry bunny in Durban, fresh fish cooked on a fire in Carnarvon WA, or a beer in a sidewalk bar in Vienna, Saigon, Phnom Penh, Prague or a million places in England. Will we get to do this again?

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Dirk mumbles...

Posted April 16
Dave,

A simple answer to your question: Yes. And we will get through this. Only question we can't answer is when and at what price.
If we take the Spanish Flu https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_flu as a blueprint (which is the only data we can probably compare this with), we can expect to see direct effects of the virus for around 24 months from the start of the pandemic. So that would make it around December 2021.

The increase in worldtravel and the measures taken however can influence this time scale. Cost in the short run for international airtravel will be higher. A number of airlines will fold or merge with others, so competition will decrease. On the other hand this shakeup will lead to the early retirement of older and more expensive to operate families of aircraft (think 757/767, A340, older 737) or conversion to cargo birds (747, A380).

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Dave W reckons...

Posted April 17
Yep, and I think it's the latter that could cause more concern. I'd love to be travelling in the pointy end of the plane, but that's not really a possibility. The hypothetical is really around what happens to the travel industry in the medium term? Short-term is obviously this shut-down.

Medium term is it a whole bunch of consolidation or business failures?

Do the major travel hubs eg Singapore, Dubai and Heathrow suddenly need a health screening mechanism that smashes the logistics of international flights? Obviously we deal with the added time of security screenings, but would this be different/more?

And that's just thinking about the travel side of the equation. Will we have jobs, money, freedom of movement?

she_jedi swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 17
That's an interesting question; the health monitoring requirements might smash the ridiculous security theatre that's underway at the moment, and result in a more efficient security and health screening process in the long term

Dirk has opinions thus...

Posted April 17
There could be a very simple answer for that one. If a person that has had the virus and can't spread it anymore (and that is an answer science will have to provide if that is the case), it would be on option that those people could travel. That includes those that will be vaccinated in due course.
It could be monitored with apps, or a declaration in your passport. The security bit will stay however.

If we have jobs and money is another question. I can see an influx into previously undesirable jobs. Healthcare, education, infrastructure, science. All depends on what we as citizens of planet earth decide on out exit strategy. Do we keep the old neo conservative elites in power, or do we go to a more social liberal and accountable stream in politics.

Do we set up "a Marshall plan 2.0" to fix problems with our infrastructure. An infrastructure that includes fiberoptic nets that are open to competition, produce energy without pollution and store it in a clean and efficient way? Do our societies have to become more self reliant in foodproduction and in medical supplies?

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andrew reckons...

Posted April 18
I don't want to be a downer, but there's a great article on the ABC yesterday pointing out that there has never been a successful vaccine made against a corona virus, and many have been tried.

So the only real way out is eradication, as has been managed for the ebola outbreak in Congo and surrounds.

Still not impossible, but not what most of the world's leaders are shooting for. NZ, South Korea, China seem to have the necessary clue. The complex systems guys (Nassim Taleb, Yaneer Bar-Yam et al) explain why modern travel patterns make most of the historical epidemiological models flawed at best. (endcoronavirus dot org).

There's not much that past pandemics can really teach us, because it isn't behaving like past viruses. It's new. It has easy transmission from symptom-free carriers. We still have no idea why some people who get it scrape by unscathed while others suffer permanent respiratory capacity loss and others die alone, suffocating. So you don't want to get it. I don't.

Testing and contact tracing on top of isolation is probably the only way out, but who's going to trust the government contact-tracing app after they comprehensively broke every assurance they made about what use could be made of the metadata storage system? I probably will, but that's because I want it to work more than I trust the government with the data...

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andrew mutters...

Posted April 18
That is a great lock screen though. Missing travel is really going to be a thing, I think. Even when our country, and perhaps the ones we're interested to visit, have the virus under control, internally, there will be others that don't. So international travel is very likely to involve weeks of quarantine isolation in both directions (never mind the danger of being in a sealed tube full of strangers). Makes a holiday get-away a non starter. Probably for years.

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jl would have you know...

Posted April 19
This is a seriously depressing thread for me for a lot of reasons.

she_jedi puts forth...

Posted April 19
I feel you buddy :(

Dave W asserts...

Posted April 20
Yeah, I know, I didn't mean for it to be a downer.

jl ducks in to say...

Posted April 22
Its the circumstances. Not good.

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Halwes asserts...

Posted May 14
I really hope that everyone is healthy and working.

Dave W swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 15
Doing alright here. Work and health both working healthily. Hope all the 'burgers are doing ok too.

FormerlyKnownAsSimon reckons...

Posted May 18
Still working but only just - the axe is falling. Not sure if we will survive it or not (in education). The university sector as a whole is in a dire situation. Otherwise healthy - maybe a bit fatter due to iso wfh and supervising kids. I seem to be doing more work online and then helping kids with school work the house gets messier and time is just as elusive.

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WA n'ker would have you know...

Posted Friday
Just jumping on here to say: where is Birmo?
And... is anyone else hanging out for the new Dune adaptation?

Halwes asserts...

Posted Saturday
I heard that JB had been arrested in Hong Kong for subversisive behaviour and sedition. Apparently the AFP turned up at 0200 and whisked him off to Canberra for an intense waterboarding followed by a midnight Hercules flight to honkers. Well he did say that he wanted to get back to travelling.

she_jedi swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Monday
I'm definitely looking forward to the new Dune adaption, and also to the new adaption of The Stand. Here's hoping JB gets out of detention in time to see them.

Dave W ducks in to say...

Posted Monday
Over here near Canberra airport, I can say that the early morning landing woke me up. I clearly saw JB in an orange onesie, manacled and hooded.

Also, each of the AFP goons was taking it in turns to read passages from the collected works of Mario Vargas Llosa, as a prelude to the water treatment. Hard to know which would be worse.

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WA n'ker mumbles...

Posted Tuesday
I wonder how they are gonna have the ornithopter looking?
A la "Avatar" perhaps?

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