Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Is COVID re-designing the travel map?

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It seems that COVID-19 and its quarantine have tackled the LGBTQ+ community travel opportunities in depth. Actually, the whole world has been engaged in a furious battle against the virus and it is not at the end, yet.

Nevertheless, since COVID-19 has also become a political subject, some Nations have seized the opportunity to re-think the LGBTQ+ community rights. Although in many countries, LGBTQ+ doctors and nurses have helped to save lives and contributed to the recovering of many people, the pandemic has made their lives more difficult, both in terms of forced isolation and for less care to the community rights. Not forgetting many opportunistic choices from health ministries, such us reducing the time for blood donation after abstinence from 12 to 3 months.

In some countries, the lockdown has led to religious fanatic behaviors (“the pandemic is God’s punishment for human sins, such us sodomy and homosexuality”), often supported by government measures to “contain” misbehaviors, such as in Africa or in Turkey. Also Israel, one of the most gay-friendly destinations has had its “piece of cake”, when the pandemic is “a punishment for the gay pride”, a rabbi said.

We should expect that when the pandemic will be over, or at least kept under control, a new LGBTQ+ travel map will be re-designed. Because the pandemic effects on social interaction will leave a long-lasting memory and will change our approach to destinations. Those countries which were already out-of-reach because of their homophobic policies have strengthened their positions, whereas others, apparently more liberal, had to face a homophobic regurgitation. Also in Italy, a gay-friendly destination as a whole, the approval of the bill against homophobia dramatically slowed down.

We are all aware that COVID-19 pandemic is going to split up the “before” and the “after”: what to really expect for the “after” depends on our choices in the “during”. Being aware of that, means to play our personal game with a stronger responsibility of respect towards one another. This is the pencil which will re-design the LGBTQ+ travel industry.

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