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Letter to virus

A letter to COVID-19

Story by
postedApril 9, 2020

To the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19,

Congratulations on your meteoric rise to fame. In the span of a mere few weeks, you have become a media darling, the world’s biggest celebrity, and the puppeteer manipulating how we humans go about our lives. Bravo.

Far be it from me to stand toe-to-toe against such a herculean organism, but I must beg your mercy on just a few fronts.

More than anything, I beg that you cease your theft of life and of the health of our most vulnerable. We know you have the ability to kill silently, but why must you be so selective with how you do it?

Only when you accept my plea to restore our collective health, I must make another request: Can you please stop bullying the tourism industry?

Since you are still in your infancy and have had but a few months to gain an understanding of the world you have so badly shaken, I will give you a primer of what tourism represents:

The tourism industry is the global community that helps us all to remain just that: a community. Ten percent of the entire planet can proudly state that they put their talents towards this noble line of work, and I have the privilege of being one of them. Through tireless planning, networking, and research, we help make this vast world accessible to all of its residents.

I want to make sure you understand that you have robbed us of something invaluable: the true payoff of our work. At this point in the year, it is not uncommon for us to be working 14-hour days, giving every ounce of ourselves to our jobs, ensuring we do right by our travelers.

There’s something miraculous about this, though: You don’t hear us complaining. When we receive photographs and videos of the people for whom we work as they have paradigm-shifting experiences, it makes every late night at the office more than worth it.

This year, we are still working those long days and nights, but, due to the carnage you have splattered all over the planet, it is all without that payoff. You have viciously watched and laughed as we are forced to disassemble all of the work we tirelessly devoted to our art, and, most brutally, you have given us no sign of when you will stop this.

Please, virus, I beg you: Let us know when you will cease. Decimating the part of the year we most look forward to is selfish enough, so why must you threaten to be even more gluttonous in your thievery? Theaters are dark, buses are parked, museums are shuttered, and people are lonely and disconnected.

You’ve had your time in the sun. Please stop.

Let me—and millions of my colleagues and friends worldwide—return to our travel trade. Let us work our magic so that we can help make this crazy world fun and friendly for millions of travelers.


A travel coordinator, sitting at his dining room table, trying to clean up your mess

This letter was written by Ryan Kramer, who works for Bob Rogers Travel, an Illinois-based tour company that specializes in student travel.

For more travel industry resources on COVID-19 click here.

Top photo by Kendall Fletcher