I travel. A lot. It’s what I do – both for work and for pleasure. I’m the editor of this website about traveling…proudly.
To be honest with you, the question never occurred to me until I recently read an article in the New York Times – does traveling during a pandemic make me a bad person?
Maybe the answer is yes for those who read the New York Times, but if you’re looking for a gauge of my guilt level, see again the title of this website.
In the last two months I have traveled to 19 states, flown through 23 different airports, flown on 39 planes, rented 11 rental cars and slept in 16 hotels.
In fact, I am sitting on a plane right now with my wife on our way to a vacation in Oregon and California.
Yes, I am wearing my stupid mask like a good little boy…
…and yes, I hand sanitize every time I touch anything…
…and yes, I wash my hands feverishly for 20 “Mississippis” as soon as I get off the plane.
And guess what? I haven’t dropped dead yet. Nor has anyone I have been in contact with.
I guess to some overly-sensitive, guilt-ridden liberals I’m a horrible selfish person who should be embarrassed to tell my closest friends and family about my trip – let alone write about it on a world famous travel site.
Vacation or Shamecation?
The New York Times reports that two-thirds of travelers this summer feel guilty about taking a trip. Half of them have stopped posting vacation pictures on Facebook and Instagram in fear of some level of shaming they may get from their social media “friends.”
No Facebook or Instagram vacation posts?!? Isn’t bragging on social media the primary motivation for people to travel in the first place?
That iconic envy-inducing sunset pic is now a casualty of “COVID shaming.”
Wow. Should you even be reading this article right now?
Is Proud American Traveler a dangerous, unethical website?
The New York Times probably thinks so.
I mean, we’re all familiar with “COVID shame.”
You don’t have to search too hard on social media to find scoldings from Coronabros and COVID Weenies about how anyone who doesn’t match their level of moral indignation regarding acceptable behavior during the pandemic is a narcissistic murderer of old people.
However, I just DON’T CARE what these people think.
Because they are wrong.
Why Would I Listen to These Idiots?
These are the same petty dictators who banned me for a month and a half from sitting on my beach by myself because somehow sand, sun, ocean water…or something…will cause me to catch…or spread…a virus that is neutralized by sunlight and does not spread effectively outdoors.
Oh, and a study just came out yesterday that found Vitamin D from the sun’s UV rays boosts immunity to COVID-19.
These are the same petty dictators who told us NOT to wear a mask in March, but will now arrest me if I don’t wear one in August.
These are the same petty dictators – self-proclaimed scientists! – who actually signed a letter declaring that it’s fine to riot without a mask as long as you’re burning down buildings and wearing a BLM shirt – but the rest of us? We need to stay home.
The 1,288 “scientists and health experts” who signed that letter induced massive backlash from rational normal Americans who all collectively thought (but dared not speak or post): “these people are all idiots and I’m not listening to them anymore”….
….which makes me wonder: why do liberals who read the New York Times care so much about what idiots think?
Stop Worrying about What Other People Think
If you’re confident that the hysteria from the media and Coronabros is over-hyped (which I am) and you know you’re taking appropriate precautions (which I am), then why does anyone else’s opinion matter?
Part of the answer points to the very heart of the psyche of liberal New York Times readers.
Liberals crave individual sacrifice for the collective good: I must suffer and sacrifice to flatten the curve, slow the spread, cool the warming earth, save the whales.
And you must suffer too – by government force or social media shaming.
Complying with their dumb rules signals to others that you’re a virtuous person because you’re willing to sacrifice for the greater “good.”
I completely reject that thinking.
Individual Liberty Leads to the Greatest Good
I am from the Ayn Rand school of thought: when each of us is free to live our lives according to our own perceived self-interests, collective good is actually advanced further than by some coercive Big Brother mandate.
Ask your local bartender or hairstylist how the pandemic rules have furthered their “collective good.” Their entire livelihoods have been sacrificed for the collective.
Look, we are all adults living in a supposedly free society. We can make our own decisions about our perceived level of risk – and thus take any necessary precautions accordingly.
So for me, I think about it this way: I like my job. It requires a lot of travel, but what I do is important for our country.
And I need a vacation. I’m sure you do too. Probably more so now than ever.
I recognize not everyone can travel right now or wants to travel right now. I’m cool with that too. You won’t find me on social media scolding anyone for sitting on their couch with the blinds closed for the next year or two – or ten – until all 7 billion people on the planet are vaccinated.
You do you. I’ll do me.
I’m a Proud American Traveler.
So that’s what I’m going to do.
I’m going to travel and write about it. Proudly.