If I go, there will be trouble
And if I stay it will be double
So come on and let me know
The classic song from the Clash has been on my mind in recent days.
As many readers may know, I am in Singapore with my wife and youngest son for about 10 weeks, teaching a Financial Accounting course to Villanova students who are here as part of a study abroad/internship program.
It is the first time in this part of the world for my wife and me, and we were hoping to do a bit of traveling while we were here.
We have flight and housing reservations scheduled for next weekend in Bangkok, but because of the coronavirus outbreak, we are trying to decide, just like Joe Strummer of The Clash, should we stay (in Singapore) or should we go (to Bangkok).
We have read a good deal about the virus, where it is most prevalent, how quickly it is spreading, how it is spread, who is most affected by it, and what are some preventive measures (handwashing, avoiding crowds, possibly masks).
I even reached out to a fellow blogger, Carol, who lives in Thailand for advice, which she was kind enough to offer.
I calculated that Wuhan, China, where the virus started, is about 1,450 miles away from Bangkok. That’s about the same distance that Miami is to Chicago (1,380 miles).
I’m thinking that if I had a trip from Philadelphia to Miami, I don’t think I would cancel it if there was an outbreak of a virus in Chicago. I’m also aware that the odds of catching the flu are much, much greater than catching this virus, and I’ve never changed any travel plans because of a flu outbreak.
So the rational rational part of me if leaning towards going.
But the emotional side of me says traveling to Bangkok is different.
First of all, I know nothing about Bangkok. I know it will be crowded, but does that mean the entire city is crowded? Would there be nowhere to go if I wanted to avoid crowds? If all we are going to do is stay in our apartment, then what would be the point of going?
Second, it’s a country where I do not speak the native language. Would we understand any warnings that are posted? Would we be able to communicate with someone if one of us did get ill?
Third, there is simply all the hype in the media that is surrounding the virus. It’s hard not to get caught up in the near panic that the media is making this out to be.
I was hoping that writing down my thoughts here would bring me some clarity, but I’m right back where I started:
Should I Stay or Should I Go?
Here’s a video of The Clash playing at Shea Stadium in 1982:
*map courtesy of Travel Math