Reply To: Questions about Disabled travel in the era of COVID-19

  • Joan Pahisa

    October 5, 2020 at 3:33 am

    The article posted by Josh is really insightful and there’s nothing much that I can think of to add. I would put emphasis on the fact that many people with disabilities are also more vulnerable to Covid, so it’s not just a matter of services being there, but of willingness of travelers to put themselves at risk. The article says it well, you have to balance pros and cons and being the cons huge (for instance, imagine getting sick abroad), I think that many people will stick to small road trips if doing any travel at all.

    Also, as already said, for people with disabilities it’s more difficult to keep social distance, be it due to accessibility barriers that may make you take a more crowded route instead of a free-will path, due to the need of assistance or due to visual impairments.

    Moreover, at the moment, as most business are going through lots of financial difficulties, I think that accessibility or service adaptations to people with disabilities is not among their priorities either. At least, if the business was not aimed specifically at customers with disabilities. I’d say that during the pandemics, service should be even more customizable as whether the customer is more at risk due to health conditions may have an effect in how the service should be performed. This level of customization feels really complicated (data protection issues, logistics, available resources, etc.). For instance, in my case, I’d be more at ease knowing that I won’t be getting any assistance for things that I can do myself, even with quite a lot of effort, as I prefer social distance over assistance, whereas before, I really appreciated that help. That being said, it means that I’d only be doing small trips that limit that extra burden. Nevertheless, also in my case, I don’t think I’ll be traveling until there’s a widespread effective vaccine or a treatment that significantly reduces the risk.

    Most probably, if the situation persists for a long time, maybe people will be more willing to travel and to accept the risk, but for the time being, I think that most people with be patient and cautious.

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