As a result of COVID19 within their borders, many countries have placed travel restrictions on American Citizens. Several countries prohibited United States Citizens from traveling for non-essential purposes. According to the Passport Index , the US Mobility Score was -68, suggesting that they lost 68 visa waivers in 2020. Understanding The United States’ Response To COVID19 As fears emerged in the winter of 2019, the United States had plenty of time to prepare for the virus, and by the time it arrived in Europe in February 2020, it was obvious that the virus was spreading rapidly. Despite possessing a range of tools and experience in disease control, the US tended to downplay the seriousness of the outbreak, failed to contain it, and struggled with vaccine distribution. As Ed Yong from The Atlantic reported: “The United States has correctly castigated China for its duplicity and the WHO for its laxity—but the United States. has also failed the international community. Under President Donald Trump, the United States. has withdrawn from several international partnerships and antagonized its allies. It has a seat on the WHO’s executive board, but left that position empty for more than two years, only filling it this May, when the pandemic was in full swing. Since 2017, Trump has pulled more than 30 staffers out of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s office in China, who could have warned about the spreading coronavirus. Last July, he defunded an American epidemiologist embedded within China’s CDC.” Regardless of what could have happened if the US had retained its foreign partnerships, there was no national mask or social distancing mandate as the virus spread rapidly across the country. Each state was given the task of developing a COVID response plan. This makes sense for states with fewer residents, but if adjacent states' borders aren't closed, a mask mandate in one state but not another is counterproductive. It wasn’t until January 20, 2021, when President Joseph R. Biden Jr. signed an Executive Order that there was a law about mask-wearing. It states: “to protect the Federal workforce and individuals interacting with the Federal workforce, and to ensure the continuity of Government services and activities, on-duty or on-site Federal employees, on-site Federal contractors, and other individuals in Federal buildings and on Federal lands should all wear masks, maintain physical distance, and adhere to other public health measures, as provided in CDC guidelines.” The Executive Order also notes: “Heads of agencies shall review their existing authorities and, to the extent permitted by law and subject to the availability of appropriations and resources, seek to provide masks to individuals in Federal buildings when needed.” Masks are now enforced on Federal property and provided for those who do not have them, nearly a year after the first case in the United States. The United States has long declared itself to be the "land of the free," reinforcing their individualistic mindset. It was virtually impossible to pass a national mask rule. The vaccine was released in 2020, along with the delivery schedule, and it was the US's chance to rebound from the failed response. Not knowing who was eligible to receive the vaccine, where to go, slow vaccine development, and skepticism was among some of the issues. Nonetheless, as of Feb 23, 2021, PBS reported : “A bout 1.6 million Americans are being vaccinated each day. But, at that rate, it will take about a year to vaccinate all adults in the country.” Some countries have relaxed their restrictions after the new year, bringing the US mobility score to 105. There are currently 62 countries that allow people to enter without a visa and 40 countries that require a visa upon arrival. 93 countries, on the other hand, have continued their COVID19 ban or have a pre-approved visa requirement.
If you’re going to invest in anything in your life, it should be in yourself. In conjunction with yourself, you should invest in travel experiences. I can promise you that you will learn more about culture, problem-solving, and communication while traveling than you could in a book or online. I can also guarantee you will create all kinds of memories: good, bad, and indifferent. These are a collection of situations to learn from and can only help you grow. I believe that anyone who traveled and doesn’t have some growth story didn’t do it right. Travel has the ability to heal, transform, inspire, and act as an escape. It’s human nature to want to be elsewhere but there is something therapeutic in traveling. It is a time to reflect - whether it is on a personal situation or the difference in cultures. The fact is that no matter where one is in their life, a trip to a new place is always a good idea. I believe people travel not to run away but to search for something. Investing in traveling sounds expensive, but there are plans for all types of budgets. The best part is traveling sustainably saves you money ! Staycations have become more popular after the COVID pandemic and are helping people realize the beauty in their own home countries. Getting to know people from around the world can turn into long-lasting relationships. Traveling has encouraged me to learn a new language and become more open-minded. I started asking questions, pushing myself to speak to locals in their language and learn more about their culture. It seems like a vulnerable position but only as much as you let it. Having a sense of humor and humility will go a long way while abroad. I believe so long as you put in the effort to genuinely get to know people and understand their culture, you will make friends for life while traveling. I believe investing in travel will change your perspective on life. You will approach situations, speak, and live differently which few other activities will compare. Listen and read more This I believe essays here .
A ukestra is an ukulele orchestra. This Ukastle ukestra has the ability to put a smile on your face and as soon as they start to play, makes you want to dance! They've played at several Ukulele Festivals and performed on TED in 2011. Introducing t he Ukastle Ukestra: Follow them on Facebook "The Ukastle Ukestra is the contribution that the good citizens of Newcastle are making to the global community ukulele revolution. We are proof positive that learning an instrument, and singing and entertaining is not only the preserve of professionals, but is something that all should aspire to, participate in, enjoy and share. We are comprised of everyday Novocastrians ranging in age from 15 to 83. Most members are new to music making and performing, but through Ukestra we have been studiously learning the finer points of repertoire selection, varying rhythms and having fun. In fact we have done so well, that we took home the Golden Ukulele from the 2011 Melbourne Ukulele Festival. And we started only 2 years ago (almost to the day). And now we have been invited onto one of those naff national televised talent shows...this is an exciting journey! ( TEDxNEWY ) " Let us know if you've seen this group around Australia!