Day 23: Miami, USA (25.7617° N, 80.1918° W)

We did it! We survived an around the world travel adventure…albeit one of memories and not of miles; sorry no prizes, no medals, no trophies, no titles this year. But, if we did create a  2020 “I Survived T-shirt“…it would look like this:

A 78,888 kilometer (49,000+ mile) route through 22 countries across five continents–not one I would probably do?–even for me, a tad too many flights! I want to thank everyone who made any effort to participate in this venture; thank you for the generosity of your time and for sharing with us all your fond travel memories. Real travelers do actually like to hear other’s travel stories. We are also honored to have been able to play a small part in helping to create those memories for you. Know that many of you have helped create memories for us too. (And it will all be in the book with names changed to protect the guilty!)

Before we go for another year, I have three final things to communicate to you.

First…apparently a lot has happened while we have been swept away on our 23-day around the world Global Scavenger Hunt mem0ry tour.

The day we started on April 16th, there were 671,425 cases Covid-19 cases in the US that caused the death of 33,286 Americans.

Today there are 29,00o+ new Covid-19 cases in the US that now total 1,330,000+ cases nationwide killing 80,000+ Americans, by the time I post this page. Numbers have doubled in three short weeks! And today, as a nation, the US represents about one in three cases and Covid-19 deaths worldwide. That is an extraordinary statistic, one in three! Our country has the most cases of Covid-19 in the world, and the most deaths! We’re #1, We’re #1, USA, USA!

Now, from my perch watching this pandemic unfold–admittingly, it may have been on my radar a little earlier than the average American, as I was in the midst of planning a real trip around the world and watched in horror as the crisis began to spread globally. The pandemics obvious coming menace was public knowledge for those in the know by early January. By mid-January, it was inevitable.

It is a telling statement that both South Korea and we here in the USA suffered our first official Covid-19 cases on the same day, January 20th. Yet that is where the similarities ended, with South Korea quickly acting by following science and health protocols in setting up effective nationwide testing, tracing systems and social distancing. New cases peaked in South Korea on March 1st; with to date, just 256 Koreans dying from the virus. Whereas the US administration took a rather contrarian different tack; actually, no tack at all until March 13th…just shy of two months after everyone already knew the deadly virus was here and its spread far and wide inevitable. Our leadership failed catastrophically so…think about it: Yes, the US has 7x’s the population of Korea, but today they have less than 260 total Covid-19 deaths and we have 80,000! That is 300x’s what South Korea’s death count is, not just 7x’s! US versus Canada Covid-19 related statistics are equally disturbing and show similar gross differences. Now that is American exceptionalism in action! Need anyone say more? Nuff said. Or is it…

My last stand (Pamela suggested I eliminate this graph…but then, I thought no…so here you go…): When this sad chapter of American history is written, it will reveal nothing short of breathtaking negligence and crimes against humanity—we the American people. Authority cannot be separated from accountability. Our self-styled cheerleader-cum-wartime president would be deemed AWOL, and summarily charged with fraternizing with the enemy, dereliction of duty and lethal mismanagement of our health care disaster now coupled with our  economic disaster. It cannot be airbrushed away. Our President did nothing for 70 days; wasted precious weeks of warning about what was coming…and did nothing. No, he did worse than nothing. He denied, dithered and willfully delayed in allowing our medical experts to act in preparing Americans for the waves of deaths storming our land. The fact is, a great majority of the deaths in the United States could have been prevented and avoided–as they were in other countries—because they acted. He did not! It is utter failure. In 2019, Johns Hopkins University rated the United States the country best prepared for any epidemic…this week, a Hopkins scientist told Congress we are “the worst affected country in the world.” How did the best become the worst? Actually that answer is simple: America today is a kakistocracy–a government run by the worst possible people with the worst leader in our history. Shame on them. But let’s hope by November it will not be shame on us too.

Okay, secondly…these days I am fielding calls and emails, as to the big question on every travelers mind about what the future of travel portents: When can we travel again?… and to paraphrase Elizabeth Warren, I have a paper for that… here’s a link to an article I recently wrote on that topic called Post-Covid-19 Travel?. Read it and weep…

And finally, despite having proofread my above stated article, to show you how cautiously optimistic my wife is, she has actually picked the dates for the next edition of The Global Scavenger Hunt…no sadly, not rescheduled for the fall of 2020 but for next spring: April 16 thru May 8, 2021! So mark your calendars now for our planned 16th lap around the world next year. We sure would like to travel again…even with some of you.
Until then, thanks for following us…and please be smart and stay safe all.
Bill –