Of Coronavirus and Moral Depravity

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Just a brief note before I continue posting trip reports.

1. Life right now is crazy for all of us due to Covid-19. I am having my own difficulties handling it, though I am fortunate in that I am financially secure, and so far my friends and family are all safe and healthy. And while I know the ability to travel the world for leisure is beyond a luxury, I know for many of us who do do it, it’s an adjustment knowing that that is off the table for the short term, and questionable for the mid-term. (I do not consider it wise or socially responsible for anyone to be voluntarily traveling for leisure in the next four weeks.)  The travel industry in six months is not going to be the travel industry any of us are used to, but we will just have to wait in see. There will continue to be beautiful places to visit, and different cultures to explore. Personally, I am expecting all travel to be grounded until at least May, and do not think my Spain trip for Memorial Day will go ahead. I am for the most part isolating myself in my one-bedroom condo, teleworking, and trying to stay sane. I’m still working out a routine, but I think I’ll catch up on some trip reports, and hopefully that will be a nice distraction for some of you (and for me).

2. Business Insider published a story, curiously behind a paywall and definitely dropped at a convenient time, about Brian Kelly, the founder and CEO of The Points Guy, which includes extremely credible allegations of sexual harassment, a toxic workplace environment, and rampant drug abuse. There are paywall-less versions floating around the internet. Brian, is of course, not actually the owner of the credit card marketing website anymore, but Red Ventures has used the false image of Brian as living a carefree, luxurious, points-driven life to market financial service products. So far, I have yet to see a single TPG contributor, or other large marketer pretending-to-be a travel blogger, comment on these credible allegations– not even to say, “these allegations are shocking to me, but clearly raise allegations of problematic conduct that I hope will be investigated.”  I don’t know if  Red Ventures or its advertisers are somehow pressuring others to remain silent, or these bloggers actually think silence is the right thing to do. Either is morally repugnant.

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