Fear Not, Britain is Open for Business

I live in York, one of England’s most historic cities, and while I wouldn’t typically share details about my trip to the supermarket, I think today’s visit warrants a mention.

Like I do several times a week, I cycled past stone city walls in order to ride under an ancient gateway called Bootham Bar into the city. I pedaled past cozy pubs with roaring fireplaces to the majestic York Minster—one of the most impressive medieval cathedrals in all of Europe—and as I passed the cathedral, I gently rang my bike bell to alert the crowd of photo-snapping travelers of my presence, before carrying on past a Roman column to the store, where I collected my groceries and made the return trip home.

So what’s so special about a guy buying ingredients for his lunch?

Nothing, really, and that’s what makes it noteworthy.

While we are certainly paying attention to the evolving news about COVID-19, monitoring developments and taking all appropriate precautions, I want you to know that Britain is also most certainly keeping calm and carrying on.

Oh, and I also want you to know that you should most definitely still come over and see us.

The weather is just starting to turn, with the sun shining ever-brighter on village greens, beaches and coastlines up-and-down Britain bringing longer days for exploring the Scottish Highlands, the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales and the rolling hills of the South. The gorgeous National Trails are starting to fill up with walkers while seaside resorts from Wales to Cornwall are shaking off their winter slumber.

To say nothing of London. It is buzzing as always, with its world-class collection of theaters, restaurants, museums and attractions. It sure would be a shame to let fear, not facts get in the way of a chance to experience this city, because there’s nowhere like it on the planet.

In case you were wondering, London is located over 600 miles from Italy, the one and only country in Europe that the CDC currently recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to.

A Visit Britain spokesperson has said:

“The UK is open for business and continuing to welcome visitors. Visitors can be reassured that the UK’s public health measures are world-leading and the UK Government along-with with international colleagues and the World Health Organisation have been working in close collaboration to monitor the situation and limit the impact of COVID-19 with the health and safety of people rightly the priority. This is a fast-moving situation and visitors are advised to regularly check the official UK Government website for the latest travel and health advice.”

The bottom line is: if you wash your hands thoroughly at every opportunity and avoid excessive touching of your face, there’s no reason why you won’t be as healthy here as you would have if you remained in your hometown.

In all likelihood, the biggest issue you’ll face here is the potential for running into some rainy weather, and that’s just an excuse to cozy up by the fireplace in a pub.

As an American who now calls Britain home, I can’t stress enough my opinion that this is a mature and competent country and if conditions were to change while you are here, you would be in very capable hands.

See you soon.

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