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Opinion >  Column

Dear Kiantha: As pandemic restrictions ease, remember our global neighbors

Dear Kiantha,

Finally, we are nearing the end of the pandemic! This has been the most difficult two years of my life. The silly masks are finally not necessary, travel restrictions have been lifted and we can get back to enjoying life. I am taking my first vacation out of the country in a few weeks. What is something you are looking forward to doing now that the world is back to normal?

Dear Not Quite Back to Normal,

I totally agree the past two years have been painfully difficult. My twin grandchildren Charley and Omari were born during the pandemic, and I could not be at their birth because of COVID-19 restrictions. Video messaging was the closest I could get to their sweet little faces. I am looking forward to spending face-to-face time with them as often as possible, as soon as possible. I would also love to travel abroad.

The mask requirement for me and the other zillion people who wear eyeglasses was not a foggy good time, instead I had to decide time and again either to see clearly or be mask-mandate compliant.

While things do look to be easing up a bit here in the United States be reminded that we are still in active pandemic status. There are millions of people in highly traveled destination countries who have not gotten their first vaccination.

Here in the United States, we are seeing a decrease in COVID hospitalizations and deaths due in part to an increase in vaccinations, but we must not forget that many of our global neighbors still do not have access to lifesaving vaccinations and health care.

Many of the most beautiful and frequently traveled countries are under-resourced. These countries rely heavily on tourism and international travel so we can trust that as much as we want to get back to those beautiful destinations, they need us to come back.

Like many of us, I am so overdue for a vacation that I could take five trips back-to-back, and it still wouldn’t be enough. I have been working very hard over the past two years. A few relaxing destination vacations would do my body good.

Overseas travel is a luxury. Making sure the people and places we are visiting are protected from this dangerous and active pandemic must be paramount. We see the goal line; however, in truth, we still have a way to go. Therefore, it is important that we be concerned and vigilant about the health and well-being of our global communities. We really are in this together.

Soul to soul,


Dear Kiantha can be read every other Friday. To submit your questions, please email

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