COLUMN: COVID-19 and why we cancelled our trip to Cancun

Wash your hands and follow the guidelines set out by health officials

I want to tell a story about my family having to cancel our family vacation due to COVID-19.

Just over a month ago, my wife and I planned a lovely family vacation to Cancun, Mexico. As many of you know, putting together the finances for such a trip takes plenty of sacrifice for many and we were certainly no exception.

At the time, COVID-19 was mostly in Wuhan, China and the Chinese State Government had imposed draconian measures to help slow down the virus.

I was concerned at the time, but like many, I didn’t think it would affect my life the way it has now.

As the day we were to fly off to sunny Mexico became closer, I slowly started to develop an escalating worry. This worry got worse any time I had to push an international story on COVID-19 and its ongoing spread.

As weeks turned into days, the worry became omnipresent as the reality of COVID-19 crept closer and closer to my home and my family.

Finally, on the Friday before the Thursday we were scheduled to fly, the reality of COVID-19 became completely real to me as chilling stories began coming out of Italy, which is currently bearing the brunt of this virus.

At this point, deep down I really didn’t want to go. I had to tell my wife that I couldn’t go and I suggested to her to make the same choice due to the escalation of the virus in North America.

It was not an easy conversation and decision for either of us. We all work hard in my family and we were looking forward to the much-deserved break.

We are all hurting from this decision not to go, as are people all over the world from the difficult choices they have had to make regarding this pandemic.

The point I’m trying to make is that even though it hurts now that we were unable to go on our trip — the potential threat this virus poses to Canadians and people around the world is far worse.

The day we cancelled was the day the WHO declared the virus officially a pandemic. Subsequently, the NHL, NBA, the PGA, the MLB, the MLS and other sports leagues have cancelled events because of COVID-19.

Large scale events and conferences have been cancelled all over the province and country.

The Alberta government has taken the extraordinary step of not recommending travel outside of the province and cancelling events of 250 attendees or more

Currently there are 56-cases (as of March 15) of COVID-19 in the province (all travel-related) and the Province of Alberta is providing daily updates.

It is now on all of us to follow the guidelines of health officials, most specifically AHS in Alberta.

I am glad my family chose not to go to Mexico and we are now working on everything we can to help protect ourselves and others including self-isolating if we are feeling sick, washing our hands frequently, covering coughs and sneezes into our elbows and avoiding touching our faces.

If we have any concerns regarding our health, we intend to dial 8-1-1.

All this information and more is available at

For people who suffer from anxiety like me, the speed of the news coming in can be very panic-inducing and I encourage you to reach out to those that love you. I also recommend you seek help from your doctor or counsellor if need be.

Most importantly, it is important we all love each other through this difficult time in human history.

Also, important: wash your hands.

Todd Vaughn is the editor of the Lacombe Express.


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