The Playbook For The Modern Man

Rogue Tourists Rejoice As Coronavirus Fears Empty The Streets Of Venice

Rude or genius?

Ever visited Venice in summer and thought, “I wish I could see this place without the crowds?”

Your vision just came true.

Unfortunately, sucking gelato solo is only possible due to a global pandemic that could see you bedridden or dead.

Though coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China, some 8,477 kilometres away, if you’re not already in a wifi-less bunker, you’ll know Italy has seen an alarming outbreak too.

As CNN reported this morning, “Italy’s Civil Protection Authority reported the country now has 1,694 confirmed coronavirus cases, up from 1,128 confirmed cases on Saturday.”

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“Thirty-four people have died. Italy has the most coronavirus cases of any country outside of Asia.”

The worst-affected areas, according to the BBC, are in the industrial north of the country – Lombardy, the region around Milan, and Veneto near Venice.

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As of last Friday, of Italy’s 650 confirmed cases of coronavirus, about 111 are in the Veneto region, or which Venice is the capital.

“The outbreak flared last weekend, taking local authorities and the World Health Organisation by surprise. The country had just three cases a week ago,” The Sydney Morning Herald wrote on February 28th.

The result? As The Wall Street Journal reports, “Venice’s high tides have receded,” and “now tourism is running dry.”

“As Italy battles the coronavirus, tourists are shunning trips and Venice faces a big loss of business.”

That hasn’t stopped a small number of travellers from going, though, and flaunting their experience on social media.

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Unique? Certainly. Brave? Some would be more inclined to call it stupid.

In any case, it appears there are various travellers living it up in the city of Gondolas and Pigeons.

Genius, or rude? On one hand, it seems in poor taste. Especially considering locals like the bakery owner the Sydney Morning Herald recently interviewed, are in anguish: “Never had the streets been so quiet, she explained, before tears welled in her eyes and she disappeared into the kitchen.”

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But then, if you’re game (and insured) enough to take the risk, one could argue you’re doing Venice a favour by boosting its economy (just make sure you follow the recommended precautions while travelling, and isolate yourself on return).

Oh and also: be prepared for judgemental looks from your stay-at-home neighbours who will see your actions as risking the fate of humanity for a 200 euro flight you booked while drunk last year. But we digress…

St Marks now looks eerie as hell…

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… and the traditional Venice carnival masks are more appropriate than they have been for centuries.

If you had a holiday booked and paid for, what would you do?

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