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COVID-19 Disrupts Christmas Travel, Celebrations

A file picture of crowds at Mbare Musika long-distance buses terminus

By Staff Reporter

A week rolls by and we are nearing Christmas, one of the most valued time on the calendar where almost everyone has special plans to celebrate the day in style. It is the period where families look forward to reuniting and spend unforgettable experiences and moments together.

What makes the holiday unique from other holidays is that the festive season is the grand scale which is expected to attract performers, celebrities, and exhibitors from across the world visiting different countries.

For Zimbabwean society, every year, the mood would be just lit! Christmas is well known for bringing people from the diaspora, urban, and rural areas together.

In as much as 2020 Christmas pertains, it has become to be a disappointment for many as their plans to travel are being disarrayed due to the new novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic which has and still affecting many around the globe.

Spiked Online Media has seen it necessary and important to conduct classic interviews with people from all walks of life so as to hear how the pandemic has become disruptive to their plans concerning the festive season.

In an interview, a famous businessman in Karoi in Mashonaland West who is based in Australia, Mr. Blessed Chirara said as he was planning for the upcoming season, the biggest worry which has been spinning in his mind is not being able to get quality time with his family members.

“I’m a very busy man but when it comes to the Christmas holiday, I always tell myself that every effort should be made to come home and find time to mix and mingle with relatives especially with my wife, my parents, and my own kids. Unfortunately, as for 2020, all my travelling plans have been disturbed by COVID-19. Strict measures are being put in place and people are being barred from travelling. So I have decided to stay here. My heart is broken but this is beyond my control,” he said.

He pointed out that this has been a difficult decision to make but there was a need to follow health advice inscribed by the World Health Organisation and do what is safe for himself, his family, and the whole world.

Spiked Online Media also visited and interviewed an old lady who resides alone at Beatrice Cottages (Mbare), Mrs. Monica Havatyi. She highlighted that after some countries and continents keep having increased confirmed cases of COVID-19, strict measures which have been imposed caused frustration and uncertainty for herself and her family that is residing in the United Kingdom and Australia.

“I’m used to staying alone without my family. All of my four children are now based overseas as they went long back looking for greener pastures. I spend the whole good year without physically seeing them as I only chat with them on video calls via Skype. They exchange to come to see me every Christmas holiday and I’m used to this routine kind of life. For the 2020 upcoming festive season, I’m very disappointed and broken because it is clear that I’m not going to spend time with any one of my children because of COVID-19. They won’t be able to travel to and from because of this deadly disease,” she said.

With sorrow, Mrs. Havatyi added that 2020 has been a very bad year for her though she would continue to be strong and hopeful to be reunited with her children again when everything gets back to normal.

Another Borrowdale Brooke based couple told this publication that every Christmas, they fly to any country of their choice where they do some shopping, cruising as well as spending some quality time together as husband and wife. They expressed how down they are in as much as 2020 Christmas is concerned for they will not be able to leave Zimbabwe.

“How beautiful it feels having an outstanding trip by air, to a place where you will have time to decide to have lunch on the run, looking for many outlets that sell slice of pizza and other fast foods, spending most of your afternoons doing some fabulous shopping and winding up your day by the beach before you go to rest in a hotel. All these have been disturbed by COVID-19, meaning this Christmas we will be on our homeland celebrating the festive season. This breaks our hearts we are just not used to it,” said the couple.

According to world news (The Sunday Morning Herald), the travel plans of thousands of Australians have been thrown into disarray a week before Christmas after a coronavirus cluster on Sydney’s northern beaches resulted in new border restrictions being imposed overnight.

Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia, the Northern Territory, South Australia, and Tasmania all imposed new travel rules for people arriving from NSW after the Northern beaches outbreak grew to 17 confirmed cases on Thursday night with the cluster reaching 28 cases on Friday.

The COVID-19 pandemic had not been only disruptive to the festive season and holidays, it has impacted negatively on people’s businesses, dreams, and plans worldwide.

About the author

Byron Adonis Mutingwende