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What Worries Me Most About Travel Returning to “Normal” (Yes, I’m Looking at You, Anti-Vaxers!)

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

This will be my first month back in the air in what seems like forever. My trips will be limited and no matter what the local / state policies are (or are not) I will follow all the wise precautions recommended by the CDC. Even though I am fully vaccinated now and unlikely to spread the virus to others, I will take extra steps just to be sure.

But there are things I am really fearful of.

Like what?

Anti-Vaxers! I have just about zero patience for anyone who is unwilling to get inoculated (other than those who have a real medical reason preventing them from getting one). These people, i.e. anti-vaxers, are the reason we “can’t have nice things” as they say. They are the ones who will keep us – likely for many YEARS to come – fighting this killer bug.

And there are others?

What others?

Fakers! Clearly, as I have posted before, making a backup or even a fake version of the CDC vaccination card is very very simple. But those who fake them should know it is against the law (knock knock – FBI at your door). The other thing that frightens me is those faking COVID tests but that, thankfully, is landing a bunch of folks in prison with large fines.

They need to do more.

I would love something like a minimum of one year in jail for anyone who fakes any kind of COVID test or official vaccine card from any country in the world. That and a $10,000 fine would perhaps make these fools think twice about risking our safety with fake information.

Sadly, due to so many misinformed Anti-Vaxers it is starting to look like COVID may be around forever and we will simply have to manage the never-ending health crisis it will create. I will be PROUD to show off every year I am getting whatever COVID “booster” shot to prevent me from becoming part of the problem when new variants pop up due to so many refusing to do the right thing and get the proven safe vaccine.

While I stand by my post that getting on an NCL ship will be the safest way to travel for the near future – I know there will be issues. I know there will be some who try to break the rules and get away with it but thankfully the NCL “rules” when you buy a ticket are lawyered up and without compromise and will make me feel very safe onboard.

That said, I am thinking about sometime in 2022 doing an all-inclusive resort but I am not sure it would be safe at this point. Nor do I know if planning to extend or re-qualify my Delta Diamond Status is safe or a good idea this year or next due to so many refusing to do the right thing!

What do you think? Are you fully vaccinated now? Are you fearful of what the rest of 2021 or 2022 will bring? Are you booking now but considering backing out due to the spread of COVID-19? – René

Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.


  1. I just don’t get this attitude towards “anti-vaxers”. If you think the rushed, barely tested vaccines are safe and effective, what difference does it make if the person next to you on the plane has been vaccinated? I got the shot because it gets me an all expense paid trip to Japan. If it weren’t for that I would have had no interest. My body, my choice.

    • @Michael – So if you house is on fire – a slow response would be better?

      As to “My body, my choice” does not apply when that move puts others lives at risk.

      Happy you are not part of the problem as you got the shot as everyone (who can) should!

      BTW you are flat our wrong about “barely tested” (it was tested on tens of thousands in trials) and now is PROVEN safe in hundreds of millions of people.

      • @Rene: Not sure if I quite agree with your “thousands of trials” (btw I work in the pharma trial industry). I would say hundreds of trial cumulatively across the various vaccines and maybe tens of trials per each individual vaccine. I would also question your assertion that they have been “PROVEN safe”, at most you might be able to say there have been limited side effects observed with millions of doses administered. It will take years to know the long term effects and true safety of the vaccines.

        In summary, we are talking about human lives here so I would encourage you to be a little careful in choice of words and assertions based on you personal beliefs.

          • @Rene – Your confounding subjects and trials. A phase 3 trial will have thousands of subjects in it but is is still only 1 trial. Pfizer did maybe 10 trials to get to where they are now in the process. Don’t disagree what there may have been some lives saved by the vaccine but you don’t know the long term effects of the vaccine so claiming it is completely safe is questionable and saying it has been PROVEN safe is not a claim that can be made.

          • René

            @Chris – It is PROVEN millions have died from COVID. It is PROVEN only a few (out of hundreds of millions of vaccinations) have died from any of the emergency use authorized treatments. As to the long term effects – I think living is a good long term side effect of getting the vaccine! 🙂

          • BlackHill

            @Rene, I personally know 5 people who died of COVID after full vaccination (Pfizer & Moderna), all got COVID after 3 – 6 weeks after full vaccination. I’m not saying the vaccines are effective or otherwise. But pretending that those who got vaccinated do not carry the virus & infect others or imagining that all unvaccinated are harmful to others are totally stupid. People carry virus and bacteria all the time, not everyone is safe for all bacteria and all virus yet we were all roaming free.

            It was very well known that this virus is airborne especially when many in NYC reported they got it even without stepping out of their house. Yet only last week CDC admitted it as being so.

            You think you have problem with unvaccinated people, stay home and even then know this, only one thing is certain in life and that is death.

          • René

            @BlackHill – I would be AOK with unvaccinated people (who can not safely get it) all staying home! 🙂

          • AlohaDaveKennedy

            The along comes that US virologist fully immunized by two shots of Pfizer who goes to India, contracts COVID-19 within a week, and is dead within a month. So just how effective is Pfizer against the 2nd generation mutations India is generating?

          • René

            @AlohaDaveKennedy – They are testing a booster shots right now as we speak and they are showing they do help against the variants of COVID. I very much look forward to getting my booster in the fall before I resume a more normal travel schedule in 2022.

          • The CDC actually has this data online:

            “Over 245 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered in the United States from December 14, 2020, through May 3, 2021. During this time, VAERS received 4,178 reports of death (0.0017%) among people who received a COVID-19 vaccine.”


            Given that 581K have died of COVID, I am happy to be fully vaccinated, but the vaccine is not completely risk-free. Nothing is.

          • BlackHill

            Unvaccinated will not be staying home, they will do and go wherever as they wish. Last time I checked, its a free country. If you are so scared, you better stay home rather than asking everyone else to stay home.

            I’m more worried of people with Hitler mentality like you than dying from a decease.

        • I have traveled by both pre and post vaccine. I was not uncomfortable traveling either way. I work at a nuclear power plant, so I did not have the luxury of staying home through the pandemic. Someone had to make the electricity. The only reason I got vaccinated was to be able to travel internationally. I have a trip scheduled next spring to an all inclusive and am looking forward to it!

      • @BlackHill – As of April 26, there had only been 132 cases of breakthrough infections resulting in death out of 95 million vaccinations in the US. So it’s highly doubtful you knew five of them.

        @AlohaDaveKennedy – Citation please. A Google search on this produces zero results.

        @Dave – I think you’re confusing all deaths (from any cause) after receiving the Covid vaccine with actual Covid deaths. See the citation above.

  2. Dr. Victor Reply

    People who continue to not take the Fauci Ouchie are not welcome in public.

  3. Arthur Dent Reply

    The strategy of shaming has been a huge failure. It would be better to allow fully vaccinated folks maskless access everywhere. Biden and Fauci undermine the benefit by their continued wearing double masks despite having been fully vaccinated for months and surrounding themselves with other fully vaccinated staff. Fauci literally has said he won’t go to a restaurant, and still masks with friends outdoors only.

    • @Arthur – If everyone got the shot there would be no need for masks. The anti-vaxers are the reason we have to keep wearing masks. They are the ones who should be shamed!

      • Arthur Dent Reply

        This is an extremely simplistic/divisive view of herd immunity. Herd immunity requires the vast majority of the entire planet to be immunized. Currently 7 billion people in the world haven’t had a single dose of vaccine. As long as there is international travel and border crossings, it doesn’t matter if your country is at “herd immunity” levels. Even for a country with high vaccination rates, such as Israel, if surrounding countries haven’t done the same and populations are able to mix, the potential for new outbreaks remains.

        In summary, the slow global rollout is the largest hurdle.

      • AlohaDaveKennedy Reply

        That could lead to cries of racism as many Florida minority folk are among the unvaccinated that church leaders and etc. are trying to get to accept vaccination now. Getting vaccination requires presenting identification, which for some reason many minority folk have a hard time accepting – for vaccination, voting,or whatever. Not sure the folk are anti-vaxxers so much as anti-identifiers. When you hear of minority arrests you often hear of outstanding warrants which may be a major contributing factor for folks not wanting to produce ID. Shaming will do nothing for folk looking out for their own self-interest and freedom.

      • I have my vaccine, so I’m not an anti-vaxer. However I think mask mandates are now fairly pointless anywhere in the US(or any other country with easy access to vaccines). If you’ve been vaccinated, and vaccines do in fact work, you personally are not likely to cause covid or catch it yourself. If others aren’t willing to take the vaccine and they have the opportunity, then they are the ones assuming the risk. Mask mandates were useful when it was the only choice, but now we have better choices.

        • @Jeff – I long for the day masks are a thing of the past. If everyone would get vaccinated it would speed up the end of these horrid things!

  4. Responses like Michael‘s once again show people cannot look past themselves to the greater collective good. It’s too bad that their personal narrative has to win out over getting things back to normal. And “My Body, My Choice?” That POV is laughable during a pandemic.

  5. I desperately want the airlines to require proof of vaccination to board

      • People that have had the virus are naturally immune, and have no reason to get the vaccine, requiring them to receive the shot is reckless. The vaccine is available to all those that choose to take it. If you choose not to get vaccinated you remain at risk if you get it you’re not… it’s called “Freedom” and don’t need to be told by you or any government what to put in my body. I choose to get it so that I can travel internationally, otherwise I would pass.

          • Rene,
            Of course the government is not forcing anyone to get the shot, however they seem to be making it very difficult to resume life as normal if the vaccine numbers don’t get to a standard which they determine.

            This is a quote from the CDC article you referenced … “Even if you have already recovered from COVID-19, it is possible—although rare—that you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 again.”

            Feel free to get a dozen shots if it makes you feel better… I won’t judge you

          • AlohaDaveKennedy

            Rene, Charlie is right that some folk who have had the virus are “naturally immune.” Worldwide cemeteries are full of people who contracted COVID once but have no risk of contracting it ever again (May they RIP).

          • René

            @AlohaDaveKennedy – I was talking about those who got COVID and survived are not now “naturally immune”. I should have been more clear – sorry.

  6. Nothing wrong with steering clear of the vaccine. Too bad there is so much angst directed at those who want to make a personal choice to not get it.

    If you are convinced the vaccine will protect you, why care if others don’t get it?

    • @Shane – Your choice impacts others and will keep this bug going for years. Get the shot to save others lives and get things back to “normal” (including travel)!

      • Steve sulligan Reply

        Vaccine is not a true vaccine first so Covid probably will never go away completely but it’s a choice to not wear a mask or vaccinate. But with this government we have now. Many millions don’t trust it a bit and 10 years from now you could be regretting being the sheep following big government mandates . Just like the regular flu take precautions if needed otherwise live life normally but if you don’t want to travel please stay home you all probably did that all last year because fauci and that cried told you too

          • BookGirl305

            At some point, the burden shifts to the anti- vaxxers. I have a split house- I got it, he didn’t and doesn’t want to. If I say my body my choice for my medical decision, I have to respect the same for him even if I disagree. I want to travel this/next year. He does not. Why does it matter to you if someone else gets the shot? You’re covered. Live your life. The burden is on them.

          • René

            @BrookGril305 – A very good friend of mine had an employee who refused to get the shot. He got COVID and it was bad. Now that he is recovered he got the shot and wishes he had got it before.

        • @Steve sulligan – What do you mean “is not a true vaccine?” Of course it is.

          If you’re referring to the fact that it is not 100% effective at preventing disease, you are right. But that is also true of almost all other vaccines; they are not 100% effective at preventing any infection, but they are nearly 100% effective at preventing serious disease. See link I posted earlier.

  7. Shane Kesterke Reply

    @Rene. That is your opinion. My opinion is that my choice affects only me. I have already had Covid, and am not afraid of getting it again. Also not afraid of the vaccine…

    I support those who want to get it. I support those who don’t. I am opposed to those who wish to force their beliefs on others.

    • @Shane – My opinion is the right one to saves lives. Just because you got COVID and survived does not mean you will not get it again and die or spread it to others. Get the shot!

  8. Rene, I absolutely agree with you! As a nurse, it makes no sense why someone would not want the vaccine. All the excuses are just that… excuses from the self entitled…..right there up there with the anti maskers.

    • @Anna – Thank you for all you do in caring for those who get sick. I know many nurses and the dedication and effort you all put in is overwhelming. Thank you!

  9. Today is Sunday, May 9. Happy Mother’s Day! To all of those who are still refusing the covid vaccine, my message to you is very simple. Please leave the U.S and don’t return.

  10. GBSanDiego Reply

    Even as of today and since the vaccines were available in the U.S., this is the only country in the world we’re you can get a vaccine. Now, there are even Vaxcations to the US. There are so many people around the world begging to get a vaccine and yet and yes, many don’t want take it bc of course it is their right!!!

    Attitudes is going to change this year. Last year, if you died from Covid, at least you died with respect. This year and beyond, if you die from Covid, it is bc of your choice and you know what others will be saying about that, including myself!

    • @GVSanDiego – I know of a number of folks who have flown to the US to get vaccinated. I would if I did not live in the US!

  11. Agree with you Rene get the shot!!! Pfizer is going for full non-emergency use from the FDA so that could or should help some people get over the Anti-Vax mentality!!

    • @dee – Agree that once full use AOK from FDA is granted one of the last “best” (but ridiculously weak at this point with hundreds of millions of shots in arms) gripes from anti-vaxers will be over for good.

  12. Kelly Loeffler Reply

    Interesting how Rene says that he takes all necessary precautions…. yet doesn’t stay at home 100% of the time. To minimize the spread…

    • @Kelly Loeffler – I stayed home (i.e. did not fly and only did curbside pickups) from FEB 2020 till May of 2021 when I was able to get my 2 shots plus 2 weeks done. I now, with masks and distancing, am VERY unlikely to make anyone sick who also is also fully vaccinated.

  13. Rene,

    I’ve been a physician for 39 years ( and no I’m not the famous Dr. Phil). I am amazing and concerned by the interactions with people who claim they know all the details of the Covid vaccine and its strengths and weaknesses. I was vaccinated as soon as I was eligible and all of my kids and their spouses have received their shots. One of sons and his family had covid and recovered.
    One selfish reason to get the vaccine is that 30% of post covid patients will get “long haul” symptoms of a neurological or psychiatric nature within 6 months of their disease. This was from a study released two weeks ago. Remember this virus is in your nervous system and the symptoms affect all ages. So if you won’t get the vaccine for the good of society and others, please do it for your own health.

    The vaccine absolutely protects you from serious (ICU) cases. Do you really want to risk a 30% risk of chronic symptoms. Look up “long haul covid” and I think you’ll be convinced. I had two friends die a horrible ICU death from covid before the vaccine was available. Do you really want to tell your surviving relatives that you refused the vaccine.

    Most states have motorcycle helmet laws to protect people and society. If you choose to not wear a helmet, society tells you otherwise because society will have to take care of your long term care.
    Except for those with legitimate medical reasons (immune compromised), the covid vaccine should be mandated at least for anyone who interacts with the public. Just as kids aren’t allowed in most public schools without needed vaccinations, unvaccinated people should not be traveling (airline, cruises, etc). Your freedom shouldn’t impose on my (and others) freedom and health. Look at all the cruise lines lining up to mandate vaccines for travel.

    Help yourself and society, please get vaccinated!!

    • I know a few people who got COVID last year and this year and some have been more than 6 months…do you have an article on this study and where it was done? They’re perfectly fine today and some have taken the vaccine. I personally have never taken the flu vaccine and I don’t plan on getting the Covid and I’ve been all over the place and have not gotten sick. If the location where I’m at requires masks then I have to wear it otherwise I just won’t go in. Maybe if you posted studies on how viruses spread throughout the body and how most people develop immunity and never get it but what they do get is a new strain of it. Viruses live forever, they can’t be killed some still live in peoples bodies (hiv, herpes, hepatitis, etc..) at this point the billions of $$ spent on developing COVID vaccines have to be recuperated by biotechs and the goverment has to help in recuperating that money, Rem. It’s all coming out of our taxes and that’s why it’s “free”! maybe I’ve been lucky or maybe it’s because I have O blood type which seems to have some immunity. Now you’re going to say, asymptomatic also spreads, well…the WHO last June came out with a report in January and June that there was no proof and it was rare, although the tune has changed after that I believe. I’m not an anti-vaxxer because my kids have taken the necessary vaccines for school which have proven deadlier. .04% of the population worldwide have died! NOT 4%! Eventually like all viruses, immunity is built but like all viruses people die. COVID has affected mainly the elderly and obese for whatever reason and maybe they should get vaccinated. The only person in my extended family who needed to go to the hospital for a few days bc of respiratory problems is really obese., the others got sick got tested positive but didn’t need to. People need to change their health and eating habits! I exercise and eat healthy, smoothies, greens, etc. and try to sleep my 8 hours. My family rarely gets sick thank God! And even my kids where in elementary and middle school where viruses and bacteria abound rarely got sick due to our health practices. If you want to vaccinate, it’s your decision and just like that and the facts about viruses and Covid, if you don’t it’s your own risk.

  14. Operation “Warp Speed” turned many pundits of modern medicine on their heads, saying things like “It’s just not possible”, “it’s never been done this quickly before”, “it will take a minimum of 3 years”, etc. Well, welcome to the 21st century! Kudos to the many dedicated men and women who worked long and hard to make this happen. Sure, there may be some risks but the projected benefits certainly outweigh those concerns. If we waited for every invention to be completely perfected before deploying it, we’d still be traveling by horse and buggy! OMG! Wait, those darned, new-fangled “wheel” things could be dangerous!

  15. Hey Rene – I had Covid. If you have the jab, why do you care about others?

    • @Scott – Because it can save you and others from dying and getting COVID again. #ThisIsNotHard

  16. I completely disagree with your pessimistic statement that “it is starting to look like COVID may be around forever and we will simply have to manage the never-ending health crisis it will create.” I’m super optimistic that between those who choose to get vaccinated (like me) and those who have had it, cases will drop to a very low and manageable level from an epidemiological and medical treatment standpoint. Near herd immunity is attainable even though all other countries aren’t to our level yet. There are many other diseases that are big problems outside of the US but occur here only in very small numbers due to vaccinations. And “variants” are essentially irrelevant. Variants are NOT mutations. The SARS/COVID protein spike is well conserved and the mRNA vaccines have worked against all variants studied. Yes, COVID viruses may be around forever at some level. The mRNA vaccine is, I believe based on my background in drug commercialization, much safer than traditional vaccines. The real genius is that’s it’s incredibly easy to safely modify for actual mutations of the SARS protein spike. Again, optimism.

    And the comment by one poster that 30% of those who contract COVID will have “long haul” symptoms is nonsense. It’s not anywhere near that number, closer to 10% and if the poster bothered to read past the headlines he would see that the high numbers cited include those with just one additional symptom/condition after being considered COVID-free otherwise. And there is almost no peer reviewed science on these statistics. Doom and gloom sells. Yes, those who had COVID should still get the vaccine I’ll stick with facts which leads me to optimism.

    I also believe the current administration in DC and the administrations in many states are doing an unbelievably poor job promoting the vaccines. So far, their message has been get the vaccine but don’t expect anything to change soon. Double mask, stay home, don’t travel, etc. Teachers unions clamored for vaccines, got them, yet many unions still won’t agree to teach our youth in person, and elected officials show no spine. Sure, I’m oversimplifying, but following the science is not what’s being reflected in some federal policies and those of many states. When people see hypocrisy in our public officials it badly damages their message.

    That’s enough for now. I have a flight to catch tomorrow and I’ll wear a mask, give people their space, relax, have a drink, and enjoy the flight.

  17. Corbett Kroehler Reply

    I am fully vaccinated (Pfizer) and concur with all of your points. What I love most about anti-vaxers is their to-the-death denial of the science of COVID-19 yet believe with blind faith that traveling by air is safe yet could not explain if their life depended on it how an aircraft weighing many tons more than a bird could levitate like a bird.

    As for the long-term prospects, punishing the anti-vaxers may bring us moments of joy, but the real answer is a cure rather than a vaccine. Pfizer, among others, has learned so much from its vaccine work as to be on the cusp of a cure.

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