How to Prevent the Looming Travel Breakdown

A recent column in the UK’s Daily Mail opens with this chilling image: “Just imagine a world in which, almost overnight, the transport system breaks down. Flights across the world are canceled, leaving thousands of travelers stranded far from home. Airports are crowded with mobs of angry, frightened people … For businesses across the Western world — hotels and restaurants, cafes and newsagents, garages and tour operators — this would be nothing short of a disaster. It would leave us poorer, more isolated, more introverted and more ignorant … It sounds like the stuff of some dystopian fantasy. In reality, it’s the story of what’s been happening over the past few weeks.”

For those fortunate enough to have enjoyed an era of reasonably cheap, widely-accessible travel over long distances, the prospect of enforced immobility feels deeply unsettling. What is modern life if we work so hard but aren’t able to visit family across the country or schedule a much-needed winter break in the tropics?

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