In a way I am laughing as I lay in my bed in San Francisco in solitary confinement. I laughingly spoke to Personal Driver the other day.
Me: I spend almost all of my time in bed and I am not a prostitute.
He: (laughingly) I know – you are a writer who writes from bed on a lap top.
Me; Perhaps prostitution might be a more honorable profession, bringing greater pleasure.
The following link will lead you to a fascinating interview, the interview on the Al Jazeera Network The star of interviews ia The chief executive officer of Qatar Airways, Akbar al-Baker, https://youtu.be/OObC5RYXfXA.The interview, was ably and professionally managed, the woman well informed and respectful. I was not aware until very recently of the power, scope and wealth of the Airlines and what they had to overcome when in June 2017 ir air space was illegally stolen (basically) by other Arab Nations including the UAE. Qatar not only fought back heroically – they went on to dominate the Airline Industry, probably much to the chagrin of Air Emirates. was huge. Not only did they not capitulate, they grew by 40%., 18 countries added with 24 destinations. Of course, they too have been affected by COVID-19 but the airline has reserves – so they have not had to ask for government subsidies. Many airlines have gone bankrupt or have to seek subsidies from their governments. Most certainly Air Emirates has gone to Dubai for a bail out. Despite the optimism shown by the Crown Prince of Dubai about the resumption of its flights, this trustworthy CEO says that it will take three years before Air Emirates returns to normalcy. The CEO of Emeritus Airlines and the Crown Prince of Dubai were never on the same page. Qatar was made more independent and strong by the wrongful action. What did those nations achieve? Nothing says Akbar al-Baker. During the pandemic Qatar Air transported 60,00 ex-pats back home and 175,000 pieces of medical equipment and hundreds of cargo flights. Qatar Airlines provided 100,00 tickets to medical personal to enable them to go to troubled spots. To say the very least, this is most impressive – compare this to major American airlines whose solution is to park their jets and fire their staff. This is an honest and well principled man who does not exaggerate or put on a public face that is inconsistent with his character. There is a slight problem in that the cost of airline tickets will become most expensive as social distancing will mean that the airplanes will not be filled to capacity. This is bad news for Alexis McBride – it sounds as if she will not be able to afford to go to Qatar as planned.
More information pertaining to Qatar Airlines can be found by clicking on this link, https://youtu.be/v_aftdS9c
Another informative piece spoke of the huge number of grounded airlines. “The coronavirus has devastated the airline industry. U.S. air travel has dropped 95% compared to last year and the number of flights scheduled globally is down by 63%. More than 16,000 of the world’s commercial aircraft are grounded. These planes can’t just sit idle, they need routine maintenance and a place to be stored. And when you suddenly have thousands of planes with nowhere to go it becomes a logistical nightmare. Here’s a look at how airlines parks thousands of planes and the outlook for the grounded fleet.” Here is the link. https://youtu.be/xpIs8Y9vgSs
This, admittedly, has been a rather gloom and doom blog. More research needs to be done on this issue, but It seems that the long term affect will be a drastic and dramatic change in globalization. There has been a massive explosion in travel during these past decades. Not just travel but my blog is read in countries scattered across the globe. But perhaps that has not been a good idea – if not for airline travel in huge quantities the virus would have originated and stayed in China.. But Chinese people can afford and did travel to many other countries. For example, a Chinese grandmother brought the virus to Dubai at the end of January of 2020. A huge outbreak in Seattle, Washington came a few weeks later. It is all rather interesting when one thinks about it. In the good old days of my youth summers were spend playing baseball in a vacant lot with neighbors or going to a primitive cabin at a nearby lake. Now it is Disneyland in Orlando or perhaps a trip to Dubai. Parents both work to afford these trips and other luxuries so seldom see their children. That is no way to form a community. Human contact is most important we are finding as we huddle in self isolation. I am most “well travelled” as my employment provided ample vacation leaves and not having children allowed me to travel throughout the year, not just during the summer. In many ways – I was privileged, learning about other lands prior to my journeys. I lived in London for two and a half years while attended graduate school (yet again). So I have been there and done that. Fortunate to find myself grounded in these beautiful city. Personal Driver drove me trough the streets of San Francisco yesterday and you shall hear of our adventures in the days to follow. We did have so much fun – laughed so hard!. There was not hardly any traffic and lots of parking places.
Today is an ‘in day’ – tomorrow will take us to West Marin, where I once lived and have not visited for years. Life is actually good to me. I am blessed.