• Oussama Salah

To Ban or Not to Ban, That is the Question

Updated: Dec 23, 2021


As the new Corona Virus Variant "OMICRON" (O) starts spreading, countries have already started banning flights and entry from countries where the variant has been detected. Eventually, lockdowns and multi colored lists will be imposed; just as it was with the Delta Variant.


This brings to mind some memorable quotes:

1. "Those wo do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it; and

2. "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results"


I am all for public health and I am not being callous. Technically the only things we have to fight and mitigate the effects of any Corona Variant are (and not in any special order of importance);

1. Common Sense

2.Masking;

3. Physical Distancing;

4. Vaccination;

5. Testing;

6. Quarantines and the ultimate;

7. Lockdowns.


I understand there are people in this world that think that the above measures infringe on their personal rights. I am not here to argue the moral position or how this affects society overall. I think, with almost 2 years down the path of this pandemic, it is moot.


Governments have mandated most of these measures for international air travel to mitigate the Delta variant and they appear to work, so why impose country bans and eventual lockdowns. We have all seen and experienced the effects of lockdowns on people and economies; utter devastation. The global effect is great; just look at what happened to the markets on Friday 26 November 2021 when OMICRON hit the news. The markets indices went down almost 2.5% in one day and no one knows what this coming week will bring.


The effects on mental health and the global economy are incalculable. There is a need to think smart and build on what works and what is best for everyone. Travel restrictions are not helpful and to a certain extent did not prevent the spread of the Delta variant. It just devastated local economies, the travel and tourism industries and sectors associated with them.

At the end, this is a risk assessment and the tendency is for governments to err on the side of caution; especially when it comes to lives and livelihoods. There should be a balance between lives (every life is precious) and livelihoods.


Governments should enforce that airports and airlines tighten measures regarding PCR testing and masking on the ground and in the air to ensure that the least number of COVID-19 positive passengers travel internationally.


Eventually, Omicron will pass and hopefully with the least amount of global disruption.

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