During this time of unprecedented global lockdown, communities relying on tourism income are among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Women face the double challenge of losing their income and having to go to extraordinary lengths to provide care for their families – whether that be medical care or emotional support during this highly stressful time.
While this pandemic is proving to be something of an equalizer, affecting rich and poor alike, we know that the poor in tourism destinations will suffer more. Lack of access to healthcare leaves those falling ill at the mercy of their immune system and fate, and lack of access to water – an issue in many destinations – means prevention is all the more difficult for those who, arguably, need it most. The loss of income may mean food scarcity and malnutrition at a time when everyone’s immune system needs all the support it can get.
Yet, there are stories of hope – a dive instructor who is heading out to the reef to observe what happens when human interference dwindles, and stories from Venice of clear water in usually murky canals.
Over the coming weeks and months we will endeavour to bring you insight into the various ways in which women – and their communities – around the world are coping with this unprecedented situation. If you have stories to share, we ask you to please get in touch.
A final note: Most of the EiT team is based in the United Kingdom, where we working from the comfort of our homes and keeping our pantries stocked with all we need. Many of our closest partners and friends, however, are in places deeply affected by COVID-19, where restrictions on everyday life are much more severe. From all of us, from the bottom of our hearts, we are thinking of you, sending you love and strength, and hope that this will pass soon.