Thursday, April 2, 2020

A Texan Stuck in Texas - Last Hopes Dashed

Quite frankly, I can't think of a better place to be "stuck".  Texas is generally a common sense state led by legislators who (for the most part) realize that we citizens know what's best for us and who govern accordingly.  Texas has a few liberal whackos who feel the need to try to control the masses, but I am fortunate to live out in the country where people are generally good to one another and common sense typically prevails in daily life.

That said, it's clear to me that this trip is a no go.  Qatar Airlines has canceled the overseas segments of my flights.  Nobody is getting into Nepal these days.  I receive daily U.S. State Department updates on the situation there and it is really bad.  Really sad, actually.  Hundreds of Americans have been stuck there unable to migrate to any other countries and there are no direct flights from the States.  Our government has begun flying Americans out and hopes to have everyone seeking to get home back in another week or so.  Those returning will face strictly-enforced quarantining upon stepping foot on American soil.

My departure is (was) scheduled for May 2nd...exactly one month from this typing.  I suppose it's possible that things could significantly improve in 30 days here in the States, but I'm not holding my breath (no pun intended).  Even if things improved here and our transportation and distribution systems are capable of leveraging those improvements, I don't see the rest of the world catching up; especially in the 3rd and 4th worlds.

I had a conversation with my in-country fixer and was offered a motorcycle in August or September.  Honestly, I don't think things will have improved over there even by then.  Businesses in the States can - and will - recover and resume reasonable operations almost immediately after citizens here are cut loose.  I don't believe businesses in Nepal are that resilient or that fortunate.  Furthermore, I don't see foreign governments allowing mass international travel into their borders; nor do I see the U.S. allowing just anyone (back) into the States.  I could be wrong if Wuhan flu testing becomes more widely available and the accuracy and timeliness of results improves.

So for now and most likely until next year, I will remain in the States (unless my work takes me to south America).  Make no mistake, I realize how fortunate I am in many respects.  I am gainfully employed. I have food, shelter, and toilet paper!  Most importantly, I am healthy!  In fact, I am in better shape than I have been in probably two years.  Despite it being clear to me that I wasn't going anywhere, I have continued the conditioning and eating regimen I started specifically for this trip.  I am still working out twice daily with my oxygen mask and am also walking miles each week.  I have dropped thirty pounds and am close to the condition I was in just prior to my Australia trip.  These results inspire me to continue the routine and approach the summer riding season with more vigor and enthusiasm.

Lastly, this trip has inspired me to write again and rest assured, I have a lot on my mind.  I'll do my best to empty my mind here.