Dr. Anthony Fauci said it best during a CNN appearance all the way back in March: “You don’t make the timeline. The virus makes the timeline.” In other words, it’s only safe to reopen communal spaces when the reality of the public health situation dictates, not when a giant corporation just really, really, really wants to stop losing money.
So it shouldn’t be surprising that nearly a month after Disney World in Orlando reopened, higher than expected numbers of guests are canceling their vacations, sobered by the very real risk to their family’s health that a trip to Disney World is.
Disney CEO Bob Chapek shared the news on a call with analysts, acknowledging the hard truth that, as The Cut puts it, “just because the American economy is more open doesn’t mean it’s any safer for those who elect (or are forced) to participate in it.”
Indeed, all of those masked faces that we assuming were smiling as they said “welcome back” in that creepy corporate propaganda video are putting their lives at risk. Without a social safety net that allows workers to stay home without becoming destitute, all of those masked employees don’t have much of a choice but to go back to work and hope they don’t contract COVID-19.
Families, on the other hand, do have a choice, and the high number of cancellations suggests that they’re not willing to risk their health to visit the at best bizarre, and at worst, dangerous, place COVID-19 has made Disney World.
Then there’s the fact that Disney vacations ain’t cheap. Unemployment remains in the double-digits even as the $600 weekly payment to those who lost their jobs because of the pandemic ends. Out of work and with federal aid drying up, you can’t blame folks for staying healthy and saving money.