July'21 Message from the President


Bill Rheaume

President, Skål International

The New Normal

With many people around the world beginning to experience what the post-COVID era might look like, I’ve come across a few things that I would categorize as 'The New Normal'. Whether or not these will become the norm is yet to be seen, but these experiences are being reported across the news.

CNN reports that planning travel this summer is like struggling through high school math – the algebra restrictions when X into Y does not really go anymore... For example, have you tried to book an international flight? There are additional flight costs, schedule changes faster than you can press ‘book’, costs for testing, potential quarantine costs, extra night costs if the airline schedule did not allow you enough time to get through the new customs regimens. 

Oh, and the ‘approved’ tests as well as the ‘approved’ vaccinations vary depending on where you want to go! After you think you have a confirmed flight and start planning for your destination, you are faced with the probability and risk that the flight might be cancelled. 

Here are some additional things that are becoming ‘normal’:

  • Unruly passengers – airlines are reporting unruly behaviour is ‘out of control’.

  • Proof of vaccination – while some countries are talking immunization passports, others feel it would be unfair and discriminatory. However, if you are vaccinated more of the world will welcome you…

  • Except Canada unfortunately, as the government continues to reject non-essential visitors and keep its border with USA closed.

  • Vaccination tourism – where citizens of one country where quantities are scarce travel to a country that is more generous, permitting foreigners to receive doses.

  • Australia and New Zealand will continue to enjoy their own company… and no one else’s.

  • Very long lines.

  • Masks will remain as a ‘personal choice’.

The tourism recovery may take longer than anticipated but travel has begun. Remember patience is a virtue and staying positive will help us live longer so we will be able to travel freely again.

Enjoy your summer and make the best of it.

Cheers and Skål!


Bill Rheaume

President, Skål International