Life in the coldest place in the world in Covid-19
THE SOUTH POLE - The coldest place on earth is still considered the "safest place in the world" due to the absence of nCoV.
The most popular way to visit Antarctica is by yacht. In Covid-19, many were worried that the coldest region of the world might be contagious, when yachts were considered major outbreaks. However, the virus was unable to "set foot" on the frozen shores of this region. And now, as Antarctica is entering the winter months, the sun disappears and people live mostly in the dark, trips are not organized, Covid-19 seems even more unlikely to export. show more.
Winter in Antarctica lasts from March to October, outdoor temperatures minus 60 to minus 65 degrees Celsius, with the coldest August. Tourists cannot visit in the winter because the ice area doubled compared to the remaining months, cruise ships could not move. Dark winters, low temperatures, and frequent typhoons result in passenger flights facing many risks. Photo: Alexey Kudenko / Sputnik.
Except for penguins, whales, seals and gulls, there are about 5,000 people living here. The majority of them are scientists, studying at about 80 bases across the continent and the number of visitors coming and going with each train.
Keri Nelson, the administrative coordinator at Palmer station on Antwerp Island, America's farthest research station in Antarctica, is one of them. "We all want to be home, next to our family at this stage. But all are grateful to live where the disease does not appear," she said. People here are still monitoring the situation of Covid-19 every day. "I feel it is everyone's duty to witness what is happening in the world."
Palmer Station used to welcome thousands of tourists last season, but this year the number dropped significantly due to the pandemic. Photo: CNN.
Nelson often shares his life in Antarctica on Instagram. She said that even when Covid-19 did not appear and visitors still visit regularly, life here is no different from the isolation that the American people are doing. And a life of self-isolation is not always easy. Nelson tried to find entertainment by thinking of work to do. But what she felt luckier than everyone was that she was trapped in a beautiful place. Nelson's life is surrounded by many wildlife and beautiful nature. Even so, she sometimes feels guilty for being so far away and not being able to accompany her family and loved ones during the pandemic.
Robert Taylor, 29, from Scotland, is a field guide who supports scientists in conducting research. He is staying at the Rothera research station, a British survey facility on the island of Adelaide, off the west coast of Antarctica.
Taylor said at first it was not too concerned about the pandemic when it came to spreading in China. After that, a few cases appeared in the UK and now this place is becoming one of the largest outbreaks in the world. Now Taylor is quite worried about her relatives at home, especially her grandmother. Referring to the monitoring of Covid-19 from Antarctica from the Antarctic at home, Taylor said: "It's like being on the moon and looking down. We can see what's going on, but watching from a very far".
Taylor said everyone in Antarctica continued their old life, as if they did not know Covid-19. People still go to the gym, music room, library, cinema ..., things that people in other continents may be missing out because of the order to block social blockade.
People told Taylor that he would change after just one season in Antarctica. But Taylor said that when Covid-19 happened, the rest of the world also changed. Pictured here are Antarctic scientists and researchers sitting and chatting in their free time. Photo: Keri Nelson.
Taylor, Nelson and others after finishing their working time in Antarctica will also return home. But they know that they will be welcomed by another world. Everything will not be the same, as they began to leave brought by Covid-19. They will have to get used to a way of life that has only been witnessed from afar. The seemingly simple things they often do in Antarctica, may become a distant memory when they go home.
Tourism has been growing strongly in Antarctica in recent years, and cruise ships often take visitors. According to the Association of Antarctic tour operators, about 56,100 tourists visited the continent during the 2018-2019 season, an increase of 40% compared to previous years. They are expected to welcome 78,500 visitors in the 2019-2020 season (the tourist season in Antarctica usually starts from November to the end of March). However, the research stations here have begun restricting many tourist visits since the beginning of the year, because of Covid-19. After a cruise ship carrying Australian and New Zealand passengers arrived at the port, there were cases of Covid-19 infections.
Nelson, who is in charge of coordinating the tour, visiting Palmer station, said her place welcomed thousands of people last year. But this year the number dropped sharply due to the global epidemic crisis. However, she did not see this affecting the Antarctic tourism industry, because it was always restricting visitors to protect the pristine environment of the "white continent".
IAATO tour operators never authorize an amphibious cruise ship if the number exceeds 500 passengers at a time. In addition, they also divide the port schedule so that at any time, every stop has only one cruise ship.
Although it is unclear how things will turn out in the coming months, people at Palmer or Amundsen-Scottm stations, which have the largest number of visitors, still work hard to ensure that when a new tourist season Starting, everything is ready.
Things in Antarctica have not changed too much because of the pandemic, but the way home of the workers in the stations has changed dramatically. Normally, when returning to England, Taylor will take a flight to Punta Arenas (the southernmost city of Chile). After that, he will catch a commercial flight to go home. But now, he will have to go to the Falkland Islands, then board a passenger train designated by the government to return to England. That means a longer time to return home.
There are many countries that sell Antarctica tours, but most guests choose the most popular place to start is from the city of Ushuaia (which is known as the end of the world).
There are two options for visiting Antarctica: an airplane (charter flight) and a ship. Take a cheaper train, have more trips to choose from, visit more places but take more travel time. Take a flight fast but the price is high, few attractions and easily delayed, cancel flights if the weather changes.
Depending on the number of days in the itinerary, the trip will cost ranging from US $ 4,000 to US $ 20,000 (this price is the cost of a tour to Antarctica from one of the originating cities, excluding travel costs, visa , eat and stay before - after the trip).
Travelers should bring sunglasses. This is an indispensable thing because the ice is so bright, you can hardly open your eyes to admire everything. Visitors also do not need to bring drones because they are not used.