The months of May, June, and July are all vaccinations for kids and this was one main reason for me to plan a family trip to the south so that we could get a break from the tiring workaholic life and spend some time with each other. Family time is always important for kids as it is one thing that contributes greatly to their emotional and mental development. It was on the 13th of many that we planned the trip to explore some of the best travel destinations to the north of Kerala. My first preference to travel to was to the Kozhikode district of Kerala which is said to be one fascinating destination for families with a number of attractions and special flavors. On the 14th of the same month, I booked my family tour package that was organized by Gogeo Holidays a travel operator in Kerala who offered us with one of the cheapest packages including all the best attraction in the land. One main reason for us to choose to travel to the north of Kerala was that the place had a number of unexplored destinations, hill stations and forest destinations that are yet to be explored to its best. After complete planning and packing, we reached the Mumbai airport to start our holiday trip on the 21st of May. After a flight of about 3 hrs, we reached the Kochi international airport which was one of the closest airports to our destination. It was after reaching the airport that we came to know of the deadly virus that was spreading in the northern districts of Kerala with the name, Nipha virus. According to the news and the stories of the virus, it is spread by some fruit bats. The virus is said to have no cure and is highly infective that it keeps spreading from the infected to the others through the air or even touch. According to the information spread about the virus, it is first reported in Kozhikode and is spreading towards the north of Kerala. We were at a stage where we were not even able to get back as the flight tickets were not available and traveling through other means could be dangerous.
The safety of my family was one thing that I was more concerned about that the trip and the travel plans. All we could do was to change the destination of the travel and to cut short the days to a minimum. After referring with the travel operators we change the travel destination from Kozhikode and decided to stay at Kochi for the day and then return back home safe on the next flight. To keep the kids calm, we choose not to tell them about the infection in detail as it could make them more restless. It was after researching and collecting more of the disease that we understood that most of the stories spread were wrong it has been only reported in very few numbers. We also came to know the virus till now have not spread to Kochi and other destinations like Munnar which means we are safe from the virus as if for now. Still, to be more careful of the condition we decided to maintain more cleanliness by avoiding fruits and more vegetables from the diet. We also got some mask for extra safety. Our ticket back to Mumbai was scheduled for the next day by evening and as we were not ready to spoil the vacation we choose to stick on with the new plan.
Even though the complete trip was reshuffled the travel operators with no time organized us a room within Kochi were we could stay for the day. Traveling from the airport for about 30 min we finally reached the hotel which was located in Ernakulam district which was not too far from the airport. We checked in at the hotel after completing the formalities by 12 pm and decided to have the lunch from the hotel by avoiding fruits and much of vegetable thus we decided to have just cereal, bread, jam, and butter. After reaching the room the first thing that I did was to search of the virus and to get more information of the happenings at Kozhikode so as to get a clear idea o the viruses and its danger. To make the say in the hotel a bit entertaining for the kids they were allowed to spend their noon in the closed pool that was available in the hotel and the play area. According to the report of Hindustan Times, the number of death reported due to the virus was 10 but the numbers change from 5 to 12 in different news channels and papers which clearly showed the propaganda that was set against Kerala. The state health department confirmed only four death is due to Nipha virus whereas 25 people who have been diagnosed with similar symptoms have been hospitalized
The disease was said to be under control and the spreading could be avoided by being careful and cautious. The government of the state has advised a number of safety methods by which one could stay away from the virus which, mainly include avoiding fruits as the virus is spread by fruit bat. By using a face mask and by being clean one could avoid being affected by the virus. According to me, the disease was not at a critical stage as it is been shown by the news and the media.
According to the travel and tourism department of the state, The news that is exaggerated and spread is believed to be a deliberate attempt to destroy Kerala tourism sector. With the emergence of such news, the panic spreads not only in local people but also in national level. In addition the Tamilnadu Govt. has given strict guidelines to avoid traveling to Kerala. It was mainly the tourism department of the state that was affected by the news that the human race. By the time I finished collecting information about the happenings, it was 2 pm and we decided to move out of the hotel and explore some of the destinations in Kochi worth exploring. As it was noon with the sun shining right above the head we decided to explore the Hill Palace Museum at Thripoonithura which was the best place that one could explore under hot climate. Traveling for about an hour from the hotel we finally reached the museum which was one best place filled with nature, trees, and shelters. Located at a distance of about 10 km from Kochi the museum was once the official residence of the rulers of Kochi. The palace housed a number of best attractions and artifacts from the past which was exhibited in the area. Oil-paintings, murals, sculptures, manuscripts, Antique ceramics from the Far East, tombstone, hood stone, laterite memorials and wooden memorials were all some of the best attractions found in the palace. The beauty of the ancient architecture fascinated me the most in the place. After being in the palace for a while we decided to visit the marine drive located close to our hotel where we could enjoy the sunset. Traveling for another 1-hour we reached the drive by around 5.30 which was the perfect time for sunset. Facing the sea the drive was a perfect spot in Kochi where we could enjoy a facilitated sunset. After being in the drive for an hour we moved back to the hotel by 6.45 and reached back to the room by 7.30 pm. Without wasting much time we got freshened up and had the breakfast calling the day off.
The next day we got up by 11 am. After refreshing and having the breakfast we rushed to the airport as we were not ready to miss the flight. We met with the travel operators at the airport who was ready to offer us another tour package to some safer destinations in Kerala but we chose to travel back home as our flight tickets were booked. With the spread of the virus, the tourism department of the state was most affected. Even though the reports say that the over exaggeration of news was to target travel and tourism department of the state all that I was concerned of was my family and their safety which was the only reason for us to fly back home.