Traveling to Poland is challenging even during normal times. But these are definitely not normal vacation occasions. Mark Twain when vacationing in Europe over a century ago with his cousin discovered that newspapers were reporting that he died, when in fact his cousin with the same last name was hospitalized. His response to the media when he met them was, “The report of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” So too the report that “travel overseas as dangerous and unhealthy have been greatly exaggerated.” First, one has to realize that few media have taken a course in medical bacteriology, microbiology, parasitology or virology, let alone done any laboratory work in these fields. So the knowledge base and the misinformation is “greatly exaggerated.” Second, what is printed as official information by Polish Foreign Affairs and Border Control differs from actual practice at the Polish airports. A physician friend traveled to Poland in the last week of June, 2020, and had to quarantine for 14 days and take a blood test which of course was “negative” or “ujemny.” We traveled on the first international flights directly from America to Poland and like most passengers were allowed to pass through border control with no temperature checks, no quarantine, and no blood tests on the ninth day of quarantine. However, one must be cautious to wear the facial mask in public places. There are undercover public health officials not wearing official uniforms who fine “maskless” customers in stores or public places, 5K zloty, or $1,250 US dollars. On the flight from Chicago to Warsaw, we sat in business class but the whole plane was only 40% occupied. The Boeing “Dreamliner” seats nearly 300 passengers. I counted about 120. The stewards and stewardesses wore masks and gloves. The plane was exceptionally clean. Attendants regularly checked that the lavatories were antiseptic and clean. New filtration upgrades improved the air quality. People were seated at least 6 feet apart. We arranged for a taxi rather than burden family with worries about quarantine and government regulation. Like we reported earlier, “travel overseas as dangerous and unhealthy have been greatly exaggerated. “ Of course neither of us has any comorbid conditions and are healthy. People over 60 and those with cardiovascular conditions, diabetes, hypertension, and any illness that lowers the immune system should delay travel for now. It’s more fun to be in Poland now since there are fewer tourists and one is welcomed with typical Polish hospitality.
Robert John Zagar PhD MPH is a clinical, forensic, industrial, school, and neuropsychologist, economist, professor, researcher, and statistician. He testified before the US House of Representatives Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime Terrorism and Homeland Security 24 July 2012 about saving 640 lives by targeting 147,253 high risk youth using jobs, mentors, anger management under Mayors Daley and Emanuel and diverting 56% of nonviolent offenders from Cook County Jail copied by President Obama in releasing 6,800 nonviolent federal prisoners by commutation and pardon. Mayor Daley shared Robert Zagar’s research with the University of Chicago who founded the Crime Lab to impact policy reforming the justice and mental health systems. President Trump used Robert’s and Agata’s research to obtain the National Rifle Association endorsement in his presidential campaign and for the First Step Act enacted by Congress in December, 2018 that is projected to free 50,000 prisoners. Pope Francis last week noted in the Washington Post that psychological tests are a way of finding “clerical misconduct” after reading Robert and Agata’s 2019 research paper published in the Review of European Studies in February. Robert graduated from Northwestern University with a doctorate in research design and statistics and has taught in a dozen universities and authored fifty peer reviewed scientific articles. Robert completed two years of the basic medical sciences and has a master’s degree in public health epidemiology, the study of pandemics. Agata has a master’s degree in business administration from Roosevelt University. They founded a nonprofit, Society of the Friends of Radgoszcz,