An influencer who went to 10 countries and 31 cities in 2020 says her critics are probably jealous
- Travel influencer Barbora Ondrackova received backlash for what people claimed was a "tone-deaf" video looking back at her 2020 travels.
- Ondrackova, who is based in Germany and the Czech Republic, visited 10 countries and 31 cities last year, some of which were before the pandemic hit.
- The influencer told Insider she traveled mostly for work and took safety precautions. "I think some people might have been jealous," she said of her critics.
- While some studies have found plane cabins are relatively low-risk environments, the CDC says "postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19."
Many people spent the majority of 2020 at home, but fashion and travel influencer Barbora Ondrackova - who has over 500,000 followers on Instagram and 170,000 on TikTok - visited 10 countries and 31 cities last year.
On December 27, Ondrackova, who is based in the Czech Republic and Germany, posted a "2020 wrap" on TikTok that showed places she visited last year. The video - which has been viewed over 184,000 times - shows her spending time in the United Arab Emirates, the Maldives, and Switzerland, among other countries, and included glimpses of luxurious hotels and swanky restaurants.
And ##2020 went like... ##yearwrapped♬ 8D Remix by Dormun - Dormun
On Instagram, she captioned a similar video: "Best of 2020. Even though 2020 was hard for all of us, I am happy we were able to create so many memories & visit 10 countries."
While a few of these trips took place before the pandemic hit in March, at least four occurred between July and December, according to Ondrackova.
Barbora Ondrackova's videos recapping her travels were called 'tone deaf' by many, while some came to the influencer's defense
"Its [sic] being tone-deaf for me," one person wrote of Ondrackova's TikTok video in the comments.
"Does she live in another 2020?" another commenter wrote, while someone else wrote that it's "no wonder covid is still spreading."
"It's not hate but the lack of respect for human decency… especially when the majority of us have someone who's at risk or we are & others don't care," another person wrote.
"This is so insulting to the nurses/doctors trying to survive this pandemic. But no, you keep dancing," someone else wrote.
Ondrackova replied: "What's insulting is when people meet in groups. As you can see in 95% of the video there are no people around, so calm down."
A number of commenters on TikTok defended the influencer's actions.
"All the sheeple getting mad because she lived her life like we all should," one wrote.
"As someone who also lived their best life, mad respect, don't listen to the people who are jealous because they never leave their comfort zone," another commented.
"Thank you for not putting your life on hold. And living, not just surviving," a third posted.
Speaking to Insider, Ondrackova said she mostly traveled for work
Ondrackova feels the backlash she's faced since posting her TikTok and Instagram videos isn't warranted.
"I personally do not understand how a person who never met me, doesn't know me personally, and has nothing to do with me, has the courage to say that I am breaking rules, not wearing masks, and 'spreading COVID' - which I didn't get to this day - based on a 25-second-long video," she told Insider.
"I think some people might have been jealous," Ondrackova said of her critics. "I know that we are in the middle of a crisis and that many people are jobless right now, however, traveling is my job and if I am allowed, I will do it - safely."
"As a travel influencer, not being able to travel and to create content was really challenging," she said, adding that "2020 was not the greatest year on the financial side."
"I am very happy I had a job and was able to pay all of my bills, travels, and expenses," she said.
Ondrackova said her travels were mainly for her work as an influencer, and that she traveled less last year than she usually does. The influencer said she took five flights last year - as opposed to an average of 45 in previous years - and two of them were after the pandemic hit, adding that she tried to drive wherever she could.
According to Ondrackova, she mostly remained in Germany and the Czech Republic, her two home bases, from March to July, before a trip to Hungary. She said many of her far-flung travels took place before the pandemic, such as a trip to the Maldives in March, with the rest being during the summer and within Europe, where she is based.
It's worth noting that "compared with the US, Europe appeared to have Covid under control this summer," according to the Wall Street Journal, which adds that during this time "fresh infections dipped," before "skyrocketing" in September and October, resulting in many new lockdowns.
While in the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that "travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19," European Union member states have largely been operating on a country-by-country basis when it comes to travel restrictions, based on each country's individual risk factor. A map detailing countries' risk factors is updated by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control weekly.
Ondrackova said she took safety precautions, though the CDC says it's safer not to travel at all
Ondrackova said that most of her trips were with her boyfriend and family, and that they took safety precautions on their travels to minimize their risk of contracting and spreading the virus.
"We got tested to be on the safe side, we wore masks when not shooting, we washed our hands, and we kept distance," she said.
"We did not break any rules, and before traveling we got tested," she added. "In my personal opinion it is way safer to travel by plane with everyone being tested negatively than taking public transportation with no one being tested," she said.
However, not all airlines and countries require negative coronavirus test results, meaning not everyone on a given flight will have gotten tested.
That said, a recent study commissioned by the US Department of Defense found that the infection rate on flights is "very low," and that a single infected passenger would take 54 hours to spread the virus to others onboard, as Business Insider's Grace Dean reported. The study found that air-filtration systems on planes got rid of particles within six minutes, making plane cabins relatively low-risk environments, though travel still poses .
As the CDC notes, "postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19."
At the time of writing, there have been 87,434,105 confirmed cases of the coronavirus globally, and 1,887,970 related deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.
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