The Download: The travel industry—one of the hardest hit by the pandemic with nearly 40 percent of workers out of their jobs—is coming out of the bullpen to help close out Covid-19 thanks to tourism and entertainment venues that are transforming into super vaccine centers.
From the Castello di Rivoli Museum outside of Turin, Italy, and London’s Science Museum to Disneyland and Dodger Stadium in L.A., large-scale public spaces are expected to bolster the effort to put needles in arms, which thus far has been widely criticized for its slow rollout. Even former hedonist playgrounds like the Encore Las Vegas are signing up for the cause. While the estimated inoculations vary—12,000 at Dodger Stadium, 7,000 at Disneyland, hundreds at Encore—health officials welcome the increase in capacity as they get the program on track.
Why It Matters: It’s not the first time travel-related institutions have lent their assistance during Covid-19. San Francisco International Airport was the first rapid testing site in the U.S., luxury hotels such as Claridges in London and the Four Seasons in New York have housed frontline doctors and nurses, and XpresSpa, the ubiquitous chair massage and manicure outlet in airports all over the world, has now converted its spaces into testing facilities.
In Their Own Words: “Art has always helped, healed, and cured—indeed, some of the first museums in the world were hospitals,” Castello di Rivoli director Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev said in a statement. “Now we are repaying the favor, so to speak, and opening Castello di Rivoli’s galleries for the vaccine effort. Our museum—in a baroque palazzo—is well-equipped for this. We have enough space for a safe, socially distanced vaccine center, and our friendly guides are well-trained in monitoring the public. But beyond that, we—and all public museums—are committed to creating an accessible, pluralistic space to serve our community. Even while our exhibitions are closed, our buildings can continue to serve this purpose and fulfill our mission: Arte cura—art helps.”
Surface Says: Who better to handle mass mobilization and crowd control than the travel industry?