Sara Newbury remembers when a friend from Minnesota was planning a two-week Amtrak trip and the friend's sister in Connecticut asked online why she would do that.
The Connecticut woman was shaming her sister for traveling during a pandemic.
Though Newbury, office manager of Travel Leaders of Lewisburg, hasn't heard of anyone locally who was shamed for traveling with COVID-19 still around, she is seeing some of that shaming online.
When travel advisers get together, it even comes up in the conversation.
"I feel it myself, based on what I see online," said Newbury. "I try not to post too much online."
She said even family or friends may not say something directly to those traveling.
"People do want to travel, but they may not want to quarantine for two weeks due to their socio-economic status," she said. "There may be internal travel shaming."
Newbury said the amount of shaming depends on the state.
"It definitely does exist," she said. "It may be passive-aggressive, it may be in your face."
According to a story in The Washington Post, travel shaming is one more form of shaming that stems from the COVID-19 pandemic, following "mask shaming, when someone is criticized for wearing or not wearing a mask; social distance shaming, when people are criticized for being too close; even virus shaming, when someone is criticized for getting the coronavirus."
Unlike in the past — when travel shaming referred to shaming someone for not traveling enough — society's shutdown and travel restrictions led to shaming those who traveled because the shamers felt traveling with COVID still around was putting others at risk.
That shaming tends to occur in direct messages or passive-agressively in social media timelines, The Post reported.
"I see people on Facebook sometimes be a little sinister," said Trudy Lagerman, team leader at Liberty Travel at the Susquehanna Valley Mall. "In my position, they don't say anything to me personally."
The Post quoted June Tangney, a psychology professor at George Mason University and author of “Shame and Guilt,” who said it’s natural to feel angry and resentful toward those who travel during a pandemic and want to shame them. Tangney thinks that is counterproductive.
She suggested the shamers rather try to encouraging the would-be travelers to think about their impact on others so that they are more careful.
Lagerman said there are ways to make travel safe. She recently traveled to Antigua. Everyone on the plane was required to wear a mask or face removal from the flight and a lifetime ban from the airline.
She said everybody going to that destination had to take COVID test, and hotels were not filled because everyone was spaced.
"If I would think it would not be appropriate, I would not tell people to travel," she said.
"I personally feel people are done being cooped up," Newbury said. "We’re social beings."
She said her agency is promoting domestic travel because a lot of borders are closed to U.S. citizens. She said that while Florida has COVID hotspots, Orlando itself is not, and people are willing to travel to DisneyWorld.
Newbury flew in June, and besides the required masks, middle seats were left open and passengers boarded from the back to the front.
"The airlines themselves are doing a great job," Newbury said. "The airports are not enforcing safety guidelines."
She said she saw TSA agents not properly wearing masks and some people in the airport not wearing masks at all.
"Everybody I had travel this summer has come back with positive comments," Lagerman said. "People (who travel) in Mexico feel safer there than here."