I traveled over Christmas. It was with great anxiety and I didn’t want to talk about it, but I did it. I double masked (KN95 + cloth), gloved, wore a face shield, carried and used an excess of sanitizer, and even wore an extra outer layer of loose clothes that I stripped off and shoved into a plastic bag before I let myself hug my dad.
It was so damn hot.
And I was lucky. We made it through the holidays with no one getting Covid-19. It easily could have gone badly. I gambled on a risk and succeeded.
A lot of people didn’t. That trip was by far the quietest and most peaceful holiday flight I’ve ever been on. We flew Southwest and middle seats were open, but my husband and I never had to sit next to a stranger. It just wasn’t crowded enough. It was anxiety-inducing, but it was also undeniably pleasant.
I mention all of this as a point of comparison. If you haven’t travelled “post-covid” (delta variant excluded), know that all of this is a thing of the past. I’ve never seen a more crowded airport outside of the holidays than Charlotte (CLT) this past week. Packed flights, packed trains, packed buses, packed terminals… It’s stellar that the vaccine is widely available (yes, I’m fully vaccinated) and that we can all get back out there, but be ready for it. It’s nuts.
Masks are still required in US airports, so be ready with one. Given that the delta variant is still very much at large makes this good policy, in my opinion. As more and more variants continue to evolve, the rules regarding travel likely will as well. Hopefully we are all fortunate and the current available vaccines will continue to offer the protection we need.
In the interim, be ready for crowds and chaos. Stay safe out there.