I just did the riskiest thing since March!
Happy Tuesday! As the title suggests, I just did the riskiest thing I've done all covid. I've been very strict with all the protocols thus far--no shopping in stores, extremely selective with the people I'm around, work for the full time gig in a limited office setting, etc. BUT, I decided to take a chance and I travelled--by airplane. I did it for 1- my virtual travel conference was last week and a few of us wanted to get together in person and 2- I wanted to support my travel industry and give you my firsthand review of my experience.
Will this make me lax now that I'm back home? Absolutely not! I have no intention of changing my patterns here. The thing is--people in the northeast have been taking this virus much more seriously than people in my state. Me feeling comfortable in another state, does NOT equate me to feeling that same safety in a state that has greatly decided to brush off protocols. It's a big part of why I was okay with traveling to the Northeast, on top of a few other things I made sure to do to keep myself as safe a possible while traveling.
1. My travel partners: While I didn't travel with anyone, I know the amazing friends I visited with, were taking the protocols pretty seriously. They wore masks and limited the places they visited in their local hometowns.
2. Airline: Airlines like United and American were off the table from the get go. They are not keeping the middle seat open, and therefore I was not willing to fly with them. Delta, Southwest, and JetBlue were instead on my radar, and in the end I went with JetBlue.
I will say I felt safer flying on the flight home, than the flight going because I thought the crew communicated protocols more openly. Also, I thought crew were supposed to be checking for proper mask usage and on my departing flight, there were a few bad eggs that weren't wearing masks appropriately.
3. Safety equipment: Yep, I'm one of those lol. I bought a face shield and even now I still giggle about it, but I'm soooo glad I had it for an extra layer of protection. With people wearing masks incorrectly, or taking them off to eat in the plane, I needed that peace of mind. And no, I did not eat or drink anything on the plane, but I did in the airport or on my rides home.
4. Elderberry: Check with your doctor on this one, but I religiously take an elderberry gummy every day. It has vitamin c and zinc in it, as well. My friend who we stayed with is also very holistic, so I was able to use some oils and a diffuser to help get rid of germs.
5. Me: I think through this all there is a certain sense of personal responsibility you need to take for yourself. I have a strong autonomy in regards to my body and what I am willing or not willing to do. I don't believe it's a “one size fits all (situations)” and I took personal responsibility for myself to wear the shield, bring masks for each day, where masks everywhere, bring sanitizer and wipes, etc.
So would I do it again? I'm honestly not sure. I'm glad I did it this one time, but I'm not jumping for the next time, if that makes sense. What holds me back are the airline protocols, and some personal medical things I'm working on (with professional help, of course). JetBlue will be opening the full plane in the middle of this month, so that knocks it out as an option for me anyways. I would still consider Delta or Southwest.
Part of this goes back to personal autonomy, and I'm just not ok with people being lax around me. As a meme said on social media, this really is a group project and we just can't progress without everyone doing their part.
That being said, I had an amazing time with my friends in the beautiful outdoors of New Hampshire. Forest hikes and magical scenery is exactly what my soul needed at this moment. Seeing little chipmunks peep out from their burrows, leaves dancing down, and the small birds flying and singing through the trees--I have such wonderful memories to help keep me grounded through this very chaotic time. For that, I have no regrets in my travels, and so wishing I was closer to that beauty.