Covid-19 Travelers’ Remorse
I’m getting on a plane tomorrow. I’m terrified. The Covid-19 pandemic isn’t even close to being over but, you see, three months ago we thought the ‘moment’ would pass. We jumped on a deal to fly to Boston for less than $200 and a no questions asked cancellation policy. We figured since we always visit Ryan’s family in the summer, this craziness would be over by July and we could get back to business as usual. If not, we could cancel. I never considered Covid-19 Travelers’ Remorse.
Well, it’s not back to normal and we didn’t cancel. Ah, the price of one’s life; or the fragile human ego believing it won’t be enslaved by a virus. Summer is travel time; contagions be damned. But, please, don’t use us an the example. Traveling right now is the stupidest thing you could do.
Stay-at-home orders are once again spreading as fast as the disease, with states/cities implementing two-week, self quarantines for travelers. I don’t know about you but I’m not interested in a three-week vacation where most of it is spent in lock down like the one in Hawaii. Currently, Massachusetts and Utah have no restrictions but with the sharp rise in cases in the beehive state it wouldn’t surprise me to come home to a quarantine.
Will you get on a plane or even roadtrip this summer? And once you get to your destination, can a hotel really be any safer than that plane? According to an article on POPSUGAR, “This risk comes from interacting with fomites — objects or surfaces that are likely to carry infection — or interacting with infected people. The risk in a hotel environment could come from interacting with hotel employees, such as front desk staff or housekeeping staff, or with other hotel guests.” There’s the public you pass on the stairs, the elevator, the restrooms, business centers, gyms, pool and dining areas. Free breakfast? Fogedaboutit. Then there are the little danger zones you might miss – that doorknob, tv remote, alarm clock button, pens you used to sign in with, the railing, the elevator button.
But Marriott says they’re COVID safe!? Those “enhanced cleaning regimens” the big chains speak of are a smokescreen to lure you back into their beds. Check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Only essential travel is advised. You’re risking infection and/or spreading the virus on your return. Like a spy in a Netflix show, you’re never safe- airports, gas stations, rental car counters, and cafes. Boy, does this scenario suck for the warriors like me.
Have I succeeded in scaring anyone? If you all stay home then I can travel safely!
Wearing masks and social distancing is like wearing an expired condom- it may work; it may not. At least there’s no hotel for me. But I’m still bringing wipes, hand sanitizer and my mask, staying six feet away from the kid brother who has been out regularly partying with friends at the beach and you all can go ahead and go to that restaurant without me. I’m a cancer survivor with a normally shitty immune system. Not that I’m constantly sick but, yeah, cancer.
So, here I am about to board my Delta flight. Unlike the shitshow happening over on American and United, my middle seat will be empty and everyone will be wearing masks. This may be my first and last flight of the year. Just saying.
Here’s some interesting advice from that POPSUGAR post, if you are planning a hotel stay, “ask for a room that no one, not guests nor housekeeping staff, have entered in the past three days” so “viral copies are deactivated before you arrive”. HA! Good luck with that request.