Lenten Reflections #11
So if you’re wondering what travelling by plane is like during this phase of COVID, here it is:
I arrived to a bustling in the Atlanta airport at 5:00 a.m.
Kiosks were lined up with passengers scanning and tapping screens. Signs and printed directions guided me as I placed the checked bag labels on, which is trickier than you’d think but I was able to make out the “peel off part 1 then adhere to part 2” instructions as my glasses fogged teetering on my double masks.
Airport employees facilitated luggage check-ins waving and pointing, travellers seemingly understanding the hand gestures and muffled directions. Starbucks and Chick-fil-a lines resembled the drive-thru lines by our home, social distancing was forgotten as people leaned into the next, tired, hungry and thirsty like the Statue of Liberty was calling them in the form of a Frapuccino.
Security was stringent and efficient, just long.
Hearing multiple languages over the loud speaker is always the sunny side of any day for me. Of course, the announcements were reminding us to wear masks at all times. Thankfully the multilingual nudges seemed to work as toddlers to seniors were masking up, some of them even covered their noses rather then “half-masking”.
The flights were notably packed and the Southwest Airline flight attendant, in true character, focused on maximizing humor and creativity. During his spiel, he told everyone to wear their masks the duration of the flight. He went on to say, “Eating is fine, however, it should not take you two hours to eat a Chic-fil-a chicken biscuit…we all know you don’t want to wear your mask.”
With middle seats filled, the flight was not the most comfortable, nor comforting, but we made it. As we taxied to the gate, the flight attendant announced to “Remain seated until we are safely at the gate and please pretend to social distance as we exit”.
My last flight to Albuquerque was nearly empty, quiet and as always bumpy through the mountains. Both flights were smooth, and I did learn pandemic flights are certainly more calming when you don’t have to share an armrest with a half-masked neighbor.
Safe travels wherever you go. When you arrive, contact Walgreens and you can get a COVID test there quickly.
On faith and fitness…
If you are flying, say an Our Father during take off and landing.
Also, take comfortable shoes and walk around the airport. If you need to stay by the gate, find a quiet floor spot and do light stretching. Don’t worry about people watching, if anything, they should want to join you in your healthy endeavor.
RESOURCE: Here’s a link to information on COVID travelling from the CDC: TRAVEL DURING COVID-19.