Flying the Covid Skies

I flew on an airplane recently and everyone seems to ask, “What was it like?!” Well, I’m here to tell you what it’s like. I should begin by saying I’m not exactly the world traveler; Vasco Da Gama has me beat. In fact, prior to last year, at my niece’s wedding in California, I had not been on a plane in seven years. I know this, of course, because when I wheeled my suitcase out from the attic, cobwebs intact, I unzipped it, and my son’s pacifier from when he was 2 fell out! And a baby spider was sucking on it! Wait, no, kidding. But, I think you can imagine then why I didn’t travel after that…It’s called spawn. I had another one shortly after this trip, and then hunkered down for seven years in toddler-dom. Who wants to fly with toddlers? I didn’t.

I digress.

So, to start, I got to Boston in an hour and fifteen minutes, which would normally take about two hours and then some in traffic, because, well, no one is going to work. I pulled into Central Parking, and it was like a dark, apocalyptic field with a plethora of parking. Next, the real stuff came into play: the Covid Costume, equipped with two masks, ’cause one is just not enough, glasses (kind of like the goggles I wore in Chemistry class), a hat (cause no one wants the ‘vid on the locks), a coat with hood, and rubber gloves. No skin was showing. This is what I looked like.

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Once you get into the airport, there are few people roaming about. Let’s just call them the Bold and Not-So-Beautiful. We “bold” ones decided to take the pandemic by storm and risk our lives for loved ones. You can tell which folks are taking this seriously and which are not. Some are dressed in the CC (Covid Costume), while others, who are mostly venturing to or from a Southern region, it appeared) are in shorts, with exposed, tan legs, flip flops, and a mask dangling from one ear. My favorite are the ones in the masks who don’t cover their noses. Like, why bother? You may as well just sneeze on me.

I breeze through security, with about four people six feet in front of me. There are little markers delineating where to stand, kind of like in the game of Twister.

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Guuuuuuuurl, back on up! That’s not six feet!

This all was impressive. Next, I cruise towards the gate, with only two venues open: Hudson News and Dunkin’ Donuts (this is slowly changing, but don’t count on a quick beer or Fireball shot before you get on the plane–no restaurants/bars are open). Then, the real challenge sets in, having to venture into the bathroom. Now, this might be easy when not dressed as an Eskimo, but imagine having to zip back up your pants with rubber gloves on. Not only did the top of the glove on my index finger get stuck in the zipper and tear off, but my glasses were fogging up with the mask, I was sweating to high hell, and my bags were crammed against my knees in a tiny stall filled with pandemic possibility. I might suggest a diaper for the next run.

Anyway, so I get to the gate, and there are reserved seats that have ribbon-like banners across them, telling folks to social distance. It’s sort of like a Covid Miss America banner. With one torn glove, I get my sanitizing wipes out of my backpack and wipe down the entire chair and arm rests. People are staring, but also kind of jelly that I thought to do this. Finally, I sit, still sweating with fogged glasses, and I can relax, but it’s hard to text on my cell phone with gloves. So I risk it and take them off.

The rest is fairly simple. We board the plane, everyone in masks, walking down the tarmac, semi-spaced (there, too, are Twister dots), and we sit in our seats (post-wipe-down on my part) with masks required. The plane is about half-full, because no one is sitting next to you. They are, however, not six feet in front of you. I will say, most everyone complied with the masks. The only issue I saw, when swiveling my head around to make sure everyone obeyed the rules, was a few folks with the nose exposed and one or two with the mask dangling off the ear like an ear-cuff.

 

The stewardess corrected them, though. I was a bit dismayed that there were no drinks or peanuts served on flight, but we did get a Ziploc bag with a bottle of water and some kind of snack bar. So if you’re thinking of flying, it’s really not that bad. As a recovered germaphobe, I was fine! Thank you to #JetBlue! Enjoy your trip…

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