I documented my first flying experience since the beginning of the pandemic and here are my observations.
Uber Ride to Airport:
Usually, my car rides to the airport are lively. I ask my driver about their lives, the weather, or whatever is in the news that day. This trip was different. The plastic barrier that separated the front from the back of the car made any sort of conversation feel uncomfortable and unnecessary. It was as if this clear film was impenetrable by sound.
Six feet of social distancing only lasted as long as the line did. As soon as I was face-to-face with security I was asked to remove my mask to get a clearer view of my face. This was only one of many instances where I felt unsafe. No amount of protective gear would keep the virus from entering this space.
In the Terminal:
Crowds everywhere … people with masks, people with masks half on, and people without masks. I escaped to the bathroom for a moment of reprieve and to wash my hands for the third time. Social isolation seems to be the theme of the day.
On the Plane:
Packed into a tiny plane and no relief. What is the point of social distancing when this is our fate? There is a tension in the air and I turn my headphones on and fall asleep trying to escape the reality of my situation.
Was it worth the trip? I hope so, but perhaps I’ll choose to drive next time.