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Traveling During the Pandemic

I recently had to travel home to Kentucky from California for my dad’s impending surgery. While traveling by plane doesn’t seem to be as big of a worry as it did at the beginning, it’s still very important to stay cautious during the trip.

Normally, I’m able to take all of my belongings in a duffel bag and a backpack, but this time I used two suitcases that had to be checked in. I made sure to bring a small package of sanitary wipes for any seats I had to touch on the plane and to wipe down my luggage at the end of my flights.

During both of my flights, Southwest airline made sure that all passengers had on a face mask at all times and were worn correctly. They had to cover the nose and the mouth at the same time. Since I had a particularly long flight before my layover, I made sure to pack extra disposable masks so that I could throw them away every two hours, as recommended. Not only does it help prevent your face from breaking out since you’re not wearing a dirty mask for a whole day, but a clean mask means that any germs on the inside or outside of the mask are taken away. Especially if you wipe your face as well, which I did.

During each flight, I also tried to sit as isolated as possible. Southwest airlines does require the middle seat open, however, I tried to leave a space in front and behind me open as well, if possible. My first flight was overly booked, making me a bit nervous, since every other seat was taken. The second flight did have more openness though.

In my personal bag, I made sure to carry extra hand sanitizer, extra face masks, face wipes, and sanitizing wipes, as well as a few personal items. It’s extremely important to keep anything that touches you or could come in contact with your nose or mouth, clean and sanitized. It may seem excessive to constantly be sanitizing your hands or changing your face mask if you or someone around you sneezes/coughs, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Photo by K Hsu on Unsplash

During my 3 hour layover in Houston, which was more packed than I expected, I was able to buy some snacks and little souvenirs at a gift shop. I took my snacks and ate them in an isolated location near my gate so I wouldn’t have to be worried about other people around me or missing my flight. 

When I landed at the airport in Nashville, with my parents waiting for me, I found it surprisingly packed and tried to social distance as much as possible. Grabbing my luggage, wiping it down, and finding my parents was probably the most stressful part of the flights since it was so packed. Outside, many people were not wearing face masks.

With my dad getting surgery, I thought it would be best to get a COVID test done just in case, so as not to put him in any danger. Not surprisingly, it came back negative. I will be trying to take at least one more test during the trip and once more when I land back in California, but so far it’s been a success.

Following the basic COVID expectations for safety was the eBay way to stay safe. I hope anyone else who plans to travel follows them and has a safe trip!!


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