Day 451

Nearly 18 months between plane flights. Don’t know how long it’s been since I’ve been away from the skies for that long. Probably high school.

It was completely spontaneous. My younger son was having trouble moving into his new apartment, and since my wife and I didn’t have any firm plans for the weekend we decided to give him a hand. Got up at 3 on Saturday morning and drove to the airport, which was far busier than I expected. “This is like Christmas,” my wife observed. Twenty minutes to get through security — glad we arrived an hour early.

Masks were required at each airport, as well as on the flights; it’s probably a federal law, and given how much close and lengthy interactions occur with air travel I was glad for the restriction. Most people in the airport were masked, although I did see more than a few chin diapers. Mask enforcement was stricter once we got inside the aircraft. I don’t like wearing a mask for four hours straight, but I’ll pay that price in order to balance convenience with safety.

On checking in to our hotel, we were also asked to mask while in public areas of the building, although I didn’t see any violators reminded of this policy during our stay. Outside the hotel, it was like 2019 — none of the shops we visited to buy furniture and good for my son’s new apartment asked for masks, and most employees didn’t wear one.

Since my wife and I are both fully vaccinated we were OK with the sudden relaxation of COVID safety measures. And as we boarded the plane for our return home after getting our son moved, we both felt relieved for indulging in a spontaneous journey once more.

***

We haven’t bought plane tickets yet, but our plan is to return to Hawaii this December. So much can happen these next six months that could foil this plan, and if it does happen I hope we won’t have to be masked for the entire 12-hour flight. All I can do now is hope there’s not another wave of infections, and that an effective booster shot will be available in the fall.

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