Hello from OHIO!!!!!!!
Yes! I am writing this from home! Can you believe it?!?
Cue the masks, the goggles, surgical gloves, hand sanitizer and a face shield, and I am officially back at my parents’ kitchen table, writing this here blog post!
If you follow me on Instagram (which I would really appreciate! – @beauty.beyond.bones) then you would already have known this, as I’ve been posting ALL about it! But, after canceling my flight home for Thanksgiving for fear of the virus, I decided that I would fly home two weeks before Christmas, so that I could beat the holiday travel rush!
And boy, am I glad that I did. My friend flew the week of Thanksgiving, and she said it was as crazy and crowded as ever. So I knew if there was any hope of making it home for Christmas, I had to travel smart. So today was the day!
I wanted to share what it was like, flying out of the biggest city in the country, and hopefully provide some insight, if by chance, you are traveling over Christmas, too.
First things first: I almost didn’t go. I had my eye on the COVID rates for Ohio, and they are…grim. 25,000 cases on December 2, and 11,000 cases on the 12th — which is worse than New York! But I decided that I cannot be controlled by fear, and need to live my life, albeit cautiously and mindfully.
So, this morning, I made a game time decision, and threw whatever clothes I grabbed from my closet in a suitcase, and thirty minutes later, I was out the door, on my way to the airport!
And I must say, I was so pleasantly surprised! To my delight, there was literally no line at security.
The walkways and common spaces were completely deserted. It was, for lack of a better word, a ghost town.
Granted, it’s two weeks before Christmas, but at least for now, the airport was smooth sailing. (See my IG for videos).
All things considered, I felt very comfortable! Nevermind the fact that I was wearing two masks, glasses and a face shield — but in terms of feeling safe, it was great.
They had sanitizing stations with gel and wipes everywhere, the terminal had fans going to circulate the air, and large sticker emblems were all over the place, reminding you to keep social distance, and stay back six feet.
The only “issue:” the other passengers.
Like I always say — you can only control yourself. And that was definitely the case today: people not minding the “6-foot circle markers” when waiting in line, or not wearing their mask properly (just put it over your nose for Pete’s sake!). But other than that, people complied.
Logistically, they boarded the plane from back to front, so you’re not walking past people unnecessarily, and when you enter the aircraft, you’re handed a Purell hand sanitizing wipe. Which is a nice tough.
When I got on, I wore gloves and took a Clorox wipe and sanitized all the surfaces of my seat – including the headrest. And bonus: I was upgraded to Comfort+, which they did to maintain social distance throughout the cabin. Cha-ching!
My flight was about 1/5 full. With probably about 20-25 people on the plane. I was SO GRATEFUL that we weren’t crammed in like sardines.
I didn’t take off my mask, didn’t touch anything, didn’t touch my face — and short of drinking hand sanitizer, I kept to my own little hermetically sealed bubble.
And I survived. And at least – God willing, two weeks from now, I will still be COVID free. (I took a test right before I left.) So I guess the jury’s out on that one. And in the meantime, I will be quarantining here in Ohio! Which – suffice it to say, is a lot more enjoyable in a house, than a 500 sq foot studio apartment!
Would I do it again? No. It is obviously a huge gamble, and I frankly don’t like to play Russian Roulette with my autoimmune disease. Which is why I am driving back to New York, as it will be busy to fly after Christmas.
Just a couple tips:
Keep your sanitizing essentials in the outer-most pocket of your carry-on, for easy access. I had gloves, Clorox wipes, and hand sanitizer in an easy to grab place, so I didn’t have to touch a lot of my personal belongings, rummaging through to find them.
Wear a surgical mask or N95 if possible. Cloth masks hardly do anything, to be honest. I wore this KN95, which filters out 95% of the nano-particles, and was recommended to me by my doctor friend. (He sent me the link). Also – I know I looked extra, but the face shield really gave me piece of mind!
Also — keep the air vents ON, and pointed ON YOU. Stagnant air is not your friend, gotta keep things circulating!
So – technical “stuff” over – I am so glad I made the trip. I’m not recommending travel during a pandemic, but I will just say this:
Family is important. And there is nothing more special than being together, especially over Christmas. I spent the entirety of the pandemic — from March to October — away from my family. And it was really hard. I missed them every day. And even though during that time in New York, things were absolutely beautiful — with my special gentleman, with my friends, for personal growth — the fact is, families are just not meant to be apart for such long periods of time. Digital visits just frankly, don’t cut it.
And you know what? Even though it’s been nearly a year and a lot of life has been lived between now and then, we’ve picked up right where we left off. It’s like putting on an old pair of beloved jeans — they just fit: comfortable, worn in, and with beautiful ease.
It’s my prayer that a) this vaccine is a success, and is widely implemented quickly! And that b) this Christmas, we can all cherish the time we have together with loved ones just a little more. May we hug a little longer, laugh a little harder, and truly appreciate and feel the warmth in our hearts that comes from togetherness.
Stay safe, and now — I’m off to decorate the Christmas trees that my mother so generously waited for me to decorate!!! 🙂
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
A big thank you to my foundational sponsor, BetterHelp Online Therapy. I cannot begin to express how beneficial therapy was for my recovery from anorexia. Speak with an online therapist. Or check out content about eating disorders from BetterHelp.
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