Travel in the Time of Covid

All grand stories should start in the middle

All grand stories should start in the middle, amid the action and excitement, but my travails start at the beginning. To travel to England, you must get a negative PCR Covid test within 72 hours of departure. I did everything right, but as the US complicates all things electronic, my test was not ready when I arrived at 6am to fly out of Montrose, CO to Denver and then on to DC, then on to Gatwick. See, here is the problem, the 72 hour window is from our time leaving DC. I lost twelve hours of testing time just on our launch. Then, I am subject to the Doctor's office hours, etc. Suffice, I was down to forty-eight hours turnaround. John’s came in at 5:30am, mine had yet to load.

Ah, the spoils of life.

I could not board on my extended ticket through to England. We had to interrupt my business-class fare, and buy a new ticket — a hopper to Denver and hope my test results came in, and were negative. As we boarded, my email dinged “negative” — $200 down the drain, and my seat given to a woman circling for an upgrade like a vulture to road carnage. Once in Denver, I retained my premier seating. Ah, the spoils of life. I bought these tickets cheap — one day before the news reported that England was opening up with American passengers. Thrifty, at the risk that all could have closed down again, and we could have lost our trip altogether.

I was most upset, because we were traveling to see my eldest, she is studying at the University of Arts - London (UAL) for a fall semester in Fashion and Marketing. My trip started with a 6am cry to our ticket agent, who made every effort to make our flight happen. And we made it.

My trip started with a 6am cry

Our daughter is quite amazing (if I say so myself), she is not the typical reserved, close-to-home eldest. She is talkative, gregarious, and bold. I am stupidly proud of her. She was just settling in to her “flat” life (her “dorm” for us yanks) and we interrupted her flow. This was unintentional, as our timing to Europe was based on a soccer protégé of John’s Commitment Ceremony with his future wife in Mallorca. I have never been to Spain. It was post-peak EU travel season, the world was opening up, and the tickets were relatively cheap.

“Covid” is now an international cognate word.

Traveling in the time of Covid was an interesting experiment. The PCR-test is a thin-spaghetti stick with a dusting of cotton rammed-up both nostrils until you feel violated. The stupid thing is, they made us wear the masks throughout the international flight, even though every single one of us had been tested in the last 72-hours. Theoretically, we are not contagious, even if we went to a super-spreader event the night before. 

Whatever it takes to see my baby.

Traveling makes the world a smaller place. And Covid made it even smaller — “Covid” is now an international cognate word. Everyone understands the gravity of this condition. Wearing masks is a universal sign of respect in every culture.