There’s a meme rolling around the internet right now, “I can’t wait to walk down the aisle someday. . . and hear those magical words. . . this is your pilot speaking…” And while I’m one of those people, holding onto that dream I understand it may require some patience.
The thing to remember is it’s not a matter of if we’ll be able to travel safely again but a matter of when and what that's going to look like.
I spent 2019 traveling all around the world as a costume designer but how times have changed. Before 2020 and Covid-19, most people ignored the down sides of air travel, they believed it was all about the destination and not the journey. Travelers didn’t seem to care about being compressed into a bacteria-filled aluminum test tube for hours on end, everyone basically looked the other way.
Times have definitely changed, now it’s is equal parts where do we go and also how do we get there, and this is part of the problem. Just as restrictions and safety measures vary from community to community, airlines aren’t being consistentwith their safety methods in either scope or implementation.
Some airlines are attempting social distancing by limiting capacity as a whole, others are simply providing the option of no center seat occupants, and the industry as a whole has decided to require masks on board, but won’t enforce the choice. In other words, you must present yourself at the gate with a mask, they require you to wear a mask on the plane, but they have no means of enforcement if you take it off. So far, the success rate of these first attempts policies are being called into question and changes are already being made.
I’m getting frequent emails from the airlines designed to boost confidence, chock full of their efforts to keep us safe, Sadly, these promises are proving to be very difficult to keep and they need to work harder on that but to be fair, there’s no way they or any authority can handle the entire scope of our sanitation and safety on their own.
The bottom line is we as individuals need to be responsible for ourselves.
As we venture back out into the world we all seem to be wanting a sense hygiene is going to be under control. This reality was addressed recently by Travel & Leisure, who stated, “regardless of the type of trips travelers end up booking, sanitation will be top of mind.” This can happen only if we rise to the occasion and take charge. Taking charge of my personal space has been my mission since I put my words into action by creating NiceSeats in 2005. Doing what you can to manage your sanitation appears to be the sustainable way forward.
All that to say be prepared to take care of yourself. Add a few new things to your carry-on bag you may not have used before. A face mask, disinfectant wipes, a seat cover and your own water bottle are all ways you be more self sufficient and reduce contact with germs. Actually, it's not that much more to bring than before; trust me, I’ve been doing this for while now.