First of all,
I am giving myself a 【ｇ＊＊ｄ＊＊＊＊＊】shiny GOLD MEDAL for traveling via airplane and public taxi- in the Americas- during a plague.
Why should simple travel be award worthy?
A҉ N҉ X҉ I҉ E҉ T҉ Y҉
Putting aside the other ailments that shape my outlook on life, I’m going focus on the pandemic anxiety that traveled with me on a packed plane from Tijuana to Morelia and back. The same kind of anxiety has crept into just about everyone I know these days. Even a little.
The version of pandemic anxiety that I experienced wasn’t so crippling that I couldn’t enjoy anything, but it certainly did altered my ways of thinking and behaviors.
Coming from socially distanced Rosarito, the Tijuana airport felt like a chaos pit to me. At least the part before we got to our gate.
People traveling with far too many suitcases.
People not wearing masks correctly.
No social distancing.
It’s like Mexicans don’t even know the reality of 1.5 meters any more than Americans do. (Unless you happen to have a firm grasp on the metic system. Bravo to you.)
Hugo and I were on a full flight for three hours sitting behind a “preacher” that would not shut up the entire journey. A bit of face covering was the only thing stopping all his non-stop aerosol from spreading and spreading. I did a magnificent job of not thinking about it too much.
We landed and it was again this cluster-fluff of people waiting for their luggage and for their friends/family in this tiny airport. It’s been remodeled, but it’s tiny! One terminal, two gift shops, four gates. TINY!
Then we just hopped in a taxi at the stand without taking extra precautions. The driver kept his windows open at least.
On the 40-ish minute ride in, the driver told us a relation of his had the version of Covid19 that effects your intestines instead of your lungs. Oh, joy.
And then there was the historic center of the city. All the inescapable people on all those narrow streets. I was in love and repulsed at the same time.
I had to get over the lack of social distancing thing in a blink. We were going to be elbow brushing lots of people often. There wasn’t much to be done about that.
Unlike some resort destinations in Mexico, the majority of the people in Morelia took mask wearing and cleaning seriously. Still, some had the lack of mind to go without, especially when they felt they were in open spaces. I gave those people a most withering ‘mom glare’ if they got close.
Any cough I heard was an alarm signal to get away from the source as soon as possible. Children and teens I did my best to keep farthest away from. Hypervigilance is awesome, people!
But there were times I almost had critical melt downs.
The worst incident was a surreal nightmare. It shouldn’t have been terrible at all(!), but throw an airborne plague into the mix and, well, it was, I would say– distressing.
On Sunday the streets were fairly empty and I was happy to finally have some breathing room, but then Hugo and I found ourselves in a part of town where it looked like a tianguis had been set up. That means a few blocks are sectioned off from vehicle traffic so that an open air market can be opened. They sell everything at these markets: anything from yard sale type whatever junk, to car parts, to pizza, to pets. So, basically, all I could see was that they had created a death trap a head. And there we were being funneled by both car and increasing foot traffic into said death trap. People of all ages, mask or not, were there. Walking slow to check things out; walking even more slowly to stall and stop, to coo and fawn over – puppies. People on the sidewalk were actually holding out puppies for you to fondle and fall in love with.
Puppies for sale… I was never more terrified of tiny dogs and tiny humans then I was in that moment. I was lucky to not have a full on anxiety attack right there in the street and get run over trying to escape.
Then there was a time I almost cursed out an older woman that we could not distance ourselves from who had a persistent cough and wore her mask- on her chin! I was not in any mood to respect an elder who is doing something that foolish.
Our taxi ride back to the airport was a private car called for us by a woman working in a tourist info kiosk. The driver was, in fact, her husband. He was very polite and sprayed our bag when put it in the car and gave us hand sanitizer to use. He was on top of things. We took his card so I will throw some business his way-
Make sure to look up
Andres Orozco Fraga
when you go to Morelia!
The return plane flight seemed more with the sanitary program too. In-flight bathroom use was very limited. Fewer people were eating. We sat in the very back of the plane. We even entered through the back hatch to be seated faster and didn’t have to stand around on the tarmac very long. In a way, it seemed more rock star than being up in the front!
So we didn’t have to wonder or worry for too long Hugo and I got ourselves nose swabbed for Covid19 in San Diego a couple days after returning. We never developed any symptoms, but we wanted to be sure we weren’t carriers.
Thankfully, the results were negative! Sometimes it pays to be paranoid. We didn’t have to do the whole strict quarantine thing. We just do the normal quarantine thing which is what I hope you all can do until the vaccines get distributed.