Vacationing during a global pandemic is not for the faint of heart. Having said that, I am aware how very lucky I am to still have a job, and have the financial resources to have a little get-away. These are blessings I do not take for granted.
Now – onto the tonnage of Nervous Nancy and Judging Judy’s rumbling down on me for traveling during a pandemic, let me explain.
First – and I can’t stress this enough – this is not going away people. The 1918 Flu lasted three years. Do I think we’ll have a vaccine ready and available widely enough to make a difference? All signs point to…maybe…probably eventually, possibly by next summer.
Second – we had over 4,800 people with COVID19 in my county alone. the day before we left. Where we booked a little weekend getaway? Four at the time we planned it – six by the time we got there three weeks later.
If anything, they shouldn’t have let us come. All I can say is, we were respectful of the opportunity to get away and followed all the requirements asked of us by our hosts. It was the very least we can do. Stop The Spread, eh?
So – How We Managed It:
We planned it around the kids natural ‘down-time’ in the early afternoon and Benji slept most of the way. We ended up having to stop once for potty but it was close enough to our journey’s end I felt comfortable there weren’t too many cases around. Still, the kids wore masks in and they weren’t allowed to go touching chip bags and fondling the stuffy/tourist item racks like they normally do. In. Out.
When we first arrived we sanitized with a lysol spray sanitizer and as per hotel requirements, we didn’t have housekeeping in the room changing beds and cleaning while we were here. If we needed new towels or sheets we’d leave the old ones outside the room and let them know. All staff wore masks.
We wore masks (even my three and six year old) inside the hotel and in public areas. You may be wondering what kind of crazy overprotective mom does that to a kid – well, me.
They’re home-made with fun designs and not only do they not mind wearing them they often forget to take them off. If they were fighting me on it, that would be another story so no judgement, none at all, if you can’t get your 4 year old to keep one on! This be a judgement free zone here people! Unless you’re an adult and you’re not wearing the mask – RUDE. Rude play my friends. Just put it on. Unless you forget it, I’ll try to remember this is a judgement free zone.
In any case, we took them off in the room. I carried hand sanitizer wherever we went and we washed our hands when we got back to the room.
We alternated our eating and swim times for when there would be less people. Luckily our two young children wake up at the crack of dawn so we were down at the pool at 9:01am when it opened. We had the pool to ourselves for a good three hours before anyone else showed up. And then we left.
We were able to plan our weekend getaway to extend over a ‘work-day’ and went to the beach on Monday morning, avoiding the weekend crowds and again as soon as they opened. We spent the morning frolicking in the ocean, totally alone until around 11am when people starting coming. Once our 10-15 foot bubble was broken we left – quite happily as it was almost 2pm and we’d been there since 9am.
What about restaurants, you may ask? Most were take-out or eat outside (which was lovely as we were on the beach). The ones that were eat-in we made a judgement call – if we couldn’t eat outside or if there were more than three other couples we left and found a restaurant with less people.
If it sounds like a lot of work…it wasn’t. We behaved the same way there (even though there are far less cases of COVID19) as we did back home. If we needed an HEB run, one of us would go and one of us would stay with the kids so we didn’t have to bring them in with us. Having two parents during a pandemic is another blessing I am acutely aware of. Don’t judge moms in the HEB with kids people – she may have no one to leave them with.
To sum up – wearing a mask didn’t impede my joy or diminish my freedom – it allowed me to do what I want while still being respectful of others. I could have COVID19 and have no symptoms – and I don’t want to risk getting an elderly person sick or potentially ending up in an ICU alone. I don’t need that on my conscience thank you!
In any case, there are a few simple things I can do while I live my life as (mostly) normally as I always do. Wear a Mask. Wash my Hands. Wind Down At Home. (Unless you’re on vacation, then Wind Down In Your Room By The Beach).
Once we got back – we notified friends and family where we’d been and left it up to them if they wanted to stay away from us for 14 days to be safe. Some did, some didn’t, but they all appreciated the heads up. It just comes down to respect for others.
Really lastly – I feel like we all just need to get comfortable with the changes this pandemic has brought us – it isn’t permanent and it’s the smart thing to do. Life is not the same right now. And that’s okay – we count our blessings and like Dory says ‘…just keep swimming, just keep swimming…’
Next time let’s talk about school re-openings – that should be fun, right?