When COVID-19 became present in the United States and started to shut everything down, traveling became a concern for many. People continued to travel by car, but airports became desolate.
When the masses entered quarantine to flatten the curve, most took major precautions such as cancelling plans and wearing masks. However, as quarantine persisted and cancellations kept coming, people began to get comfortable with the idea of normal life with the virus and traveling started up again.
When boarding a flight, it is recommended to social distance and wear a mask the whole time- some airlines intentionally leave the middle seat open to ensure there is comfortable space between flyers.
During my experience traveling, the Omaha airport was not crowded at all, but when arriving in Charlotte, North Carolina, in late May, there were much larger crowds. When walking from terminal to terminal, there were people touching each other and even removing their mask.
When arriving in Orange Beach, Alabama on May 25, 2020, it seemed it was a regular summer vacation, and a worldwide pandemic was not going on. Restaurants were filled with tons of people, none of which were wearing masks. Boats were out all day, and people were partying without caution.
Sophomore Audrey Elhers, who traveled to South Dakota and the Ozarks at the end ofMay, said, “My friends and I wore a mask any time we went in public places, like gas stations, outdoor restaurants, or at the outdoor shopping strips.” She traveled to two places in a car. “In the Ozarks, there were a lot of people, but since everyone travels in their own boats, it felt like a regular summer vacation on the lake.” Elhers said that few people wore masks in public places, and it was that person’s responsibility to stay safe.
Many students at Marian traveled during quarantine. According to a recent poll of 165 students, 69.9% of students said that COVID affected their traveling plans. 30% of students said that COVID did not affect their travel. 62% of students said they travelled and stayed overnight somewhere outside of Omaha.
Incoming freshman Phoebe Meier traveled to Colorado during COVID and said “We wore a mask everywhere we went. Most places would not let you in without a mask.” Meier and her family traveled in a car because they felt it was safer. “In the public places we went, many people were wearing masks and using hand sanitizer.”
When traveling, it became very evident that if a person did not take precautions for themselves there were consequences that reached far beyond their circle. Wearing a mask, hand sanitizing and social distancing is something only that person had control over, and if done here, they would have a better chance of not getting spreading diseases, and keeping other people safe.