Travelling with trepidation
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/11/2020 (914 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
I recently had my first experience with travel since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold.
I know I’m bad. Non-essential travel was discouraged when code red was implemented in the province. But we had made travel plan sto go to Victoria, B.C. when the case numbers were low in Manitoba, and since cases were almost non-existent in Victoria at the time of our scheduled departure, we decided to go ahead with our trip.
We did wonder about restrictions for travellers from Manitoba to Vancouver Island, but numerous calls to the B.C. COVID-19 hotline provided reassurance that there were no restrictions for travellers or requirements for isolation upon arrival.
My biggest concern about making the trip was wearing a mask for an extended period of time, and social distancing on the flights.
We were disappointed to find that our flight to Calgary was full. What happened to promises of socially distanced flights?
I think I know. The flight we had booked was re-booked to an almost-full flight, so I was glad that we had reserved seats. It was unfortunate that the person next to me had his elbow in my ribs for most of the flight but other than that annoyance, it was OK.
It was also reassuring that everyone flight obeyed the mask rule as well as the request to exit row-by-row, instead of the stampede that normally takes place when the seat belt signal is turned off.
The three-hour layover in Calgary airport wasn’t good. There were very few people in the airport and basically all the restaurants are closed. That was too bad, as we thought we would have a reprieve from mask-wearing while we relaxed in a restaurant over lunch. Instead we had a quick bagel and sat in the socially distanced chairs.
The flight to Victoria was uneventful except for an upset person in the next seat who announced he had paid $36 for the aisle seat that he had reserved and thought it was in business class — the row in front of us. I could have told him that business class seats cost considerably more than an additional $36 but didn’t want to carry on a conversation in such close quarters, even though we were wearing masks.
My concern about mask wearing for roughly eight hours was unwarranted. As it turned out, it didn’t bother me as much as I had anticipated. I’m not saying it was pleasant but I guess it’s mind over matter. And I now have a greater appreciation for those workers who have to wear masks all day.
I guess the bottom line is whether going ahead with the trip was a good idea.
It wasn’t done without trepidation but we did enjoy the fact that most everything is open in Victoria — although masks are required — and we could walk around and enjoy the greenery.
By the time this column comes out, we should be home and hopefully the COVID-19 case numbers will be down. I am looking forward to seeing the sun again.
Charleswood community correspondent
Donna Minkus is a community correspondent for Charleswood.