Coronavirus and Traveling

Saturday, 8:19pm, 8 days to trip to Houston

So, my sister texts me. She says, “How are you? Are you still going to Houston?” To which I reply, “Why wouldn’t I be?” And she proceeds to tell me that her rather large company in Milwaukee does not want any of their employees traveling even domestically unless “operationally essential.” She says planes are about 50% capacity as of recent. 

A Little Background

I hate flying. I have to fly to see my dad, who lives 1200 miles away in Houston, Texas. So when I have to fly, I take drugs. Yep. Not afraid to admit that. I have anxiety. And going 500 miles per hour at 30,000 feet is enough to put me over the edge. So, being worried about catching a deathly virus does not help things in the slightest. Up until Saturday at 8:19, I thought this was only a big deal if you were traveling to China. I thought that people were being irrational because I figured influenza was just as bad or worse and my son and my ex have already gotten that this year and gotten over it in three days. Other than saying goodbye to my sick days, it wasn’t too big of a deal. (And yes, we all got the flu shot.) 

Saturday, 8:25pm

So, what does a person who has anxiety and is prone to thinking slightly irrationally because of it, do when her sister tells her she needs to be worried about catching a deadly virus while doing the scariest thing on earth…flying? She calls the most rational people she knows to calm her down. These two people for me are my kids’ dad and my own dad. Oh, and my kids’ dad just happens to be flying the week I get back with my own two children to Denver. He’ll know what to do. So, I text him first. And guess what? He’s concerned. Even thinking about cancelling his trip. Now I’m freaking out. I text my dad next. He travels all over the world for work and works with a company that does business in China. He’ll know what to do.

Sunday, 7:14am, 7 days until trip to Houston

My dad says, “I will call you later today to discuss.” Not a good sign. I wait all day. I go to church. I go for a walk. I have a coffee date. My dad finally calls. He says it’s up to me. He says he understands my concern and would understand if I cancelled the trip. He said he would fly, but he doesn’t have young kids. He says I could be quarantined for 14 days if I’m exposed. I tell him I’ll talk to my principal to ask him what we’d do if I got quarantined for 14 days. Dad and I will talk later this week.

I do a little research on the CDC’s website and realize I need a few supplies. I head to Walmart for some hand sanitizer, gloves, and Lysol wipes. They are out. I go to Walgreens. Clean out of hand sanitizer. I go to CVS. Out again. I ask the pharmacist what to do. He says use Hydrogen Peroxide wipes on my hands instead.

Monday, 11:02am, 6 days until trip

I email my principal. Tell him my plans. He gets back to me one hour and 17 minutes later. Tells me it’s my choice to make, but he would be concerned about it as I am. He says the board is approving a pandemic plan this evening. He’ll send me the plan tomorrow. So no one is making me feel any better. I tell my dad. He says to wait to decide until we see the board’s plan.

The good news is that in my desk I find some hand sanitizer. It’s got 65% alcohol, which is what the CDC recommends. See how happy I am below.

Hand Sanitizer
Hand Sanitizer

And here is the stash of supplies I will now carry on the plane with me (if I go):

My supplies while traveling
My supplies while traveling

Tuesday, 12:39pm, 5 days until trip

I get the board’s plan. There is nothing in it that would impact my travel plans. It is geared at parents and kids. Thirteen reported cases of coronavirus in Texas. Twelve in Colorado where the boys plan to be. So far only one in Wisconsin. Six hundred forty seven cases nationwide with 25 deaths recorded. Eighty-three cases are travel related. Tomorrow I happen to be visiting our pediatrician for my son’s annual physical. I plan on asking him for his advice. 

Wednesday, 3:16pm, 4 days until trip

I ask my pediatrician if I should travel and if the boys should travel. He’s another very rational person. He says absolutely. No problem, have a great trip. Finally! Some good news! He said he thinks way more people have the coronavirus but because it’s so mild in most people, they think they just have a cold. He said it’s not affecting children much at all. He said if you were over 60 and had a lung infection, you’d have to be careful. I’m still a little concerned, but I’m doing better. I’m doing extra meditation to calm myself down. I’ve got my drugs, but now I’m concerned that I’ll touch my eyes without realizing because, well, I do a lot of things without realizing it when I take my drugs. (Don’t worry, I have a legitimate prescription). 

Fifteen reported cases in Texas. Seventeen in Colorado. Total cases: 938 with 29 total deaths. Ninety-two cases related to travel. I’m going to wait another day to make my decision final.

The bad news? I guess Houston cancelled the rodeo. I was actually a little bit hoping I could go to that this year.

Thursday, 8:48pm, 3 days until trip

Last night Trump banned travel for Europeans coming into the US. The NBA has been suspended. March Madness will be played in empty arenas. My ex and I talked last night and he is still very, very concerned. I’m not really sure what to do still. I’ve talked with other frequent travelers and they say things are looking pretty normal in airports still. If you shut off your TV, all seems normal in the outside world. I may have a chance to witness this on my own on Sunday. As of now, the trip is still on. I’m going to post this now, as it’s my day to post. Stay tuned for next week’s post to see how things have gone! In the meantime, post a comment below. Tell me what you would do if you were me!