This past summer, I had a travel experience that has had me reflecting on the past year.
We arrived at the Canadian border eager to visit my oldest daughter and her husband who had moved to Toronto last October. The borders had finally opened up, and we had everything in place for a smooth crossing. So we thought.
Passport Number: Check
Vaccination Card: Check
Negative Covid Test: Check
ArriveCan App Complete: Check
We pulled up to Border Patrol with documents in hand.
“The date of David’s second vaccine was on August 15. Two weeks have not passed.”
We look at each other confused. I was certain she put in the correct dates.
My husband, trying to be helpful. “No officer, that must be my third shot. I just got a booster. Here is my vaccination card with the correct dates," he explains proffering his card.
The border agent dismissed our pleas: “It’s not what you have in ArriveCan.”
No problem. I frantically try to sign into ArriveCan to correct my error. “Ma’am, put down your phone, now.”
“I’ll just change it, no problem.”
“Ma’am, do not touch the ArriveCan app!!” Said with more force, as if I were wielding a weapon instead of a smartphone.
He shakes his head with disgust at our seeming lack of preparation. Then he gets to our Covid tests. Shaking his head back and forth in absolute disbelief at these dumb Americans, he sneers pointing to me and my daughter. “Boy, you two ladies are really messed up. You need the PCR test, not this antigen test.”
“What’s the difference?”
By this time, it’s clear that we are not making it over the Canadian border; we desperately ask: “Is there anywhere we can get a PCR test?”
"If you’ll pay, yes!" We turned around, found the closest rapid PCR test, which was a pop-up stand set up for fools exactly like us. Five hours and $450 later, we made it over the border. The second border agent waved us effortlessly in not once looking at the ArriveCan app!
This snag in our plans required us to pivot as we all have over and over and over again in ways large and small. This last year has taught us to be flexible and prepared to change on a dime.
Can’t do your a cappella fundraiser in person? Create an online competition, and open it up to more schools and even college groups.
Can’t go on your church’s mission trip? Volunteer at a local food bank and learn about Covid’s impact on food insecurity.
Get deferred or denied from your early school? Focus on your other great options and be open to all the possibilities.
Find yourself struggling with the full demands of in-person high school? Figure out if it’s academic or mental health-related. Be proactive: get extra help, adjust your study skills, or find someone to talk to. Be kind to yourself as we are all struggling to adjust to these changing realities.
We’ve all had to dig deeper and deeper into our resiliency reserves, and at times, it’s not easy. But we keep pushing because there are still some remarkable things that will happen in 2022.
Lisa and the CBM Team