Words of
Encouragement & Hope
Submitted by Pat Burke

Traveling During a Pandemic

Earlier this year we were making plans to go away in the summer, and those plans included a visit in August to our son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren in Seattle. Needless to say, the onslaught of the pandemic cancelled all plans. Our kids wanted us to shelter in place and take care of ourselves and we did too!

Fast forward to early July, and our son was diagnosed with a melanoma on his ankle that required surgery, a skin graft and being incapacitated for up to two weeks. Would I feel comfortable coming to help was the ask. I did my research and discovered Delta was considered the safest airline to fly because of all the health and safety protocols Delta put in place. In fact, we watched a newscast on Delta’s air filtration system and the bottom line was: You are safer on the plane then in the grocery store. I went and my initial two weeks turned into four.

I felt very comfortable at both airports and on both flights. People kept their distance and wore masks without incident. I felt comfortable at my son’s as they had been working from home and pretty much sheltering in place. My granddaughter was in day care but the private facility was taking all necessary precautions and had no incidents of any kind since the beginning of the pandemic. My grandson was in a nanny share so the family and nanny asked me to have a Covid-19 test as I came from a high risk state, plus I had flown. I did.... no wait..... and two days later I had my negative results.

Whenever I walked or went to the grocery store, I saw people wearing masks and I was impressed because in other areas it seems to be such a contentious issue.

Fortunately, my son’s surgery went well and no indication of any spread of the melanoma. When I left he was almost back to normal. The help I was able to provide made it worth the minimal chance I took to travel there. And of course, it was so great to spend time with my grandchildren, as well as their parents. I got my visit, just not the way originally planned!

On August 21, they flew to Austin, Texas as they are relocating their home. Because they have both been able to successfully work from home, their companies approved a move, they did not need to continue to live in Seattle to perform their jobs.

At this writing, neither company has determined a return to work date. As Cassie is from Texas and Kevin went to graduate school at UT, it had always been their desire to go back to Texas even as they had happily started new jobs and a new life in Seattle six years ago. In this case, the pandemic worked in their favor.

My purpose in writing this is not to encourage travel, but to share that if there is a need that anyone might feel outweighs the risk, there are precautions being taken within the travel industry to ensure a safe journey. Also, schools can be safe given the right protocols and parents who cooperate by following the CDC guidelines. Also, good things can happen in a pandemic. There is hope!

The light of God surrounds us;
The love of God enfolds us;
The power of God protects us;
The presence of God watches over us;
Wherever we are, God is!
James Dillet Freeman

Pat Burke