We were hardly breaking any new ground traveling on our first airplane flight since the start of COVID. It was July 2021. And unlike a year before, when the news reported nearly empty airports and planes, things looked relatively normal. The aircraft was packed, and the airports were almost bustling.
There were differences, of course. Everyone was masked. Both in the airports and on the plane. The flight attendant handed out packaged disinfectant wipes, cocktail napkin safety reminders, and this all-in-one snack bag. I’ve all but given up Coke, which used to be my favorite drink. I now substitute with carbonated water.
A mask is no big deal for me, and wearing it a half an hour or so at the local Costco imposes no difficulties. However, I discovered that wearing one for 16 hours was different. Between the flight delays and the transit to Hawaii, I found that the mask straps dug painfully into the back of the ears. Still, despite these minor inconveniences, it was great to fly, and I felt lucky.
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