Friday, 11 December 2020

Travel in Coronavirus times

We all survived

Since I returned to the UK in mid-January, I have been in Manchester without any travel out of my city until now. My good friend was asking yesterday, how I had managed to survive the self-imposed lockdown that I had put myself in long before our government had a clue about what was happening. I just did.

The only opportunity I was looking for since the world was turned upside down was the window to get away to South Africa and be with Brian, our tentative plans for Easter were shot by circumstances beyond our control and when we thought things might ease up in South Africa, there was no respite until recently.

Plans and tests

Then as things began to clear up for us to plan our rendezvous, two months away would have been the minimum to consider, but that was negotiated down, but not by much. If anything, we have learnt that the moments we have together must be cherished.

Travel in these pandemic times presents all sorts of issues, at first, South Africa was not going to accept leisure travellers from high incidence of infection and deaths areas, then that stipulation was adjusted to require a negative PCR SARS-CoV-2 result at the port of entry, then my airline issued a statement that I will not be allowed boarding without it.

There was no getting so far before you hit the hurdles. I booked a same-day test that cost a king’s ransom and still had to do a self-swab of my throat and then up my nose, supervised by a nurse. Picking up mucus from my throat and sticking it up my nose was the ultimate in yuckery (a neologism expressing of yuck and distaste), but needs must.

Travel experience changing

Rather than wait up for the result which was to be delivered by email anytime between 4:00 PM and midnight, I went to bed and by the time I was up around 10:00 PM, the negative result had been posted just over two hours before. Brian’s test in Zimbabwe had a quicker turnaround, but it meant we would indeed be meeting up he is arriving a day earlier than I.

The first leg was uneventful, the lounges do not present buffets anymore, you are served instead with the staff now coming to inform you when your flight is ready to board. I have been maintaining significant distancing though there are others who seem to be unconcerned. From Manchester to Paris, we only got a cup of water, no other service. I would hope that is not the change to be expected in the future.

My mind is at ease, I have a great longing and we would make the best of it. This thing called love is a crazily lifegiving and overwhelming force, I yield completely to it.

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