It’s been one year, two months and 27 days since I last saw my mother’s face in the flesh. 2020 was supposed to be our year. From the first day of January, my diary was sprinkled with family reunions and milestone events.
But then, Covid. The global pandemic brought the electric anticipation of seeing my nearest and dearest to a screeching halt.
三级成人视频Pop over for a socially distanced cuppa, you might say. If only I could.
三级成人视频There’s roughly 3,700 miles of big, blue ocean between my London flat and my family’s home in Washington, DC’s suburbs. But it’s not just the distance. There’s a thick barrier between us, and without an end date in sight.
The rules are, as you can imagine, hard to keep up with. Non-US citizens cannot enter the US三级成人视频 if they’ve been in the UK over the previous 14 days. US citizens are exempt, however, and can enter the US.
Whilst as an American my mother is technically allowed to enter the UK, the complications are endless. A 14-day quarantine and safety precautions for a woman in her 60s. Plus, stress.
But I have to count my blessings – I’m one of the lucky ones. As a young, healthy, dual citizen – British and American – I’m in a position where I am able to go, and can take the risk. Call me selfish, call me ignorant, call me a Covidiot – I’m getting on that plane to the US capital.
三级成人视频With the lightning-fast changes in lockdown tiers and restrictions, who knows what our day-to-day will look like in the foreseeable future. A long overdue socially-distanced catch up with my mother and elderly grandmother, face-to-face, is top of my priority list – not tiptoeing around grey-area ‘guidelines’. Life is too short to live in limbo, a constant personal battle of ‘should I’ or ‘shouldn’t I?’.
“Nonessential travel is discouraged at all times.” Yes, we know the drill by heart. But when you dive into the statistics, you can’t help but take a step back. Airports and planes are not Covid hotspots. Hear me out.
A recent report by the International Air Travel Association (IATA) found that only 44 cases of Covid-19 have been traced back to flights since the start of 2020. This is an extremely miniscule proportion of the 1.2 billion people who travelled by air during the same time period.
There’s a greater chance you’ll catch Covid perusing the cereal aisle at your local supermarket than buckling up for a trans-Atlantic flight.
A new survey from Harvard University found that airport and in-flight safety precautions have truly been effective at minimising the risk. "A layered approach, with ventilation gate-to-gate, reduces the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission onboard aircraft below that of other routine activities during the pandemic, such as grocery shopping or eating out,” it concluded.
Not to mention the Office of National Statistics, which found this week that the infection rate among those who travelled abroad in the past 30 days is roughly the same as that for people who stayed in the UK. Covid does not magically stop at the border, and the UK is far from an immunity bubble.
I’ve been open about my upcoming trip to the States in December. Whilst reactions have been mostly positive, every now and then the Covid travel guilt starts to creep in. One person said, “I don’t feel comfortable travelling, and it can be a bit selfish, but you do you.”
I get it, not everyone feels comfortable enough to travel – but also no one is making you.
I take precautions. I wear my mask, I sanitise, I’ll get tested before my journey and will arrange a test for the days after I touch down. I’ll be quarantining in our family home. My mother is an intensive care nurse, so I can assure you safety and personal hygiene guidelines will be adhered to at all times.
三级成人视频I’m well aware this won’t be a normal trip back to my hometown. There will be no weekend days at the beach or nights out with friends. And I’m OK with that.
My trip will consist of my little Covid quarantine bubble. An endless cosy movie marathon in, catching up on the last one year, two months and 27 days of our lives with my immediate family.
三级成人视频So let’s lay off the judgement. Axe the Covid travel shame. Let me see my family without the weight of travel guilt on my shoulders. If in my position, many of you would do the same.
At the end of the day, if you don’t have those memories with mum and grandma, what do you actually have? You do you, and I’ll do me.