Two weeks ago yesterday I had resigned myself to the fact that I wasn’t leaving Mexico anytime soon. Two weeks ago today I found out I could get travel health insurance from the company I usually use that covered COVID-19 if I traveled to the USA. Two weeks ago today my flight was booked. I purchased the health insurance and reserved the Wenatchee Valley Shuttle. Talk about things changing overnight……
My adventure began at 4 am on Monday when Raúl came by to drive me to the airport. After weeks of sanitizing mats, having my temperature checked everywhere and drowning in antibacterial gel, I was surprised that none of these measures were being taken at the airport. There was no physical distancing either. In the waiting area at the gate, there were seats blocked off for physical distancing. However people merely sat down in them anyways despite the clearly labelled tape on them.
My favorite airline is Alaska but that would mean traveling to Guadalajara or Puerto Vallarta first. That would also mean an extra airport. I opted for American Airlines that flies out of Aguascalientes and has a decent connection to get me to Seattle. This airline does not block off middle seats and the flight was completely full. Thankfully everyone wore masks without complaint.
When we landed in Dallas it was business as usual. No health questionnaire. Other than people wearing masks, there was no physical distancing or antibacterial gel anywhere. Once again a completely full flight to Seattle. No objections to the masks either.
When I arrived at SeaTac, the airport was much quieter than usual. When I took the Wenatchee Valley Shuttle to Peshastin, there were only two of us although it was the last shuttle of the day.
This was my experience traveling during a pandemic. I’m thankful that my flights weren’t cancelled or delayed. But I must admit that I’m not looking forward to traveling again in the near future.
Like most people, I want things to revert to the way they were before COVID-19. I want my beach days in Puerto Vallarta back before heading up north in the spring. I want to divide my time equally between Leavenworth and Mexico with side trips to Canada to see my children and my granddaughter. But right now that is only a dream.
On Saturdays I read the obituaries section in The Winnipeg Free Press, my hometown newspaper in Canada. I often recognize familiar names of people in my past, many of whom I’ve lost touch with over the years.
Decades ago I took a Creative Writing class in college. One of our assignments was to write our own obituary. At the time my children were young and I recall struggling with this concept.
Eight years ago I actually did write my own obituary. It was just before I had my first knee replacement. My mother had died from complications after having that surgery, and I was terrified that the same fate awaited me.
Well, I survived that first surgery and the following year I had my other knee replaced. That obituary was tossed long ago.
My children and I live thousands of miles apart in different countries. They know very little about my life, other than that I divide my time between somewhere in Mexico and Leavenworth, Washington. They have never visited me in either place and have not met many of my closest friends, nor have they seen the places where I’ve lived. I don’t think either of them can quite understand why I chose to stay in Mexico rather than return to Canada during a pandemic. And they have voiced the idea that I must have a death wish if I want to go back to Leavenworth rather than return to Canada.
Recently the topic of obituaries has arisen when I talked with friends who also live far away from their families and have similar circumstances. Perhaps a bit on the morbid side, but we wonder what our children would say about us if they had to write our obituaries today.
In all honesty, I have trouble just keeping up with holographic wills because I move around so much. Writing an obituary is the last thing on my mind right now.
Aguascalientes has now changed from red to orange on the virus map. Trudeau is keeping the Canadian border closed. Leavenworth seems farther away now.
But I’d rather be where I am today than where I was seven years ago on this date.
Seven years ago today I was having surgery at Concordia Hospital in Winnipeg, my second knee replacement.
Another memory. Eight years ago today I was also in Winnipeg. It was the day before my first knee replacement.
Today I just returned from a short walk to the Cocina. My fridge is now full of fresh vegetable and fruit salads, chicken and pasta.
Today is June 17 and I am living in Aguascalientes in the midst of a pandemic, creating more memories.