Travel During Covid

When I had to cancel my planned trip to Germany in April 2020, little did I know that travel in 2021 would continue to pose challenges. But after not having seen my Dad for over two years, this summer I decided to buy a ticket to fly to Europe, challenges or not.

Until I was able to fill out the airline’s required online paperwork a mere three days before my planned departure in early September, and receive confirmation that my immunization record as well as my destination and accommodation in Germany were approved, I wasn’t sure my plan would come to fruition, as recommendations and regulations were being adjusted constantly.

Even when I showed up at Denver International Airport many, many hours before my scheduled flight, I still wondered if the carrier or TSA would find a reason not to allow me to board. Much to my relief, they didn’t. But much to my dismay, the plane was full and there was no way to keep a safe distance from my fellow passengers. At least every person I saw seemed to be wearing his or her mask as required. Until food was served, when all the masks came off at once. Mine didn’t, as I waited until most my neighbors were done, and even then I replaced my mask after each sip or bite.

After ten very long hours in a very crammed space, the aircraft parked on the tarmac rather than a gate, and I spent another twenty claustrophobic minutes in a bus until we were dropped off at the terminal. Never mind the conspicuous signs asking riders to stay 1.5 meters away from one another. This might have worked with three or four buses, but the airline provided only one.

Flying overseas had never before been such a roller-coaster of emotions. After agonizing whether or not to proceed and feeling better once I made the decision to do so, I still didn’t know if the fluid Covid situation would preclude my trip until I was seated on the plane. But after enduring far too much extended closeness with strangers, I finally arrived safely in Frankfurt, where I was greeted by my Dad’s smiling face (at least he seemed to be smiling behind his mask).

I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to spend time with family and friends in Germany, especially in light of the latest virus news, and grateful not to have caught Covid. Apart from the sadness of having to part from my Dad, and the hassle and cost of needing to obtain an official Corona test, which wasn’t as straightforward as expected, my return trip to Colorado was far more pleasant than the outbound flight. The plane wasn’t full, I had no immediate neighbors, and was able to stretch out across three seats, a rare luxury.

As what was supposed to be a short introduction turned out too verbose, I won’t impose on your patience any longer. Instead, I will share some of my actual experiences in Germany in several future posts. Thank you for reading.

To enlarge a photo, click on it. To read its caption, hover the cursor over it.

PS: The featured photo above shows Denver International Airport with the pointed roofs of the Jeppeson Terminal and the ship-like Westin Hotel.

49 thoughts on “Travel During Covid

    • Ja, liebe Heike, das ist eine Sichtweise. Eine weitere ist die Tatsache, daß wir etwas Zeit zusammen verbringen konnten. Ich bin Dir sehr dankbar, daß Du die Reise aus Frankreich auf Dich genommen hast, um Dich mit mir zu treffen. ❤
      Deine Tanja

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Ja, liebe Tanja…wir sind mittlerweile ganz schön angefressen worden von diesem Ungeheuer, das überall lauern kann. Nur sich hier rein zu trauen ist schon eine große Leistung(!), leider sind wir nun ziemlich kaserniert, da unsere Regierung ja eine ganze Menge Anfängerfehler begangen hat, weil man zu sicher wurde. Auch ich husche nur noch wenig aus unserem Mauseloch hier oben an der Küste, mit niedrigen Infektionensraten, da ich auf ein spezielles Serum warte, das erst in 2022 zugelassen wird.
    Deutschland dieser Tage ist völlig anders, wie früher und in den südlichen Regionen fast nicht mehr lebenswert…
    wünsche Dir weiterhin schöne Adventstage…
    Werner

    Liked by 1 person

    • Danke, lieber Werner. Im Nachhinein ging alles, trotz einiger stressiger Situationen, relativ glatt, wofür ich sehr dankbar bin.

      Natürlich hätte unsere Reaktion auf Covid besser sein können, aber mit einer Pandemie diesen Ausmaßes hatte die Menschheit schon seit einem Jahrhundert keine Erfahrung mehr. Und außerdem gibt es zu viele Menschen, die glauben, alles besser zu wissen, und die keinerlei Solidaritätsgefühl haben, was die Situation noch erschwert.

      Doch ich hoffe, daß wir irgendwie und irgendwann dieses Virus in den Griff bekommen, und gleichzeitig auch unserer Verantwortung für unsere nicht minder bedrohte einzigartige Erde gerecht werden.

      Bleib gesund.
      Tanja

      Like

  2. Glad your trip went well.
    Alie is immune compromised and although we both have had our vaccinations and boosters, we are nervous and continue to take precautions as things become more crowded once again. I like your idea of keeping your mask on until the others are finished.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Boah, mir wird ganz anders wenn ich lese, was du auf dich genommen hast um deinen Papa wieder zu sehen.
    Gerade ist es hier wieder unerträglich, obwohl wir in Bremen noch am besten dastehen.
    Ich will es mal nicht beschreien.
    Gut, dass du dir nichts eingefangen hast.
    Viele liebe Grüße Brigitte

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dankeschön, liebe Brigitte. Im Nachhinein war es nur ein kleiner Preis, den ich zahlen mußte, doch ich bin dankbar, daß alles gut gegangen ist. Und daß ich im September geflogen bin, und nicht noch länger gewartet habe, denn jetzt wäre das Fliegen noch problematischer.
      Ich wünsche Dir, daß Du gesund bleibst, und uns allen, daß wir irgenwann mal das Covidkapitel schließen können.
      Sei herzlich gegrüßt,
      Tanja

      Liked by 2 people

  4. As soon as I glimpsed your first photograph it reminded me of the Cadet Chapel at the Air Force Academy not so far away. A search to refresh my memory led to an article pointing out that the chapel is undergoing a renovation that—like so many construction projects—is taking longer than expected:

    https://archinect.com/news/article/150289668/air-force-academy-chapel-restoration-hits-a-snag-as-construction-issues-abound

    I’m glad your trip went well, and obviously you survived. Look forward to hearing more details about Germany.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Hallo Tanja,
    ja das Fliegen ist problematisch – eigentlich alles !
    Mein Mann hat im September seine Mutter in Frankreich besucht – er kann davon auch ein Lied singen!
    Aber ich glaube in deinem wie auch in seinem Fall, war das ein Risiko, dass sich gelohnt hat, einzugehen!
    Ich hoffe, du hattest trotz Corona eine schöne Zeit und du hast, trotz der widrigen Umstände, schöne Erinnerungen, auf die du zurückblicken kannst!
    VG
    Christa

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Having visited our daughter in Berlin in September I can sympathise with you on the protocol needed to enter (and exit) other countries. Good job you didn’t stop over in the UK and have to fill out our crazy ‘passenger locator’ form (48 hours before entering and no sooner!). In comparison the German form was so easy.
    Then we flew direct, now we have booked to stay with her over xmas and are changing flights in Amsterdam. The amount of paperwork is incredible with three different forms just to change planes!
    And all this is before Omicron appeared on the scene. We have no idea what rules are going to be changed or even if we will be allowed to go…..sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That sounds very challenging, Brian. All things considered, despite the stresses, all things went as smoothly as possible, for which I’m grateful.
      I don’t envy your dilemma about having to decide whether or not to travel at Christmas. But I have a feeling the decision might be made for you. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m so happy for you that you were able to visit your family! I’m in the same boat as you were, with not having seen my family for 2.5 years now, though they are just in Wisconsin. My dad is immunocompromised and so they have had to be extra careful. We had flights booked for a few weeks ago but unfortunately my husband tested positive for Covid a few days before our flight. Thankfully he was vaccinated and so had a relatively mild case, but we obviously had to cancel our travel plans. Fingers crossed that our tentative plans for June work out!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Chelsea, I’m really glad I was able to go.
      Sorry to hear about your canceled trip. That must have been so frustrating. I’m glad your husband’s symptoms were mild. Let’s hope that the situation will be better again by next summer!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I think that any overseas trip would be very stressful in these Pandemic times. That said, how wonderful that you were able to meet up with your Dad and family. I have my first contract job at the airport since the Pandemic started. Got my third booster and will be wearing a mask!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hallo Tanja,
    schön, dass du wieder wohlbehalten in Amerika angekommen bist und du Zeit mit deinem Vater und anderen lieben Menschen verbringen konntest. Es ist schon scheußlich genug vor Ort, wenn man sich sorgt, ob die OP eines Familienmitglieds verschoben wird, weil so viele Impfverweigerer die Intensivstationen lahmlegen etc. etc. Aber wenn ich mir dann vorstelle, dass aufgrund der Pandemie monate- ja jahrelang Besuche/Flüge aufgeschoben werden müssen und man seine Familie nicht sehen kann… Schön, dass du kommen konntest. Ich freue mich auf die kommenden Beiträge.
    LG
    Anna

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dankeschön, liebe Anna. Ich bin dankbar, daß alles gut geklappt hat. Es ist natürlich schwer, wenn man weit von seiner Familie weg wohnt, und sie nicht besuchen kann. Aber wenn Menschen nicht im Krankenhaus behandelt werden können, weil die Kapazitäten wegen vermeidbarer Covidfälle ausgelastet bzw. überlastet sind, finde ich das noch schlimmer. Und daß all diejenigen, die im Gesundheitssystem arbeiten, so völlig überarbeitet sind. Es ist einfach zum Heulen.
      Bleib gesund,
      Tanja

      Liked by 2 people

  10. I am so glad your journey was Ok and you got to see your dad. I cannot imagine traveling at the moment except for such important family matters. The infection rate in Switzerland , Southern Germany and now the Alsace is really bad again. Everybody needs to get vaccinated if this pandemic is ever to end and we can travel without fear again.❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I’m so pleased that you were able to make the trip despite the current complications. It’s the sort of trip that sometimes needs to be made, despite it all. I hope you found your father in good health; I know the visit was lovely.

    Frankfurt brings back some travel memories for me, too. The only time I’ve sort-of slept overnight on an airport bench was in that airport. I was scheduled for London, but a blizzard set in and no one was going anywhere. In those days of no cell phones or internet, I remember most people amused themselves with books!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Linda. We both appreciated being able to spend time together. I have spent many hours in Frankfurt in the past, but was never caught there in a blizzard. But I remember the days of books very well. As a matter of fact, I always bring along a novel to read during the flight. When else does one have such a long chunk of time to get lost in a book? 📚

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi Tanja,
    Bingo! Your foto “first glimpses of the landscape near Frankfurt” caught the most German of Germany’s corners: The Loreley! Proof follows via e-mail with your shot next to the corresponding picture from Google Maps…;-)
    Love
    Arnim

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Sounds like a bit of an ordeal, but well done for putting yourself through it and re-uniting with your Dad. And, as Shakespeare puts it, All’s Well That Ends Well … a long awaited family reunion was enjoyed by all, and the virus was successfully avoided! Hopefully, by the time you visit Germany again, conditions on the flight will be easier to bear.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Mr. P. Shakespeare has something to say about every possible situation, doesn’t he? 😊
      I think we will have to get used to reacting whatever move this virus makes and adjust our lives accordingly. Sadly, there is no end in sight to this new reality.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. Well, congratulations for being so courageous and taking the trip!
    I’ve been flying to Latvia via Frankfurt from Canada here and there.
    I couldn’t convince myself to fly over to Latvia, although, there were a few moments when that could be done. Therefore, it’s been 3 years I haven’t seen my daughter, grandsons and sister’s family. It used to be so easy when I think back now, except, the flights were always very expensive.
    It really takes a lot of preparation and being ready to accept all kinds of requirements. It’s also strange that your plane was allowed to be completely full on the flight to Germany.
    I hope the future will be better and I will also get to see my family.
    At least, after reading your post, I can see that such trip can be done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Inese,
      Thank you for your comment. 3 years is a very long time not be able to see your family. For your sake, for the sake of all of us who live far away from our families, and especially for all of those who have sickened or even died, I hope that we will, somehow, be able to get a handle on this pandemic.
      Best wishes,
      Tanja

      Like

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