It has been 2 years since Covid affected all aspects of life, globally. Businesses, schools and lives have all been altered into a new “normal” that we live in today. Travel had so many rules and restrictions and many international borders were closed to tourists. Until now. As the world slowly reopened, like many others, I was eager to travel again.
I recently traveled to Phuket, Thailand (upcoming blog post about that experience coming soon.) I checked the restrictions on the embassy site, booked my flight and grabbed my passport. I was so excited for new adventures and fulfilling my wanderlust dreams.
The first leg of my trip was from Incheon Airport in Korea with a layover in Bangkok and then to my final destination, Phuket. Korea to Bangkok was uneventful, as far as flights go. It was a fully booked plane but at least I had an aisle seat, which was a plus. Upon landing in Bangkok, Immigration carefully inspected my paperwork, Covid Vaccinations and all other neccessary required entry documents. All set and I happily boarded my connecting flight to my final destination.
Prior to my flights, I wasn’t able to pre-select my seats as the airline app was glitching. To my joy and surprise, on this last short trip, I had an aisle seat again, in a fully booked plane. I noticed a group of 3 men seated in the middle row next to me. The man seated aisle seat was less than a foot away from me in proximity. They had a fondness for removing their masks and having animated conversations. The flight attendant had to remind them quite a few times to wear their masks. After take off, the passenger seated next me decided it would be a good time to take off her mask and doze off. The diligent flight attendant woke her and reminded her to wear her mask. A man seated 2 seats ahead of me had his mask off as well. The same sweet flight attendent asked him to secure his mask. He did so, but as soon as she was out of earshot and vision, he mumbled “Stupid Bitch” and lowered his mask to his chin. Wow, such a tough guy… so many actions but lacked the courage to act this way in front of her.
I sat on the 2 hour flight in disbelief and anger over what I was witnessing. Had everyone forgotten that we have been in a pandemic that had shut down the entire world? Does being in a cramped airplane thousands of feet above ground escape us from reality? I watched the air staff become on board babysitters and gatekeepers who have become villanized for doing their job. A job that they would love to keep and also be protected from any illness that could affect them and their families.
Entitlement is something that irritates me and it reminded me of all the Karen type videos of passengers refusing to mask up that were all over the internet. I was seeing it from a smaller scale. Traveling again is recent and it is a privilege to be able to do so. I understand the discomfort and frustration of wearing masks, trust me, I despise it just as much as everyone else. However, how hard is it to follow the rules? Countries graciously, yet hesitantly reopened for tourism again and actions like these could jeapordize that. These actions were all from tourists and not from the locals. This is an embarrasing and horrible way to represent the country that you are from.
Wearing a mask in annoying but it’s not hard. It really isn’t as difficult as some people make it out to be. In fact, I can guarantee that you or I have done things in our lives that is far more difficult or inconvenient than putting on a mask. I cannot understand why people go bat sh!t crazy over this. Go ahead and call me a sheeple, I dont care. We follow rules on a daily basis, whether it be at your job, school or societal norms. We wear seatbelts becasue it’s the law. We cross the streets at crosswalks when the light says to walk. We obey traffic signals. We turn our assignemts or deadlines in on time. We don’t break the law or commint criminal acts. So, why is wearing a mask the absolute most difficult thing in the world to do and why must there be such a backlash against it? It’s actually one of the most simple things that is asked of us. Flying? Just wear the mask, it’s easy.
Throughout airports and during flights, announcements are made constantly regarding Covid safety and mandatory mask use. Its hard not to miss. Upon booking the flight, one is reminded of the required Covid protocols for each destination. You are essentially agreeing to these terms prior to and during travel.
Whether or not you believe in Covid, vaccinations, its a hoax, conspiracy, set up etc… that’s not up for debate. Talk and moan about it to your friends, don’t bring it on board. It’s selfish and shows a complete lack of regard to anyone else other than yourself. Even if you have no concern of your own health, I would like to be healthy and live a long life, thank you very much. Your stance on the matter has nothing to do with following the rules and regulations for the safety of other passengers and crew members. If you can’t abide by the terms or disagree with it, stay home.
With that said, if you are traveling and enjoying a vacation, please be respectful and mindful of others. No one actually wants to wear a mask, you’re not the only one who is being made to do so. Everyone is tired of it too. I’m certainly not wearing mine because it is entertaining, fashionable and enjoyable. I want to continue to travel the world, explore and have adventures. Let’s not jeopardize this experience. We are much stronger and can fight this together as long as we are all on the same page.
Happy Summer and Safe Travels!
~ In a world full of pants, be a dress~