On Thursday, I decided to go through with my plans to visit my long-term boyfriend in Austin, Texas. I planned the trip during winter break for the weekend of my university's spring break so that I would not miss responsibilities or obligations in Ohio.
Days before I left, and as the COVID-19 pandemic grew and the future of my obligations became uncertain, I started to second guess if I should continue on my trip. My classwork was online, my internship was sourced online, and my friends had left for their homes elsewhere.
After speaking with family, I decided to move forward with my trip. Ultimately, it came down to the fact that I would have all my responsibilities with me in Texas and a place I could stay for the time being if the state of Ohio went on a complete lockdown.
I was scheduled to fly out of Detroit Metropolitan airport at 6:49 p.m. I arrived at 5, expecting to wait a while to make my way through security. The gates were empty. At a prime time for flights and busy foot-traffic throughout the airport, security was empty. I walked through security with ease and noticed no one was wiping the bins down after travelers touched them. They seemed very laid-back, definitely not how I was expecting in the midst of a pandemic.
After walking through security, I was overwhelmed. There were very few travelers looking for their departure gates, and the typically chaotic airport atmosphere was replaced with an eerie quietness.
Restaurants and stores inside the airport were closed. No additional cleaning was being done, and the only sign of a global pandemic was travelers with masks walking through the airport.
In my opinion, there was no sense of urgency nor any sense of concern by the staff at the airport. They were not wearing gloves, masks, or even wiping down surfaces touched by others. My biggest concern was that they were not taking temperatures of people passing through security.
If the number one symptom for COVID-19 is a temperature and cough, why were the temperatures of travelers not being taken? Won't this continue the spread of the virus especially in close confines? In my mind, if the virus is to be isolated in only certain places and can be so easily transmitted from person to person, then there should definitely be more done to prevent the spread.
- Haley Weis