A Change in Altitude Changes Pandemic Attitude


Nellie Fallon

It was so good to see the beautiful clouds, sun, and buildings from a high perspective. This picture was taken right after take off mid- afternoon.

Nellie Fallon

The pandemic has ruined traveling around the world. It’s a sad thing because thousands of planes were grounded and the airlines were shut down. It meant that the airlines and workers were on furlough and weren’t able to work. My mom works for Delta Airlines and we have the benefits to just hop on a plane and go anywhere for free. Before the pandemic, I had traveled to Florida in November 2019 and Las Vegas in January 2020. I didn’t think anything of a pandemic and how it would stop people from traveling around the world. 

Shortly after my last trip everyone was quarantined and airports shut down.

We wanted to go somewhere right when she shut down, but my dad had restrictions for his job and wasn’t allowed to leave Erie County. I was upset because I was really looking forward to getting away. 

There was so much that I missed about being able to be on a plane again. I missed the feeling of looking out the window and seeing the clouds while listening to music. When the plane starts to move down the runway I get a happy feeling in my stomach and smile. I usually sit on an aisle seat because I let my sister sit next to me because she loves the window seat. When the plane lands it’s an even better feeling because you know you made it to your destination and you get so excited. I really missed the smell of the engine.

Finally in July, my family and I flew to Myrtle Beach. It’s a summer family tradition we didn’t want to break. It felt weird to leave Erie because of the restrictions here. In Myrtle Beach it felt like everyone forgot about the virus and everyone was acting normal. It felt good to see some normal people. My mom was aware of the states that had different restrictions. She has a list that has the quarantine states on it and Myrtle Beach wasn’t one of them. She would have taken me and my family somewhere that isn’t safe.  

After being stuck in the house for months, it was enjoyable and I was glad we were able to go. 

I think the pandemic has made people think differently and especially about traveling. People are staying at home because they have a fear of flying. They think it’s not safe to do so.  People don’t want to be around large crowds and many are cautiously wearing masks. Those afraid to fly think the plane is dirty, but the airlines have to have strict procedures. If it wasn’t safe to fly during the pandemic then the airports would be shut down and no one would be able to travel. 

The pandemic didn’t stop me and my family from flying. We were fine and made sure we were cautious while out of town. We wore our masks on the plane because we were told it was required. 

I realized a lot of people were traveling when I was. Hand sanitizer stations were all over the airport. There are stickers on the seats where you couldn’t sit to encourage social distance. Everyone I saw was wearing masks. Delta Airlines can only fly at half capacity which means they have to keep close counts so they don’t put too many people on the plane. They will get in trouble if they do. 

Last month we flew to Utah for three days. I was so grateful and realized that not a lot of people can do what I do. 

Getting away to Utah was a great opportunity and I was able to finally feel normal, even if it was just to go to a random hotel and lie by the pool. Traveling is a big part of my life and even just heading to a silly destination for a few days is amazing.

The pandemic has taught me that can’t have a virus hold me back from traveling because I can’t just stop living my life. Overall, the pandmeic has ruined lots of lives around the world. The travel industry has been greatly impacted, but nothing is going to stop people from traveling for work, to visit family or vacationing. There should be no fear in flying. Seeing people traveling next to me during this pandemic has given me a more positive attitude and the feeling that normalcy is just over the horizon.