I excel at worrying about things before they happen. My family and several friends will confirm that.
When I read Matthew Klint’s piece Wednesday about an autistic three-year-old getting removed from a Southwest flight because he wouldn’t wear a mask, I instantly worried about traveling with my own three-year-old.
We have no trips planned, so I’m worrying about something long before it’s even a possibility.
What has me worried? My three-year-old (who has no health issues) doesn’t love wearing her mask for more than, oh, five minutes. (I don’t love wearing a mask for more than five minutes!)
So I instantly catastrophized that our first flight will turn into a poo-show: She’ll take off her mask on the plane, it’ll create a stir, then we’ll get kicked off. What if it happens after we take off? What if we’re the reason our flight gets diverted?
(But on the positive side, it’d make a great blog post!)
Required Masks Are Here for an Extended Stay
I doubt airlines will lift their mask restrictions anytime soon.
René wrote yesterday, “I think by spring next year we will have things falling into place. I think by the end of summer 2021, we will see results showing [the pandemic] will end.”
I think that’s a reasonable assumption.
But even when a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available, that doesn’t mean airlines, hotels, cities, and other bodies will instantly drop mask-wearing rules.
It’ll take a while for people to get vaccinated — and then receive a booster, if necessary.
Bloomberg reports, “Even if the most optimistic projections hold true and a Covid-19 vaccine is cleared for U.S. use in November, the vast majority of Americans won’t be able to get the shots until spring or summer next year at the earliest.”
Plus, some people will refuse vaccination. (I know at least one person who absolutely will not get the injection. He says it’ll enable the government to trace him.)
So I don’t expect airlines and hotels to loosen up their mask requirements until late 2021 at the very earliest, or sometime in 2022.
Our Plan for Now
Unless there’s some urgent need, my family likely won’t travel until we’re vaccinated against COVID-19. By that time, my three-year-old will probably be four. (Hopefully, it doesn’t take until her fifth birthday before the world is safe from COVID-19!)
So she’ll have at least a somewhat different temperament when we travel again. Hopefully, for the better.
My wife and I decided our first family trip involving a plane ride will be somewhere “nearby.” We’ll take a short trip from LAX or Burbank to the Bay Area or Las Vegas. We have family or friends in both locations and would love to visit them.
If my daughter can tolerate wearing a mask in the airports and onboard short flights, then we’ll test our luck with a trip to Boise or Minneapolis.
We tend to gamify to many things (“The first one to the dinner table wins!” or “Who will win the race to put on their pajamas?”). My kid hates losing, so maybe we’ll gamify the extended mask-wearing.
If you have a young child — or work with kids — what’s your plan for dealing with mask-wearing? Please share your tips and suggestions in the Comments section below!
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