Day 5 Of Montana to South Africa Amid The Latest COVID Outbreak
I had planned a trip to South Africa all year long and booked my tickets in October for the trip. Shortly into December the announcement of the latest COVID Outbreak was announced. The Omicron, and it had apparently originated from South Africa.
So now the difficult decision making part was at the tips of my fingers. Do I cancel my trip or do I take precautions and head out on the adventure of a lifetime? I chose to go. I made sure I did my required testing no sooner than 72 hours before travel, watched any symptoms I may get, and watched the news. The news was the most difficult part. Just a wash of confusion every time i tuned in. So I stopped.
The airports were pretty secure, everyone in masks and sanitizer everywhere. The biggest concerns were the long lines we were waiting in. I did the most logical thing and signed up for the "CLEAR" option for travel. It was free for two weeks and you can cut in line and get through security faster. Considering the Denver Airport was a nightmare for long lines, I was happy to just skip ahead and have less risk of people interaction.
Denver to Newark, NJ. I had a seven hour layover that turned into 9 hours and a 14 1/2 hour flight ahead of me. Newark was just as cautious as the other two airports I had been in. Masks, sanitizer, and social distancing (kind of).
The bars and restaurants at all the airports were packed. The only places that you could have your mask off and not get looked down upon. And people were definitely taking advantage of it.
My flight was long, not too crowded and felt sanitary so I was able to sleep for a majority of it. Lots of families and people going home for the holiday and a few of us looking to spend the holiday internationally.
The Johannesburg Airport upon arrival was empty. Our flight was the only one there and the precautions at that airport were much more strict than any of the US airports. No options for food or drinks, masks, and sanitizer, temperature checks, and social distancing was actually in place.
I had finally arrived, got through customs, and on with my vacation and holiday to meet some wonderful people. Merry Christmas from across the ocean.