Corona Vacation?


Cody Bryden

It’s almost time for spring break. The snow is melting out and the birds are starting to fly north, headed for their nesting grounds. The news says something about Covid-19, but very few seem to think much about it. As spring break rolls around, families leave the cold of Alaska and head for the warmth of the outside world. Suddenly, borders start closing and travel bans are made; striking fear into everyone who has left the country on spring break. 

My family had left Alaska two days before spring break started. We headed down to Costa Rica to enjoy the warmth and try to turn us to a-little-less pasty white. Long Alaskan winters do that to some of us. Flying to Seattle and then through Los Angeles wasn’t that bad. Very few people were wearing masks. While people were trying to avoid others, it wasn’t much different than normal travel. However, upon flying into San Jose, we were asked if we had visited Italy, China, or Iraq in the last 14 days. After responding “no” and giving our papers to customs, we were let into the country. 

While we were enjoying our week in Los Suenos and Quepos, the news kept warning everyone about the Coronavirus. Then, we were informed of travel bans that were getting set in Europe and other parts of the world. We decided we would wait for a few more days and hope that we’d be able to leave on our booked flights. 

On the day that we had our flights, we showed up at the airport with hopeful spirits. Our flight switched gates three times before we could board. The flight didn’t have a single empty seat. We flew back into LAX and had our temperatures checked as soon as we left the plane. After passing through the screening, we went through customs to get back into the US. Lucky for us, my father is a frequent flyer, so he was able to get us into an Alaskan Airline lounge for our long layover. While we were in the airport, I noticed that only about one in ten people were wearing a mask. We didn’t have any on due to the fact that we hadn’t packed any or found any in Costa Rica. 

Finally, our next flight directly to Anchorage was boarding. There was a waiting list of over twenty people trying to get any leftover seats on the plane. But once again, it was a fully booked flight. Upon landing in Anchorage, we all changed into clean clothes, thoroughly washed our hands, and then went home. We spent the next 14 days in a self-quarantine, except for the times I was sent to the store to get food. I was always the one sent because I was the least likely to get it due to my age and health. After our 14 days, the state of Alaska went into lockdown with no travel to other communities. None of my family got the virus, but it was one nerve-racking experience I’ll never forget.