Travel in the Time of COVID-19

I was an OCD child and teenager. Whenever mom, dad and I would travel, I would bring my own pillow and blanket. I was terrified of germs and I knew my sleeping supplies were clean. True story: I used to inspect silverware at restaurants and if I saw markings on them, I would ask for a new set of utensils. I was a joy to travel with.

I could get away with bringing my pillow and blanket because my parents would drive to our destinations. Whether it was New Jersey or Baltimore, it was easy to get back and forth. Even when I traveled with mom on business, I would do the same thing.

That all changed when I started traveling by myself in 2011. I don’t drive and packing my pillow became too much on flights, especially since flights would charge extra for extra suitcases. I probably could have gotten away with a pillow on a bus and train, but by 2011 I wasn’t thinking about it even though I was missing my pillow and blanket.

Dear readers, that is changing this year and I’m channeling that OCD younger me, the younger me that wasn’t ashamed of her OCD tendencies and wasn’t told to let them go like she was in college. When I go to Belmar in 11 days, I am packing my pillow, a light blanket, and extra towels. I’m only going for three days, so I don’t need to pack a lot of clothes. Mom is letting me use one of her bigger suitcases so I can pack my pillow. I won’t get charged extra on the bus.

When mom and dad went to Cape May last month, they did the same thing. My dad is OCD and usually doesn’t go that far, but they thought bringing their own pillows and towels was important. They stayed in a motel, I’m staying in an Air BNB.

I will be extra careful this summer. I will bring my cloth mask and I’ll bring paper masks for the beach. I am also packing hand sanitizer, along with my sunscreen. I will still have fun while being careful.

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Creator of the Happiness Box Project Initiative, a project where you write your happiness or gratitude each day, then open the box in the New Year. The Initiative is to teach joy and gratitude, to pass it on to others.

One thought on “Travel in the Time of COVID-19”

  1. Hi, Jessica Marie!

    I think it’s perfectly reasonable for a person to ask for different silverware in a restaurant if theirs don’t appear to be clean. I would do it! I also agree with your parents decision and yours to, whenever possible, take along your personal pillow, blanket and towels from home when you go away on a trip. Given the deadly nature of the virus, there’s no such thing as being too careful, in my opinion. I just read guidelines describing the proper way to wear a face mask to help ensure protection along with rules for putting the mask on, taking it off and storing it. I recommend that you brush up on those instructions before you leave for Belmar. I also read a warning not to use hand sanitizers that contain methanol because that chemical is poisonous when absorbed into the skin.

    Did you know that today, July 7, is Blackout Day? Thank you for helping make my diversity post the most successful post I’ve run in recent years, with lively discussions breaking out all over the comment section. Enjoy the rest of your week, dear friend JM!


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