It's 2020. So many things that we took for granted without a second thought, now make us ponder for hours before making a decision.
Is it safe to go for a walk outside? How do I get my groceries? Should I take the bus/train? How should I get my prescriptions? Can I eat at a restaurant? Etc, etc, etc!
What about travel? Most of it has been decided for us. No one is going to Europe this summer. They don't want us! That exotic cruise down some river or ocean? Forget it! It's been cancelled and no one has a clue to when that will be safe, if ever! Airplanes? Even if the plane itself has been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, what about the airport itself?
But what about the simple old school road trip? Let's go back to the vacation of our youth when families piled into their station wagons and hit the road. You didn't stop except for gas, bathrooms and maybe food until you reached your destination. Niagara Falls, here we come!
Can we safely do that during the pandemic of 2020?
Some things are safer now than they were in the good old days. in fact most things are safer. Those station wagons have been replaced by SUVs. Everyone in the car has a seat. No more piling kids in the luggage space where they'll be sliding around. Can you imagine doing that now? It's a wonder more people didn't die in the GOOD old days! Everyone also has a seat belt. Phew! We're all buckled in and secure.
Okay...so the ride will be safe. What happens when you get to your location? You'll need a place to sleep, right? How safe is the hotel/motel/lodge/bed & breakfast/whatever? How secure would you feel staying in one of these establishments? Are you scared? Are you scared AF?!!
Last Sunday I was reading the travel section of the Chicago Tribune. A story featured a little town in southwest Wisconsin that is known for their cheese...and more specific grilled cheese sandwiches. It's a short three hour ride from Chicago. It's very doable. Yeah, I know we can drive up early, spend the day eating grilled cheese and then come home, but it's a lot easier to spend one night up there in a hotel. We found this very cute place for a very reasonable price. Under normal circumstances it would be a done deal. Of course, under normal circumstances, we would have been to Alaska and this column would be moot. So, before committing to this plan, I wanted to see if people have been staying in hotels during the pandemic. I wanted to hear their experiences. So I went to the place where people gather...
I asked the simple questions:
Have you stayed in a hotel during the pandemic?
Did you see extra precautions?
Did you feel safe?
Boy, did I get answers!
Plenty of people have stayed in hotels. Most of the establishments have taken extra precautions with their cleaning...at least that's what they'll tell you. The travelers have brought their own sheets, pillows and towels. They've been using disinfectant on counters, furniture and bathrooms. Those who have stayed have felt safe. CHECK!!! One point for going.
On the other hand, just as many have decided not to do this. The reasons range from having pre-exisiting conditions that make them feel unsafe to just being nervous and not wanting to add any additional risk in this uncertain time. All legitimate reasons!
I did hear from someone who works for a hotel chain and she told me this:
"We have modified all cleaning and disinfecting procedures down to not putting things in the room that would cause cross contamination, following CDC guidelines for hotels as well as partnering with Lysol for out new 'clean stay initiative.' We go above and beyond our normal cleaning which was abundantly through to begin with. Stay with us, you are safe. I promise."
Hmmm...okay. I feel better now...or would if I was staying at that chain.
The thing that weirds me out about these answers is that a few of the people who have been the most neurotic about the pandemic and have been taking their precautions to the extreme, have decided to make the trip and stay in hotels. I guess having your own linen gives you an extra layer of security. Whatever works, right?
I don't know about this road trip as of yet. The room is booked, but we can cancel up to a day in advance without be charged. I'm going to call the hotel today to ask about what precautions they're taking, but I'm sure they'll give me the company line which they hope will make me feel better. Ehhhh!
I know the safe and sane thing is to stay home, avoid risk and go to Wisconsin when and if this pandemic thing cools down. But, man...you should see the photos of the grilled cheese. I mean, it's grilled cheese, people!
Related Post: Are you cancelling your cruise vacation?
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