Traveling for the first time since mid-March and the COVID-19 shutdown, I worried I’d have difficulty getting an Uber to take me to the airport. I was wrong. The Uber car arrived even quicker than usual. The driver wore a mask and there was sanitizer and cleaners available next to the seat I sat in. I had my own sanitizer spray and wipes too. He had his side window open a few inches, circulating the air. The driver was as nice as Uber drivers usually are and helped with my luggage. I felt perfectly comfortable and safe.
On this late Sunday morning, Chicago’s O’Hare airport seemed a ghost town. Social distancing was quite easy, with so few people in the terminal. Staff were present to assist with check in and staff were visibly cleaning as I walked through the terminal to get to my gate. The airport was really clean and smelled fresh. I even visited the ladies room, as I arrived early and had quite a long wait. I thought that the check in process might be slower than usual, with the 6 feet distancing and other safety measures in place. Again, I was wrong.
I was pleasantly surprised. Check-in with TSA pre-check took about 5 minutes in total. The gate was in a rather remote area of the terminal. I walked for some time and saw fewer than 10 people along the way, and most were airport staff. Arriving at my gate, there were 8 people other than me in a span of three gates. I walked past darkened Starbucks and other food venues - none of them were open. I was thankful that my two apples had not been confiscated at the security check. With a couple hours to spare, I knew that those apples would be enjoyed.
I felt blessed that the experience was peaceful, safe, clean and seamless. I didn’t really miss the noise, chaotic feel and all the people sitting on floors and pretty much heavily packed into the airport of the past. I do hope that the usual bustle and vibrancy of a busy airport seemed a thing of the past. Perhaps a new normalcy that is somewhere in the middle will be the future - Vibrant, orderly and busy, with less of the chaos and packed in feeling?
Time will tell……….
Sharing the light,