We recently spent a long weekend in Key West. We didn’t really know what to expect. This was our first trip where we weren’t planning to try to actively avoid crowds. After all, we’re both fully vaccinated now, and we don’t need to spend time away from everyone else anymore.
The COVID-era things we still did on this trip were driving instead of flying and dining outside. The first was because we planned this as a road trip and the second because it’s relatively easy to eat outside in Key West.
As we walked from the Kimpton Ridley House to Duval St., it didn’t take very long for us to notice that hardly anyone was wearing masks. It was about 30% masked to 70% maskless. When people went inside, almost everyone wore a mask.
Since one of the main activities of Key West is hanging out in bars drinking, there were no masks evident at any of these locations. As the night went on and the people got drunker, the amount of mask-wearing went down even more.
As I looked closer, it seemed that there were two main groups of people traveling. The first ones were the people who were going places the whole time—the ones who have been partying in bars and never wanting to wear a mask. Whatever the reasoning for their actions, these people acted the same as they had for the whole pandemic.
The second group was the recently vaccinated, ourselves included. I spoke to a few people during the trip (which in its own right was pretty amazing – I stood close enough to people form outside my home and spoke with them!), and several of them told me that it was their first time traveling since COVID. Now that they were vaccinated, they felt it was OK to go on a trip. Some people flew and another couple I talked with owned an RV.
We’re getting adjusted to being around crowds again. It didn’t feel normal for people to be standing so close like they were when we watched the sunset from Mallory Square. Eventually, I got over it and stood watching the sunset. I even took a picture of the couple standing next to us with their phone. How quickly things can change.
Where does that leave everyone else? What if you’re not vaccinated but want to travel? My suggestion would be to wait until you’re vaccinated. If you can’t or don’t want to get the vaccine, you’re going to have to wait until cases have dropped dramatically, which hopefully will happen sometime later this year.
Otherwise, you’re going to be around people who don’t care about COVID or those who are re-learning to live a vaccinated life. Both groups don’t care as much about social distancing or mask-wearing. If you still want to travel, go in knowing what it will be like. You might want to look into how to choose a location for a socially distanced vacation.
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#stayhealthy #staysafe #washyourhands #wearamask #getyourCOVIDvaccine
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary