Greetings from Southern California! It’s beginning to feel like Groundhog’s Day and sadly, I don’t see things changing for a while. I’m obviously not the only one. The airline industry doesn’t expect to fully rebound now until 2024. Previously, it was 2023. I wish I had better news but it’s best to be prepared for the worst and hope for the best. I’m an optimist so I’m hoping for a miracle drug. BTW: I didn’t do anything interesting this week so the photo above is of the potato bread that my wife has begun baking weekly, thanks to the pandemic.
According to USA Today: IATA chief economist Brian Pearce said that air travel is not rebounding along with rising levels of business confidence in Europe, the U.S. and China. Despite parking many of their planes, airlines are struggling to fill seats with enough people to make money. Planes were only 62.9% full on domestic flights around the world, well below levels at which airlines make money, and an abysmal 38.9% for international travel.
Worst Three Months On Record For U.S. Economy
On top of that, the “U.S. economy shrank at its fastest pace ever between April to June, shattering the pace of previous slowdowns. Though activity picked up starting in May, momentum has slowed amid a resurgence in new cases of the illness, especially in the densely populated South and West regions, where authorities in hard-hit areas are closing businesses again or pausing reopenings. That has tempered hopes of a sharp rebound in growth in the third quarter.” –via CBC.ca
I Got Tested For COVID-19
Travel is a huge part of the world economy (I know … understatement of the year) and we all know the USA is on fire with COVID-19. I thought I was exposed to it for the first time when I stupidly decided to stick with the date for my annual physical. You know those 9am appointments are difficult to swap for a 1pm when you have to fast. A few days later my appointment, I started feeling symptoms (shortness of breath, headache … ) and because I have a history of asthma, my doctor advised I get tested. I went back to his office, which I’m sure is going to cost me an arm and a leg, but I didn’t have to wait in any long lines or wait days or weeks like many of my friends who went to a regular clinic to get tested. It took 19 hours for my NEGATIVE result to come back. That was a huge relief and it looks like perhaps cleaning out the garage was the culprit, triggering my symptoms. BTW: My test was a swab up the nose and it was a bit uncomfortable for those few seconds but no big deal.
What I Wore to Stay Safe While Flying
My friend Valerie Joy Wilson was one of the first travel writers to test positive for COVID19. When I saw her airport/airplane get-up on Instagram, I asked if she would write a post about the plenty of things you can do and wear to keep yourself safe while in the skies.
Can You Wear A Face Shield Instead of a Mask on a Plane
Speaking of flying: In case you don’t get my daily travel tip newsletter (you can sign up here), you missed one of my most popular tips last week. Reader, Dru, asked me: On a recent round-trip in July, I was told by an American Airlines flight attendant that a face shield was considered a “face covering” and would be adequate in lieu of a mask, but another flight attendant on the way home told me I had to use a mask, not a shield. I’ve left three messages with the airline, but no one has answered my question. Can you tell me if a shield can be used in lieu of a mask? Here’s my answer.
New Rules for Alaska and Massachusetts Visitors
I’ve written in length about all the countries U.S. tourists can’t travel to and states that require a mandatory quarantine. Alaska just made their rules tighter. Beginning August 11, all non-residents entering Alaska must arrive with a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival. Testing will no longer be available to non-residents upon arrival.
Effective August 1, 2020, all visitors and returning residents entering Massachusetts must follow new travel orders. All visitors entering Massachusetts, including returning residents, who do not meet an exemption, are required to: Complete the Massachusetts Travel Form prior to arrival, unless you are visiting from a lower-risk state designated by the Department of Public Health. Quarantine for 14 days or produce a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered up to 72-hours prior to your arrival in Massachusetts.
The 5 Principles That Will Stop Coronavirus Surges
“Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said on MSNBC Wednesday that adherence to five principles could help stop coronavirus surges happening in states.
-Universal wearing of masks
-Physical distancing of at least six feet
-Typical hand hygiene
-Avoiding bars or closing them where possible
It’s not rocket science and if people follow this advice, fewer people will get sick, people will be able to move around the country and world more freely and the economy will get better. Speaking of Dr. Fauci, I watched him throw out the first pitch (it was just a bit outside) of the Yankees vs. Nationals game last week. I’m a diehard Yankees fan since I grew up in southern Connecticut and I’m watching as many games as I can because after so many Miami Marlins tested positive, I don’t think baseball is going to last long. TIP: While baseball is still on, you can sign up for free MLB.TV via T-Mobile. Here’s how.
VIDEO: 39 Travel Questions with Samantha Brown
To close on a fun note, I sat down with everyone’s favorite female travel TV host, Samantha Brown. You probably know her from her Travel Channel days but since they’ve gone to the dark side with ghosts and monsters, she’s now on PBS. Her show Samantha Brown’s Places to Love is in its fourth season and you can learn about her travel style via my YouTube Channel or Podcast (please subscribe to both!)
Last Week’s Travel Tips:
-Monday: The Bahamas Will Close to U.S. Tourists on Wednesday
-Tuesday: How to Get Free MLB.tv Ahead of Baseball’s Restart
-Wednesday: 7 Tips From a Doctor to Use Whenever You Travel Next
-Thursday: Why You Might Want to Fly United During the COVID-19 Pandemic
-Friday: Here Are the Latest Face Mask Policies for the 4 Biggest U.S. Airlines
-Saturday: Can You Wear A Face Shield Instead of a Mask on a Plane
Can’t just tell us about the potato bread without sharing the recipe. So wrong.