It’s eerily quiet as I approach TSA at the airport tonight. There’s no line…not in the TSA pre line or in the regular line. I zigzag through the empty lanes, making my way to the person who checks your ID without stopping. There’s a few people ahead of me once I get to the x-ray lines, but the entire process is done in minutes…single digit minutes.
Is the relative quiet because I’m flying on a Thursday evening or because of the potential risk involved in flying because of the COVID 19 virus keeping people at home? The freeways I traveled getting to the airport were packed, at one point my navigation told me that the 13 miles I had left to traverse would take 40 minutes—and it was accurate!
As I type this waiting for my flight I see the Southwest agents pull the disinfecting wipes out, swiping counters. A few minutes earlier I watched another pump the hand sanitizer, rubbing away those unseen dangers. The lady a few seats down from me just pulled out her own hand sanitizer, the smell of the alcohols wafts in my direction.
Am I putting myself at risk by getting on an airplane tonight? I don’t think so. In fact, with all the disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer, and many fewer people than usual, this flight might just be safer than other similar flights I have taken. And the relative calm of the waiting area is allowing me space to think and write, my belongings spread around me, rather than feeling squeezed in the more typical sardine fashion that I am accustomed to.
But I do have my own hand sanitizer in my bag…and I think I will use it on that tray table before using it tonight. I might as well keep the risk at the lowest possible levels.