Hawaii - December 2020

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Hawaii - December 2020

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In March of 2020 my family and I were supposed to go to Hawaii for our spring break. When I was at work around St. Patrick's day, the school administration announced that all sports were postponed because of covid-19. A couple of days later I found out that we would be moving to virtual learning until spring break. During this time I remained hopeful that we would be back in the classroom after the break and that I would still be able to visit Hawaii. As the weeks went on it became clear that this was not the case. Eventually we moved to permanent virtual learning and the airlines canceled and refunded my ticket for Hawaii. As 2020 continued on I became more and more frustrated over the impact of covid, especially as what seemed like 3 weeks at home, turned in to several months without travel and in person interaction. In December of 2020, after completing a semester of half virtual, half in person learning I was in need of a break and a change of scenery. On Christmas my family and I found really cheap flights to Hawaii, however these flights were leaving the next day. Since I was a teacher on Christmas Break I had the time off, the only issue was that we needed to get a negative covid test before landing in Maui. We quickly booked the flights and scrambled to find a place we could get a covid test. In order to get off of the plane in Hawaii we needed to take a covid test 12 hours before arrival and our results needed to be negative. We did not have enough time before our flight to have a test shipped to our house nor did we have enough time to wait 2-3 days for results. Luckily we found a place 45 minutes from where we lived that had an opening for four rapid tests. After acquiring our test, 18 hours before our flight we eagerly awaited the results. All four of us had a negative test and we were able to board our flight to Hawaii.
When we landed in Hawaii, in order to get off of the plane we had to show our negative test results. If someone did not have test results they had to remain on the plane and wait for it to return to the mainland. After showing our tests, we had our temperatures taken again and and our visit, including our accommodations, had to registered. The remainder of our trip to Hawaii was relaxing. Although it was weird to walk on the beach with a mask and sit far away from other guests, it was nice to get away. While we were in Hawaii I remember talking to a waitress we had that explained that from March to July residents were not allowed to enjoy the beaches. She described how lonely and isolated she felt stuck in her small apartment by herself. Even though it was difficult to get to Hawaii during covid, we needed a getaway and the hospitality workers in Hawaii were glad to see things slowly picking up again.

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This item was submitted on January 31, 2023 by Hannah Disberger using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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