I don’t mean to come off as callous or reckless. I’m sure I’ll catch hate from both sides of the debate as COVID-19 precautions have become a hot-button topic in this country.
My kids are both eligible and vaxed. My husband and I are vaxed and boosted. We have been one of the most COVID cautious families I know, taking all our advice from Dr. Fauci and the medical experts on CNN, which is why the Omicron strain really had us scratching our heads!
It’s more contagious but less serious. You should get vaxed, but you can still catch and spread it. You should be testing often, but only if you can find a test. You should play it safe to keep the hospital numbers down, but kids should be in school! It’s enough to make your head spin!
We had been planning a New Year’s trip to Florida to visit family for months. It would mark our first time traveling in two years and our first time boarding a plane. We even bought tickets to Universal Studios as a Christmas present for our twins. However, the week prior, we were notified of multiple COVID exposures. (Luckily, we never got sick, but it did produce great stress!)
It seemed to be everywhere. People around us were dropping like flies, all testing positive. The good news was no one was seriously ill.
After many days of back and forth, we decided to carry on with our trip. Although the world around us and everyone on TV seemed to be indicating, “Don’t go, it’s too dangerous,” we made the leap. Our mental health had taken a hit this year, and we desperately needed this time away!
And when I tell you it was the best choice for my family, that would be an understatement. We enjoyed almost two weeks of sunny, 70-degree weather, breaking us out of our seasonal depression. My kids got to ride their bikes and practice their swimming. My family got to spend uninterrupted quality time with my dad, who we rarely see. We even snuck in a few days at a theme park and had the best time of our lives.
I’m sure some would say, “COVID is serious, even this strain! How could you put your family at risk?” I’d reply that the mental benefits of being in warm weather and thinking about COVID just a little less for two weeks outweighed any other consideration.
It’s not lost on me how lucky we were to get away and even luckier to remain healthy. I know some families who brought back a souvenir from their holiday travels…COVID and five days of isolation. But in our case, the gamble paid off, and I would take that chance again.
I do believe in COVID restrictions and think we need to take this illness seriously; however, I enjoyed my time in the state of Florida, where there was less fear surrounding the virus. If only for a few weeks, we let go of the stress we’d been holding and lived our lives. We wore masks indoors and used common sense but didn’t let the virus control our every move.
It seems as though COVID may be around a bit longer. This trip taught me the importance of carrying on and creating memories with my family while in the midst of uncertainty.
Returning to Connecticut was a tough transition. Not only is the winter weather brutal, but there is a palpable COVID fear in the air. Our trip helped me release a little bit of that stress, for which I’ll be eternally grateful!