I did something a little crazy last week. I'm sure some of my family, friends and coworkers think it was reckless. I went on a business trip.
It wasn't my first time leaving my home office since March 15, when everyone at Plastics News started working remotely. But I can count all of the other work trips on one hand, and the others were within driving distance of home.
This was a real business trip. I wasn't sure what to expect. I thought maybe everything would be clean and sterile, like a hospital. It wasn't. But it was good enough to make me comfortable.
I thought the airports would be like ghost towns, but there were plenty of other travelers. Some of the shops and fast-food joints were open. The terminal wasn't crowded. People wore masks and socially distanced, and there were signs everywhere reminding everyone to follow those rules.
I didn't have to touch much going through security. The airport has new machines that read my ID. I didn't have to hand my driver's license or boarding pass to the TSA. Of course, I still got frisked at the full-body scanner. Some things never change.
The plane seemed noticeably cleaner than usual. My wife packed some cleaning wipes, which I used everywhere anyway, and the airline also supplied some. We boarded and exited by rows, to avoid passing people in the cramped aisle. The seat next to me was empty. Snack time meant everyone got a sealed plastic bag containing a small water bottle, cheese crackers, a cookie and more cleaning wipes.
The hotel was OK. I missed the breakfast buffet. Instead of all-I-can-eat eggs and sausage, the clerk behind the front desk gave me a cup of coffee and a couple single-serve instant oatmeal cups. I was instructed to use the hot water from the coffee maker in my room to make the oatmeal. No worries, I have oatmeal every day at home anyway.