Part 6: Feature on a Family’s Decision to Fly
December 17, 2020
Unlike O’Connor who will be spending her Christmas at home, junior Lucy Langer and her mother Nikki Langer plan to travel over Christmas break to Arizona for six days via airplane. For the Langer family, their trip to Arizona is a necessity due to the deprivation of family connection.
“We’re flying just because we have driven before and it takes a long time, so we can get there quickly,” Lucy Langer said. “My family over there is comfortable with seeing us, so that’s why we are going.”
“That is where my entire family lives, and I haven’t seen them for over a year,” Nikki Langer said. “And my sister had a baby…and we haven’t seen her yet, so we are excited to see her, and my parents are older so we want to spend some time with them.”
When questioned about the precautions they will take on the plane, they both ensured that they and the rest of their family would be following standard CDC guidelines.
“We will take all of the normal precautions that are required,” Nikki Langer said. “We will wear a mask the entire time, and I always bring hand sanitizer with us, and we will wipe everything off when we get there.”
However, the Langer family is not abiding by the CDC’s recommendation to quarantine 14 days before and after traveling. Rather, they are considering taking Covid tests to compensate for not quarantining.
“We are not quarantining,” Lucy Langer said. “We will see some people, but it’s not like we are going to be in a huge group. We are doing what we have been normally doing. We have been traveling, so we might get Covid tests before we go because we are visiting our family.”
“We are traveling in January to Hawaii and it’s required to take a Covid test, so we will be doing that,” Nikki Langer said. “With Arizona, we don’t know [if we will get Covid tests] yet, and the biggest reason is that the research that I found is, if you don’t have symptoms, it costs quite a bit [to take a Covid test]. It’s over $100 per person. It’s only a snapshot of where you are at that moment, but we haven’t talked in detail about if we are going to.”
According to Dr. Kristina Angelo, a certified epidemiologist for CDC’s Traveler’s Health Branch, there are “a lot of states that have requirements and restrictions now for people coming in and mask requirements and some states are requiring quarantines,” so she advises people to check before traveling.
Nikki Langer particularly emphasized her and her family’s knowledge of the Covid scene in Arizona, saying that she “talk[s] to them all the time, so [she] knows what’s happening over there.”
So the question that families need to answer before traveling are: Does the need to travel outweigh the risk? If so, in what ways can you keep your family safe?