First off, before you judge, please read the story before you go all Karen on me.
With that said, here’s the story about a momma that took her daughter to Florida amidst the pandemic. Gasp.
To begin, when Covid hit the fan back in March, I willingly canceled our spring break plans to our family home on Anna Maria Island, Florida. Not a big deal, I’ll reschedule it when things look more promising.
Skip ahead to May when things start looking better and I use our voucher to plan a trip to AMI during the Fourth of July. Trust that I knew it wasn’t the best decision I’ve ever made but I could live with it for these reasons. It’s our home. We do not share it with anyone and my father was the last person to be there in April. I would not make friends with people and we would literally be at the house or the beach. Safety was not a concern.
Then things got bad again. The numbers went up. Karens came out. Florida was given a scarlet letter. But what could I do? Allegiant wouldn’t let me cancel again and that meant eating $1k in travel fees. I’m not that wealthy. I couldn’t cancel on my family that also had money invested in this plan. So with a grimace and a plan, I stuck with it and decided to fly to Florida during Covid.
I responded to a question in a Facebook group about traveling and was received with backlash. I quote: “A mother puts her own mask on first and then takes her family to the beach in a global pandemic.” Bish, please.
Let me tell you, the Indy airport was desolate. About 90% of people had on masks and everyone on our flight wore one. We did not have snacks or beverages on our two-hour flight and we sanitized the hell out of our area. Our masks did not come off until we were in the rental car.
Now let’s look at the numbers I found while making my informed decision: at the time, Marion County had 12,052 cases, and 738 deaths compared to Manatee County that had 4,432 cases and 138 deaths. My home county had 3x the amount of cases vs the “deathbed” that is Florida. Manatee County was also ahead of Marion and mandated that everyone wear masks indoors and that if you refused it was a $50 fine.
But I digress…
We stayed in our family home that no one had been in since the first week of April. They only thing there to welcome us were the crazy big palmetto bugs. The kids never went to the grocery store with us, they were either at the beach or in the house. We did not make friends or chat with anyone, anywhere.
Also, I’d like to point out those pictures you see of crowded beaches, not entirely accurate. With photos, it’s all about the angles, folks. What appears to be swarms of people on beaches sitting right next to each other isn’t what I saw happening. (Wish I would’ve taken a photo but I was on vacay and left my phone at the house.) People were socially distancing on the beach and very respectable about how close they were to other groups. People were more than the magical six feet away from us at all sides.
When it was all said and done, I fully understand it wasn’t the best decision I’ve ever made but given the circumstances, I made an informed decision that I was comfortable with. It doesn’t mean that I don’t care for my child’s health or that I’m someone who ignores what’s happening in this world. It means I’m a person who can make educated decisions and take precautions to make things work.
As parents, we need to be less judgemental about what people are doing. We need to have more faith in a time when it seems like there is none. No mother I know would willingly put her children in harm’s way and for other mothers to have the audacity to say such a thing isn’t cool. You do not have to agree but you need to understand that everyone’s situation is unique.
And this my friends, concludes the story of the mom who took her kid to Florida and returned safely and Covid-free. Praise be. Miracles do exist.