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Traveling with a Face Mask

Credit: Unsplash
Hope you don’t mind wearing that thing for a while.

A little over a week ago, I mentioned that I’m self-isolating in preparation for a cross-country trip to see my family. Well, I’m hale and hearty, and my COVID test came back negative, so I’m flying out tomorrow. However, all airlines currently require you to wear face masks for the entirety of your flights in the interest of pandemic safety, even if you’re vaccinated. As a reminder, I have a seven-hour flight to endure, so this will probably be unpleasant, but it’s still important to do, and there are ways to make it work.

First, from the moment you enter the airport to the moment you exit another airport, you need to be wearing your mask. I’m talking a proper mask, by the way; preferably medical grade if you can swing it, but a disposable or reusable cloth mask will work in a pinch. No scarves or kerchiefs allowed. You should also make sure that the mask is properly fitted to your face and covering both your nose and mouth using the metal bendy strip. However, whether in the terminal or on the plane, you have permission to temporarily lower your mask if you need to eat or drink something or take oral medication.

Credit: Unsplash

Your mask might start to feel a bit musty if your voyage drags on. In this case, you might want to pack a few different masks in your carry-on bag. If you’re feeling uncomfortable, go to the bathroom, take your mask off and quickly replace it with a fresh one. In the event the bathrooms are unavailable, you should ask nearby passengers if they’re comfortable with you briefly removing your mask to change it. You want as little exposed face time as possible here.

I know wearing masks for hours on end like this isn’t fun, but remember, surgeons always wear masks during surgeries, and those can last hours as well. Be like a surgeon and protect your face properly.

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