A Trip to the COVID Capital of the World

Status: 2.7.22 (Mayo Clinic)

It’s deliciously ironic that I had to submit a negative COVID test result as a precondition for traveling to the country that is #1 in the number of coronavirus infections and deaths. I religiously wore my fashionable black mask on flights, a requirement on Japan Airlines but not American Airlines, in airports, and in other public places, including a conference with 6,500 attendees. (Thankfully, the organizer required that everyone “mask up.”)

Miracle of miracles, I wasn’t infected during the month-long trip. It was obvious that “freedumb” reigns supreme in the land of the free. It was like I missed the breaking news that COVID had been eradicated in the US. I would estimate that about 5% of the people I saw were wearing a mask. My interior monologue identified them as the smart ones. The 95% sans mask – not so much.

The US followed in Vietnam’s official footprints by lifting the COVID test requirement on 12 June 2022 for all international airline passengers, regardless of citizenship or vaccination status. Thank God for small mercies.

Shalom (שלום), MAA

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