Linda and Family

Traveling Through a Pandemic as America Started to Shut Down

Hi, my name is Linda and I love to travel.

A month and a half ago I was in Vegas celebrating my daughter’s 22nd birthday not realizing that would be the last social setting I would be at before our national shelter in place.

I had seen the news about the virus and how it was now declared a pandemic but, it didn’t seem to be a threat to us here in the US at the time.

I work in the medical field and asked several of my colleagues at work their opinions about traveling. Most of them told me to go and enjoy.

The night before our trip, I thought about cancelling but didn’t. As we arrived at DFW we noticed how empty the airport was but felt no fear of flying. We arrived to lovely Las Vegas safe and sound. Vegas had a lot of people walking the streets and in the casinos as if no virus was present.

We felt safe and relieved seeing everyone happy.

The next day we decided to take a road trip to Los Angeles to visit my brother for a day. We went hiking and had delicious ramen at a restaurant for dinner. I noticed Hollywood Blvd was empty and that was odd.

Confusion slowly started to kick in as I realized there was no traffic in LA. If you’ve been to LA you know how bad traffic gets there. We had a wonderful lovely time in California. As we headed back to Vegas, my brother called us to advise us California was officially closing all restaurants for dine in and anything that involved massive crowds that same night at midnight.

It was very shocking to hear him tell us that.

The next day, we discovered all the shows, clubs and pool parties in Vegas were cancelled. That still didn’t seem to scare us yet. We gambled a bit and walked the strip with our hand sanitizer.

My daughters birthday was finally here and we got to celebrate but noticed the streets were not crowded anymore. Hotels were closing and restaurants were also shutting down. Luckily we were able to have dinner and celebrate.

The following day was St. Patrick’s day and we were excited to drink green beer. We were so excited to wear green and have a good time. We ended up going to an Irish pub, got to drink green beer, met amazing new friends from Ireland and danced like there was no tomorrow.

Normality still seemed to be happening and still no panic. Later that night press conferences from the White House seemed to be more alarming on the news. Panic slowly started to sink in. For a minute I thought our flight would be cancelled and we would be stuck in Vegas.

We met some casino employees and they seemed really sad. They advised us the hotel had laid off 70% of the staff and the hotel would close in 2 days.

More panic was sinking in. I thought how could I get us in this situation. I felt really bad and helpless.

The next day was the day we finally would get to fly home. We were fortunate to eat breakfast at a restaurant in our hotel until our nation re-opens. We were their last customers and we could see the sadness and panic in their faces.

We saw hotels board their doors with wood and barricade their entrances. Vegas was completely empty now. People vanished overnight. Not sure where everyone went so fast. It seemed as if we were in a movie.

At this point I just wanted to get home. The flight back was very different. We were all afraid and scared to go near people. We tried to sanitize everything we touched. Our flight seemed like the longest flight ever.

We arrived safe and sound back in Dallas. I felt relieved and happy to have finally arrived back home. I’m not sure when we will all be able to travel again. I’m not sure what the future holds.

Our normal will not be the same.

What I do know is that no matter where you are it all comes down to the choices we make in life. Let’s protect our loved ones. Help people in need and overall stay healthy and wash your hands. We will get through this together and this too shall pass.




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