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Our number 1-2-3 child headed back to school yesterday. She left early afternoon and by 10:30pm she called to say she’d landed safely. Bags came fast and she was in her dorm not long after 11 and one of her teachers had left her snacks 🙂

When she came home in early-March for Spring break, we had only expected her to be with us till end-month. Well, COVID19LIFE mashed up those plans. She was able to have online school for her Spring term. We had her grandmother and grand aunt with us for 3 months. Now, nearly 6 months on from her arrival, in-person schooling can resume.

Living with COVID19 has meant many major changes, especially with international travel. So, face coverings are mandatory at airports and, in Jamaica, non-travellers cannot enter the departure area. Temperatures are checked along with travel documents at entry. That means a little log jam on entry. So, decked out with cloth mask and face shield, and carrying hand sanitizers and spare masks, our young warrior set off.

Family and friends illing around outside NMIA, while passengers enter
Face shield is almost now de rigeur for airplane travel

She’s a seasoned traveller so was happy to be flying solo. However, she met an older friend travelling to the same destination, to resume college, so ended up with a peer buddy.

We’d talked extensively about how to proceed through airports and navigate other people, with some clear advice to take no nonsense from anyone not following protocols and keeping all at a good distance. She passed security at this end easily; the airport was quiet. Our concerns were at the US end and how things would be managed at Immigration and with TSA, so we’d checked online for any horror stories. Of course, we read and saw reports of the odd crazy travellers who refuse to wear masks and are being forcibly removed from planes. But, none of that presented issues.

NMIA walkway to departure gates

So, now, she has to quarantine for 14 days while settling in—‘cohorting’. School will be on-campus and remote and lessons will be recorded to allowing remote learning for any who prefer. Daily health testing is scheduled. I’m interested in how the eating etc will work, though I think the general meals wont be happening, but more family-style and small group dining will prevail. It’s still nice weather and I’m sure the teenagers are champing at the bit to get back into their sports program.

Anyway, lots to ponder and lots to hope for in terms of good things to happen in this important senior high school year. Thinking about college is stressful enough, but with the health and safety issues on top. Ay caramba!