Mrs. Play it Safe, was afraid to fly…

But I made the hard decision to go “airborne” anyway in the midst of a global pandemic. All in the interest of the business opportunity of a lifetime, that I’m sure hoping doesn’t cost me the rest of my lifetime.

Had a heavenly airport experience, with cleanliness truly close to godliness, and social distancing to the degree that would make the most people-hating hermit happy and allow the illustrious Dr. Fauci to retire peacefully.

Disinfecting wipes handed out upon staggered boarding, an airline promise of a thoroughly disinfected aircraft…spot on spotlessness. 

Life has a funny way of helping you out…

But, of course, it was too good to be true. Oversold airplane, packed like canned sardines in a petri dish. A claustrophobic cabin, showing evidence of the airline’s desperate attempt at surviving bankruptcy. All of us corralled like a herd of cattle. They clearly misunderstood the concept of herd immunity.

Some half maskin’ it, many half assin’ it. Guy takes his mask OFF to sneeze as he opens the overhead air-conditioning vent, lady licks her finger through side of mask to turn a book page, gloved guy takes his glasses off and scratches his eyes. And as I’m watching this, the TV is set on a constant loop of President Trump taking a joyride around Walter Reed, while infected with COVID-19, in his Secret Service Agent packed, hermetically sealed car. 

And I quickly realized we were flying over the Bermuda Triangle, and it seems common sense disappeared. 

Who would’ve thought…it figures

I closed my eyes and hoped for a Manifest (the TV show) moment, where our flight might get sucked into a time warp as we literally flew over that Bermuda Triangle. Then I’d wake up 5 years from now, still looking young, and to a world that had naturally selected stupidity out so we wouldn’t completely regress in evolution.

And I kid you not, shortly after my Back to the Future thought, we hit some mad turbulence. And the lady next to me, a self-professed anxiety patient (saw me reading a medical journal and decided to ask me for free, in-flight consultation), takes her mask off and starts hyperventilating. And I couldn’t help but wonder that if the woman lost consciousness, I would have to resuscitate her and challenge Darwinism.

And as the plane DID NOT crash down, I thought “well isn’t this nice”…

Somehow we made it to our destination, alive but not quite sure how well! Life does have a funny way of sneaking up on you, and I’m hoping COVID-19 doesn’t find a way to sneak up on us who were on that flight. The write-off for the ‘COVID Cabin’ flight business expense might end up coming at a greater expense. Disease and death are just not worthy deductions!

Dr. Jennifer M. Peña was born and raised in Puerto Rico. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Yale University in 2004, and was commissioned in the United States Army in 2008 after graduating from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. She is Board Certified in Internal Medicine. Dr. Peña’s Army experience includes multiple tours of duty, to include a deployment to Afghanistan in 2012 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom rendering medical care to detainees in the Detention Facility in Parwan, and from 2014-2018 at the White House Medical Unit. She is the first Latina to serve as a White House Physician, and the first Latina and female to occupy the position of Physician to the Vice President. Dr. Peña ended her service to the Army on January 2019. She currently works as Medical Director for Global Executive Medicine, and lives in Falls Church, VA with her husband and 5 dogs.

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