I Travelled By Flight From Mumbai To Karnataka Amidst The COVID-19 Outbreak

by Natasha Monteiro
I Travelled By Flight From Mumbai To Karnataka Amidst The COVID-19 Outbreak

Hey guys, before you judge me or call me out for traveling through the COVID-19 outbreak, know that it was unavoidable and a trip I had to take due to personal reasons. My name is Natasha Monteiro and yes, I did do the unthinkable and traveled from Mumbai to Karnataka, by flight after the COVID-19 outbreak was declared. Here’s my story:

Travel From Mumbai To Karnataka

I had to book emergency tickets the previous night and boy, did I get a steal deal. The coronavirus outbreak has definitely taken a toll on the airlines and the result – cheap tickets. I booked myself on a SpiceJet flight, which meant that I had to leave from Terminal-2 (Mumbai’s International Airport). I was extremely skeptical but decided to pursue my plan anyway and armed with a bottle of sanitiser, a mask & a blow-dry (because ummm, I like to look nice), I gingerly made my way to the international airport. I’d read countless stories and theories about how travelling anywhere via the airport was the worst decision ever, These were the most popular theories out there:

  1. Travelling via the international airport or any airport is the most obvious way to get coronavirus.
  2. Another theory was that the airport was practically deserted and there were barely any people there.
  3. The third theory was that the entire thing is overhyped and there is absolutely nothing to worry about

Well, I’ll be glad to tell you that ALL 3 THEORIES were wrong. Let me explain what happened at the airport. Read on!

Scene At The Mumbai International Airport (Terminal-2)

When I arrived at the Mumbai International Airport, the first thing I noticed was that there definitely was a drop in the usual hustle-bustle. Even more so, given that it was a Friday evening and there’s always a huge line at that time. A lot of people were not using trolleys to load their bags and preferred to carry it themselves. I was definitely one of them and decided to pull my own bag. Armed with my mask and hand sanitizer, I was ready to brave the airport. All the staff and personnel had masks and on. At the security gate outside the airport, I handed over my ID card and tickets and it struck me then that I’d handed over my cell phone to a guard who was probably going to touch a thousand other people’s IDs & phones and print outs to check their identification. Guys, special note – PLEASE CARRY PRINTOUTS OF YOUR FLIGHT TICKETS. It just seems like an infinitely safer option than your phone, which gets touched by airline staff and then at some point you put it to your face.

Also read: Divorce Rates In China Rise As Couples Spend More Time Together In Isolation Amidst Coronavirus Outbreak

As I walked through the airport, I definitely saw a huge drop in the number of passengers travelling but did I sense panic? Absolutely not. Everyone seemed calm and were maintaining distance from each other.

To Mask Or Not To Mask?

If Shakespeare were alive today, his literature would probably revolve around – “to mask or not to mask?” So, I did put a mask but I noticed that most people did not. I also put up an Insta story of my mask and boy, did I receive a lot of flak for it – ranging from, “it’s because of people like you that the really infected people don’t have masks” to “you are being irresponsible.” The truth was I was wearing a mask for protection in case someone who was infected wasn’t wearing it and coughed/sneezed. I did take off my mask eventually, but that led to another barrage of people telling me that it’s not safe and I should mask up.

Also read: Real-Life Account Of Tanvi & Her 9-Month-Old Daughter Caught In The Coronavirus Outbreak In China

The Flight To Karnataka

Here’s the real show-stealer! MY FLIGHT WAS FULL. I mean, not even one empty seat. Do bear in mind that I travelled 1 week back and the situation was relatively better then. Currently, the situation is changing and worsening daily and I would say it’s probably VERY different at the airport right now. My flight in itself was pretty uneventful. I got the middle seat and both boys on either side of me were not wearing masks. Initially, I was a little terrified but they both looked like they were far more terrified of me with my mask on. The flight was on time and once I got off In Karnataka, I realized the situation was just as relaxed. People seemed to be doing their own thing, waiting together for the baggage to come in and leaving one by one.

The point of my story is that I was lucky to be travelling in a situation where people were not panicked. Of course, I did travel domestic so it was far better an experience and the situation 1 week back was also infinitely better than it is today. Would I recommend travelling now? Not really.  As of now, isolation would probably be the best way to prevent the spread or the contraction of the virus. Stay safe everyone!

If you do have to travel and would need help, feel free to contact me on my Instagram and I’d be happy to help you out, the best way I can.