The first two legs of this journey to Morocco are behind me. Here is this traveller’s view of the ‘no masks required on airplanes’ announcement right before our very eyes. Checking in at the Medford Airport, everyone—TSA, agents, travelers—wore the required mask. Our flight to Seattle was delayed for an hour and a half, I took a walk, ate a sandwich, and as I returned to Gate 1 for our departure, our gate agent was holding her microphone and talking to the crowd. I arrived in our boarding area just as everyone whooped and hollered and clapped and exclaimed—AND ripped off their masks. It took a second to figure out what was happening. She had just announced the Federal Judge ruling that masks could not be required. So on both flights—Medford to Seattle and Seattle to New York it was a mixed bag.
About a third of the travelers, yours truly included, wore masks except during meal service. Most of the flight attendants wore masks. I had the dubious pleasure of sitting next to a loquacious gentleman (and I emphasize the gentleman part because he was every bit one) who, later on in our flight, proceeded to lecture me on the futility both of masks and vaccines. I think I dozed off in the middle of one of his sentences—the advantage of being of a certain age and sleep overtaking politesse on the red-eye flight.
And here I am in a New York hotel for the day. Masks are required in public areas of the hotel, at JFK airport, in cabs, on public transport. It is useless trying to make sense of all this.