This strange chapter in human history that we are the unwitting participants in, has us all hoping that we will wake up from this nightmare and go back to normal - back to all of the things that we took for granted. Like getting on a plane at a moment’s notice and going to a different city, a different country, a different continent.
This unprecedented ease of mobility allowed us to do what was unthinkable a couple of generations ago - pack up and move to the other side of the world. Go on adventures. Vacation in places that we’d never heard of. Do the work that you want to do in the place that you want to live.
The industry that made all of this possible for us has been shut down. Almost completely and in the worst possible way. This was not something that was foreseen or planned for. It arrived like a bomb. But unlike a bomb - there is no cleanup and resumption - not for the foreseeable future. And so we all stay home and continue doing what we do - or not.
Some are lucky enough to have alternate business channels - most of the products that you buy at duty-free and airport retail are available through other means - so whilst their bottom line will definitely take a hit, cosmetics, electronics and alcohol companies are still moving their products. But what if you sell travel pillows? Suitcases? DVT socks? Or you ARE the shop at the airport? Things are pretty bleak.
What if you are a pilot, ground crew, or flight attendant? Travel is your life and your livelihood.... and it has come to a screeching halt. And the novelty (if there ever was one) has certainly worn off by now.
Not being able to travel is horrible - no two ways about it.
Losing your job, your friends, your way of life - that is truly devastating.
The effect on our industry is far-reaching and profound. We don't know what this will look like when it is over - or when it will be over. But it will be over.
So in the meantime be kind to each other. Hug a pilot (in a socially-distancey kind of way). Buy a flight attendant a coffee. Acknowledge the people who are leading us through this (I'm looking at you, Martin Moodie)
When this is over we will all be walking through the airports like five-year-olds - marvelling at the size, staring up at the boards and excitedly looking at all of the planes on the apron.
And cheering when it is time to board that first flight.