Papa Bear

Are COVID Travel Restrictions Trending Towards Recovery?

Savannah Update:

Our daughter Savannah has officially taken her first steps! Watching her walk from one side of our living room to the other has made my eyes water. Something about seeing her taking the next step in her development has melted my heart. Even she is excited when she takes off across the room! Her face lights up and she erupts with giggles and her tiny little fingers are pointing to the sky! I should back up. She has a “walker,” that isn’t really a walker, but she can push it back and forth across the room and walk behind it. Alex and I will clap when she makes a path across the room and gets to the other side. She’ll let go, stand in one spot by herself, and light up with a big smile clapping along with us. Recently, I’ve been holding both of her hands and helping her walk slowly and then eventually, we graduated to only holding one hand. She didn’t really have her center of gravity figured out right away, but she wasn’t falling over either. It was like she was showing off a new dance move. Pretty soon she was running hand in hand with me. Today we are at a phase where she wants to pop up into a stance on both feet without holding on to anything for balance. She can take a few steps and then she tumbles down. Watching her learn to walk this week has been some of my all-time favorite parenting moments. She will take a bit of a tumble and a rumble and a stumble, and then she will pop back up again. I love it!

This past week’s change at home with Savannah walking has me noticing that a lot of things are changing right now. Things are changing in my immediate family with Savannah on the go, a new baby gate that allows Ghost and Savannah to roam together, and allows Savannah to roam freely in the kitchen. Gas prices are going up… Home interest rates are historically low, but I was told by a friend that they are raising slightly. Texas and Mississippi have lifted their mask mandates and are rolling back Covid restrictions. Right or wrong, all signs are pointing towards some type of recovery. Towards people going outside, getting back to gathering in larger groups, towards driving their cars. Towards travel. 

Alex and I LOVE to travel, and we haven’t done as much lately. Obviously, the corona virus halted some plans. If not for the virus, I probably would have taken three to four work trips which would have required me to get on a plane. We may have tried to extend at least one of those for a vacation and possibly would’ve tried to get in another family vacation. Instead, we did a road trip to South Dakota for 3 days. We loved SD and all of the outdoorsy activities it offers, but we are ready to try something father from our home in Lincoln, NE. 

In this weeks blog post I am going to take a look at some updated travel restrictions and CDC guidelines for traveling domestically and internationally. We would love to hear your feedback and commentary on any guidelines that I miss, and/or your thoughts and opinions on if we should be traveling regardless of these restrictions lifting. Message Alex or myself directly on Facebook and Instagram. 

Domestic Travel Updates

President Joe Biden signed an executive order shortly after taking office basically stating that we all have to wear a mask on federal property and public forms of transportation. Texas and Mississippi have just lifted their mask mandates today on March 3. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said, “It is now time to open Texas 100 percent.” However, there are some that disagree with this decision. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky strongly cautioned against the rollbacks TX and MS were about to make. Dr. Fauci (who is the director of the U.S National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the chief medical advisor to the president – basically the go to doctor on COVID protocol)  has cautioned against states opening too quickly. I haven’t been able to find anything specific about if Biden’s executive order still applies to TX and MS, but I assume it does since Federal law overrules State law. I guess that means if you are in TX or MS, you have to wear a mask on Federal property or when you are using a form of public transportation. Here are some articles on big topics right now.

– Here is an article on how many people in the U.S. have received the COVID vaccine. It breaks it down by number of doses received and by state. 

My nonprofessional/nonresearched understanding is that the vaccines *have* been helping. It appears to be helping those who take it show less symptoms. It’s also giving people peace of mind about the spread of this terrible virus. Because people are taking the vaccine, it is in turn causing them to feel more and more comfortable getting out in the world, and the overall COVID cases are actually dropping (Some use the word plummeting!) Alex and I have talked pretty extensively about whether or not we are going to get the vaccine and we both decided to get the vaccine as soon as we are able to get it. For the sake of our family, friends, neighbors, and people who are immune compromised, we think it’s the right step for our family. We haven’t decided if Savannah is going to get it though – we aren’t sure on the protocol for children yet, but we will stay informed. 

International Travel Updates

First of all, the CDC is advising against any nonessential travel – and that goes for domestic travel as well. That being said, people are traveling again. The CDC’s suggestion is obviously just a recommendation and not a requirement, however  The U.S. has made it a rule that all travelers over the age of 2 coming from abroad and entering the U.S. (including U.S. citizens reentering the U.S.) must get tested for COVID within 72 hours of their departure to the U.S. and show proof of a negative test result to board the plane. Again, this applies to non-citizens as well as U.S. citizens entering from abroad. The only exception is for those returning from U.S. Territories, such as Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. 

Even though the United States is considered the epi-center for the COVID vaccine, there are a lot of countries that are not accepting U.S. visitors. Here is a detailed list of the counties that *are* accepting U.S. visitors and their specific requirements. Some countries like Mexico have been welcoming Americans since last year but to only very specific cities. They are even letting their inland cities take on visitors. Other countries have created specific requirements like citizenship, age restrictions, and proof of a negative test result in order for people to cross over. As I read through the specific countries that peak my interest in visiting, I’m noticing a required quarantine. The quarantine time period varies from country to country, but 10 days is about the standard. So, if you are thinking about planning a trip overseas, make sure you do some research on their specific requirements before taking the plunge and purchasing tickets – this could very easily impact your decision to go or how much time you take off from work.  

Possible destinations for our family

This past weekend Alex and I started talking about how eager we are to start traveling again. Probably similar to a lot of you, we constantly list off all the places we want to travel. It’s sort of like keeping an ongoing mini bucket list of travel destinations. 

Here is a link to a blog I wrote last year called My Top 5 Travel Destinations with Family and Top 5 Just Dad and Mom.

Our top spot for both family trips, and just Dad and Mom trips, were countries abroad. London for a family vacation and Germany during Oktoberfest for just us. We definitely have our eye on visiting the UK as soon as we can. We were discussing that again this past weekend. Looking at the UK on the country restriction list (you can check it out here) they are allowing travelers, but there is a 10 day quarantine and it is required that each traveler purchase a COVID

test kit worth $290 dollars. Fines and penalties could be over $10,000 and 10 years in prison. So, it’s not looking good for a 2021 trip for us to London. 

As I get further into this post, I am reading deeper and deeper into these rules on what countries require when a visitor form the U.S. arrives. Here is a website that seems to disagree with the previous source saying that some countries are allowing U.S. visitors without a quarantine requirement. I’m noticing a few countries, like the Bahamas right off the bat, that have contradicting information. So, you are going to want to get multiple sources that list the requirements. Keep in mind these rules are subject to change as infection rates change.

I know a few big businesses that are requiring employees to work from home until July 1st. We are getting closer to that date and so far, the date has not been pushed back. To me, this summer feels like it is going to be a turning point. Again, President Biden said all adults will have access to a vaccine by the end of May. All signs are pointing towards people traveling more and more. Hopefully we start to see more and more countries allowing visitors from the U.S. without a required quarantine. Until then, Alex and I will have to keep our sights inside the U.S. 

 Without making too big of a commitment, I think our next trip will be to Colorado. I know Alex LOVES the mountains and Colorado in general. We actually haven’t been to that many of the mountain cities and we had such a good time on our last visit. 

Wrap up

Thank you for reading along today. I try to take a stance one way or another when expressing our thoughts and opinions in the parenting/relationship topics, but today I just wanted to relay some of the current trends on COVID restrictions in regards to travel. I wasn’t trying to go too far down the rabbit on whether I agree with those changes or not (because I definitely have my thoughts). As you all know, Alex and I always error on the side of caution and take the corona virus very seriously and we always keep Savannah at the top of our mind. With that being said, we enjoy traveling and want to make an effort to explore this world with our daughter and we are excited that we could be trending towards everything reopening. We don’t want things to reopen too early, but we 100% do want them to reopen as soon as possible! Thank you for following along on Savannah’s progress. This morning, it looks like another chomper is starting pop through those gums and I can only imagine that she will be zooming across our house all too soon!