On safe travels

My sister is seriously ill. She underwent a liver transplant two years ago. My mother and grandmother drove across Texas to be with her. Travel is risky, especially to see an immunocompromised person, but they did it in the safest way possible. I absolutely want to go down (I live in D.C.) and said that I would. When I said this, I was resolute. Now I’m a lot less sure. I want to be there for my family and see and support my sister but I’d have to fly (I have neither a car nor a license.) and there’s no guarantee that I can travel and be safely distanced for 5 hours in potentially crowded spaces in states where cases are surging. If things take a downward turn and I’m not there, it’d be something I can’t live with. If I go, I could transmit something that could kill her — which is also something I can’t live with. Common sense tells me to stay put. She’s in ICU for an indefinite period of time. My mom and grandmother are handling things. Going is selfish. Go and do what? Put my other family at risk? Get sick myself and add to their worries? But this is my sister. Things are dire. I can cover travel, but can’t afford a place to isolate for a couple of weeks. My sister’s house isn’t an option. I wrote to you about this a couple of days ago, but then we only suspected she was sick and thought her volatile ex was the bigger problem. Now he’s mostly out of the picture (apart from being her next of kin as the divorce isn’t final) and she’s in the hospital being treated for kidney failure. She isn’t allowed visitors and so far her team has been talking in terms of treatment, not end of life. I don’t know what to do. Are there any other options that I’m overlooking?

Are you eligible for a drivers license? If so, immediately start an expedited process of getting one. If not, there’s really nothing you can do. Without a license, you can’t rent a car, which would be the only mode of travel with enough potential for social distancing to ensure you wouldn’t have to self-isolate for two weeks upon arrival. Can’t put it any simpler than that.

You cannot fly a common carrier airline from the DC area to god-knows-where Texas without passing through two major hubs, followed by a series of public transportations options, the safest of which is a ride share situation with a stranger who (at best) wears a mask while you’re in the car with them. That’s not good enough, particularly when your destination is an immunocompromised family member in ICU. 

Sorry. It really sucks that you don’t have a safe means of travel to visit your seriously ill sister, but that’s just not the world we’re living in these days. 


2 thoughts on “On safe travels

  1. Barefootsy says:

    I hate that this is the world and the circumstances OP has to live with right now. I want them to be able to be there for their family, even if they can’t visit their sister. It’s all so unspeakably cruel.

  2. Anon says:

    This is a longshot, and I so hope your sister is out of ICU and recovering safely. But! Is there any chance any of your Texas family (or family friends, neighbors, even my parents’ fellow church members have helped my heathen ass in humbling ways etc etc) could drive to pick you up? I know the driver would be one more person traveling in a pandemic, and it might mean flying back to DC when the time comes, but the one time in my life someone far away made a trip like this for me, it was shocking and humbling and really really really crucial, and I hope somehow it’s available to you, too.

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