Go fly, a kite

By Steve Woodward

Remember when airports were full of energy and anticipation?

I my youth, Dulles International Airport was a sparkling, modern gem erected in what was then Virginia countryside. On a few occasions, we transported my Dad to Dulles when he was traveling on business. 

From the parking lot, which rarely was even close to full, outdoor speakers blared announcements from the terminal building. A formal sounding, radio-quality voice sent the imagination soaring: “American Airlines, flight 24, Flagship service to Los Angeles, is boarding, gate 10.”

As a kid, flying to Los Angeles while being served a meal on real plates with silverware was well beyond my comprehension. Unfortunately, I missed most of that golden age. By the time I took my maiden flight to Los Angeles, around 1982, plastic and Styrofoam were the new norm.

While recently traveling by air, my comprehension was once again challenged both inside the airports and aboard the aircrafts. Here in 2023, airports are disturbing gateways in which masked zombies in hooded cotton tops and ill-fitting, pajama-style bottoms sit silently, captivated by digital content.

Particularly notable on this recent journey was the persistent mask wearing, evoking grim memories of years just passed. Some are masked snowflakes, who remain shackled to the virtue that their masks purport to signal. “If even one life is saved …”!

Others are older adults, including many who appear perfectly healthy and vigorous. Even some employees of the TSA security brigades are reporting masked up to work. Flight attendants also can be spotted wearing poorly fitted masks despite no requirement imposed by their employer.

Have they read nothing to dissuade them of the futility, not to mention stupidity, of mask addiction? Or are we at a place where even volumes on the topic would not change their minds? This is why I find myself feeling sorry for these people. They are mentally ill. Completely. 

Airports today are full of anxiety and fear. And these conditions have nothing to do with potential in-flight turbulence, delays, or cancellations. In fact, travelers appear so fixated on their devices I’m not certain they’d even brace ahead of impact, lest they miss a TikTok moment.

I do not blame them for their mental illnesses and the resulting insistence on masking up. There is plenty of blame to go around, beginning with Dr. Anthony Fauci and myriad scientists, physicians, politicians (not to be confused with leaders) and hysteria loving media personalities (not to be confused with journalists). 

The presumption that absolute safety is a reasonable expectation is how we should define so-called Long COVID. No precaution can be dismissed if it might provide an added “safety” layer. Especially now that these same people walk around thinking but never saying out loud what is their grimmest realization – the miracle mRNA jabs are useless. 

Even the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the airlines recognize how fragile and mentally challenged passengers have become. Remember when the pre-flight announcement was over in less than 90 seconds. Seat belt demonstration (the dumbest and longest surviving pre-flight ritual). Location of exits. Life vest operation. Oxygen mask demonstration.

All of those remain on the list, but the supplementals take up at least as much time and are even more absurd. No e-cigarette smoking or charging. No consumption of personal alcoholic beverages (get hammered at the airport bar, then board). And the best of the rest: 

  • Face coverings are optional. Please respect those who choose to wear them.
  • In the event of a loss of cabin pressure, please remove face coverings before placing the oxygen mask over your mouth and nose.

These two gems openly acknowledge that, a) the feelings of the masked are extremely fragile. (Under no circumstances inform a masked moron that 2021 called and it wants its masks back), and b) the masked would think twice about remaining safely face-diapered despite, ultimately, passing out when unable to breathe. (Masker’s thought bubble: Has the CDC approved this risky in-flight oxygen?)

Fellow Americans are increasingly Godless, faithless, introverted, poorly attired, ill-informed, and manic. But there is good news, friends.

Progressive left politicians in our once glorious cities have ruined these destinations and some might never recover from crime and decay. Thus, no longer will wanderlust find us venturing into airports in anticipation of journeys to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, or New York. I’d rather jet off to Havana. Or …

Perhaps what’s old is new again. See the USA in your Chevrolet. Get your kicks on Route 66. Ski The Poconos. Chattanooga Choo-Choo, won’t you choo-choo me home? All aboard the Riverboat Queen! 

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