LOS ANGELES - In Terminal 7, just a few feet away from us we saw a group of high schoolers hugging, kissing and crying.
It’s a sad goodbye as Caroline Parker and 10 other students from around the country wrap up a two-month educational adventure also known as a GAP program. But, so much hugging, kissing and closeness on the same day three west coast governors issued a travel advisory?
Says 18-year-old Robinson, “The reason we’re able to do that is because we took COVID tests a lot and so we eventually formed a family unit where we could know that it could be safe within ourselves.”
What we watched was an emotional moment among travelers that had gotten close. Robinson says they all went through batteries of COVID-19 testing during their two months and taken all precautions. They didn’t even see each other's faces for the first two weeks of their program because they were always covered with masks.
But in these days before Thanksgiving, we’re being discouraged from holiday gatherings outside our own immediate families. The governors of Oregon, Washington and California are asking people to avoid non-essential travel.
The State’s Health Secretary, Dr. Mark Ghaly, says things are dicey right now with COVID-19. Before a Zoom news conference, Ghaly said, “I was asked if we’re in the middle of a surge... uh.. absolutely.”
Ghaly says we’ve seen an alarming 20% increase in the state’s cases. As for the travel advisory, he says, “It isn’t a ban. It isn’t a restriction... it's an advisory.”
He thinks the advice is critical at this juncture. One more thing. Ghaly says, “People arriving in California from other states or other countries should self-quarantine for 14 days. This is not a new concept. This is something we asked people to do early on.”
To infectious disease doctor Suman Radhakrishna at Dignity Health California Hospital, it’s all important.
“This is when people are going to travel from one state to another and, when you’re crossing state lines you’re carrying the infection and it's based on the prevalence of the other place you are traveling from,” Dr. Radhakrishna said.
Meanwhile, Caroline Robinson from Eugene, Oregon, believes the three governors and their health directors have the right idea. She says, “I think it's a good idea. I mean anything at this point to try and stop it.”