Pandemic Paradox - A Parent Flight Attendant Perspective

The flying public travels for a plethora of reasons; occasions like births, marriages, vacations,
business, and unfortunately death. All see people boarding an aircraft to get to their destinations.

Normally, cramming an aircraft full of people is what pays the bills.

But this pandemic and the arrival of our new family member made everything different.

Pandemic Paradox – A Parent Flight Attendant Perspective

My wife and I found out that we were expecting our first child right around the beginning of the pandemic.

The Coronavirus was some far away illness that was not going to affect us here in the United States. Isn’t life funny?

A few months later we sat in a world of toilet paper shortages, flour rationing, and face masks made of any scrap material we could find.

Now here is the paradox: choosing to fly more to support my wife and our growing baby, while also working around potentially sick customers for days on end.

Work more and make more money, while putting myself at a higher risk, or work less and not be financially ready to bring a new person into this world. I chose the former.

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The increased risk of contracting Coronavirus was terrifying. When I arrived from my trips, fully masked, I would strip near the front door and toss everything right into the washer. Spraying my suitcase with disinfectant was next. Followed by a hot shower, and then a temperature check.

All this to make sure that my wife’s safety was being accounted for.

There were some scary moments during the pandemic, such as a woman forcibly coughing in my face threatening that she had Coronavirus – yes, she was drunk – and yes, she was met by Law Enforcement.

There were also the phone calls from the company:

“Hi, how are you feeling? Listen… we just wanted to let you know that someone tested positive on your flight.”

Really?

Now that the vaccinations are in full swing, and life seems just a bit more normal, we are able to take a socially-distant breather, and reflect on what a turbulent year 2020 was.

For those who were wondering: “Wait! What about the baby?

Our baby is laying snuggly warm in my arms as I write this piece, dreaming of what destinations her Flight Attendant daddy is going to take her to.

*This story was submitted by Kevin Irigoyen Penatello who is seen with his little daughter Adelaide.