My last cup of coffee in the US, Flying during the start of the pandemic


It’s a humid early morning in Miami where the birds and sound of traffic are both equally loud and aggressive & that Florida odor of morning dew and polluted water.  I am flying to Toronto today with a stop in Newark during a not so early 9 am departure on delta, it is the start to what should have been the beginning of a streak of lots and lots of amazing trips.

That morning I was sitting in this run down IHOP, happy and excited, eating a big heavy American breakfast that should come with a surgeon’s general warning on the menu about death and heart failure.  My Costa Rica trip booked the night before and meeting new clients the next morning I was motivated to keep focused on work and new things coming. The unpleasant taste of this coffee and the wonderful strong smell of coffee in the air had my senses at odds with each other as my body begged for more of the warm dark delivery system of caffeine.

It was a nice moment and in hindsight, I would have savored it more, enjoyed the stupid things the waitress said to me.

“In life as in history, the unexpected lies waiting, grinning from around corners. Only with hindsight are we wise about cause and effect.” – Penelope Lively

The flight to Newark was completely calm and normal, people crammed into a full MD90 with a smooth and wonderful flight. I was in the lounge in Newark answering emails and sorting through some more travel arrangments when I got a phone call canceling out a trip to Las Vegas due in part to the team being focused on avoiding international travel for everyone as the news was all about the virus issues in new york and all I could do was watch the aircraft outside the window.

When I landed in Toronto I was walking through the airport reading the news the US had just closed the border with Europe, and at this point, I spot my the first person wearing a mask and the sinking feeling of dread had come over me as I later walked up to a customs officer wearing a big white mask. Everything was about to change.

That was my last cup of coffee in the US.




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