Terminal E at Logan Airport looked like a ghost town. No waiting in line to check in or to pass through security. The security folk were serious but relaxed—they chatted with us as they did their job. Only a tiny bar and pizza place was available at this international terminal. Folks were spread out, waiting for one of the five or six evening flights to Europe.
I wouldn’t be surprised if most of the people on the flight were flying for the first time in over a year and a half (My last flight was in September 2019 to Florence). The new Air France jet was huge, with three seats along the window side and four in the middle. Covid safe! — one passenger for every three seat. We were spread out, one traveler per row, giving us pace to lie down to sleep and rest our legs. Service was prompt; no lines for the lavatory.
Charles de Gaul airport was busier. After all, I was in Europe! People were going places—within the EU, around the world. As I sat waiting for my flight to Rome, I felt I was stepping back into life—something I can’t do alone. I need all these other people leading their lives, checking their phones, going wherever they need to go, wearing their masks, showing their Covid vaccine card.
Now that I am in Florence, I am feeling that the U.S. is somewhere else, isolated, doing its thing, some trying to clean up the mess, others trying to rewrite its history, while the rest of the world is moving forward together.