Here we are, the COVID-19 pandemic is still raging on. It has been almost a year since the world shut down. Almost a year since we were told that we could squash this in a few weeks. Almost a year since we learned that many Americans care more about their “freedoms” than public health. The entertainment industry is all but completely closed down with many of my friends and colleagues still out of work, or finding jobs outside of the industry we love. Yet through some crazy twist of fate, or just the luck of being in the right places in the right times, here I am with work.

After four months of furlough I went back to work on the project I had been a part of for over a year. Working in the almost dead shop, in a facility that used to bustle with a few hundred people every day was interesting. We kept plowing ahead, bringing our project to hopefully a good conclusion (for now).

Through the nearly two years of work on that project, i put together a skill set that is now desirable on multiple other projects that are now being installed on a site in China. So, here we are, in the middle of a pandemic and I will be joining a team of folks to help finish out the installs for these projects in China.

What does that mean? Well, to start with, it is a minimum of 12 week commitment, including 3-4 weeks of quarantine time on arrival. So, a long time to be away from home. On the other hand, it is an amazing opportunity to continue to learn and grow, and of course, it means continuing to have a job in this time of amazing uncertainty.

So, step one of this adventure? Fly to San Francisco for COVID testing. Why San Fran? Because the Chinese consulate is now only accepting tests from something like 4 labs in the country. One must have proof of a negative PCR and IgM test administered within 48 hours of boarding the flight to China. So, today I got my brain tickled with a nasal swab and blood drawn for testing. Tomorrow, I should get results to submit, and Sunday I fly.

Flying to SFO was the first flight that I have been on in probably over a year. Certainly haven’t flown anywhere since the pandemic hit. Kinda strange to fly these days. The airport is pretty empty, many shops and restaurants are closed or have limited hours. However, it did mean that on my flight I had an entire exit row to myself. The plane couldn’t have been 2/3 full if that. Probably the most comfortable cross country flight I have had.

Enjoying my own empty exit row on the flight to SFO.

Next steps while I am here: Get my COVID tests, wait for results, and then get cleared to fly.