July 1, 2021 - COVID-19 has changed a lot about our daily lives. As we start to venture out again and as we start to travel more, it’s worth reminding ourselves of the manners we were taught as children and the common courtesies that are critical to interacting with other people.
The news of fights aboard aircraft and in airports, assaults on airline crews, general disorder during travel, attacks on Airport workers and arguments about masks amid a pandemic is disheartening. We are better than that.
As vaccines have rolled out, people are more comfortable traveling. But we must remember that airports and airplanes are inherently crowded places. For safety, we are required to wear masks inside the Airport and onboard aircraft. It is still the official federal guidance from medical experts.
We said it before. It’s the right thing to do.
If someone needed help with walking or standing, many of us would be right there to offer assistance. If someone sitting near us was having a heart attack, difficulty breathing or was choking, we’d be there to quickly help. Because we care about our fellow human beings and as kids we were taught to be helpful and caring.
Because we care, we need to remember to be kind. Kindness goes a long way. The pandemic has affected us all in different ways. Likewise, each of us has responded and adjusted our lives in different ways. Yes, the rules we have been asked to abide by over the last 15 months have been inconvenient, a challenge, and even politically divisive.
But as you go back out in the world and as you make your travel plans, remember the basic manners we all learned as children:
- Say ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’ Simple courtesy goes a long way in making people feel valued and happy to help. Disrespect or rude treatment of people in any role is wrong.
- Don’t interrupt. Let people finish talking, even if you think they are wrong. Let’s use our “inside voice.” It’s common courtesy and respectful to keep conversations calm.
- Temper negative opinions when it comes to wearing a mask and keeping your distance. None of us likes it, but we should respect our fellow human beings enough to accept their choice.
- Be patient. Change is hard. The pandemic is forcing us to change in ways we never thought possible.
Good manners are important. It seems like in the many months of quarantining we have forgotten those manners or decided we no longer need to be polite or respectful to people. Somehow it has become ok to be rude, belligerent and mean. Next time you want to lash out, ask yourself how your grandma or pawpaw would feel if he or she were on the receiving end of that. Then maybe rethink it and opt for kindness and being polite instead.
We are all in this together. Be kind.