Covid-19 Flight From Hell: My Run-In With An Infected Pilot
The Covid-19 virus is like jail. If you go out you cause harm. If you stay in you want out.
Jane and Harry had to get out. Travel. Today. This lockdown is just too much. Sun. Wine. Beaches. Cape Town. But they did not realise they are going on a Covid-19 Flight From Hell.
They have not flown for 18 months. The very contagious virus was causing havoc. Masks. Mourning people. Political discord. Get out and travel!
Strict travel protocols were in place. They could travel but had to wear masks and disinfect their hands. And the dreaded curfews.
Limited Travel destinations; red lists, other destinations required isolation for 10 to 14 nights.
But they planned a trip to Cape Town. A 13-hour flight. Worried. Boarding a plane. A tightly confined space. Will the flight be without incident with all these suspect people on board?
“We have a long flight ahead of us today and tomorrow”. “And I am not feeling well,” Jane said.
Harry was worried Jane was just afraid of the virus and not really sick. What will happen on the flight was his only concern.
“Okay, you are not feeling well, but you have no symptoms,” Harry said.
He and Jane packed their bags. Eventually, they arrived at the airport; measured temperature disinfected hands, and completed questionnaires. Many times.
They left the building and walked towards the boarding gate.
“This is it! Just look at the plane.” Jane said, taking a deep breath.
Masked passengers. No coughing, and no sneezing as people were worried they may be kicked off. After a few worrying minutes, which felt like ages, they sat down amongst other anxious passengers. A lady by the emergency exit seat was suffering from a nosebleed. She hid her face.
Passengers were not allowed to move about. Cool and collected the formalities were completed and the plane took off.
The Exhausted Pilot
The Captain told them how the flying conditions were. He had the co-pilot fly the plane as he was going to lay down on a chair, apparently exhausted. The problem, he was coughing.
“Coughing?”, most passengers were thinking. Is it the virus? Maybe!
“Well, it’s going from bad to worse!” Harry whispered to Jane.
Jane was clasping her ears. She did not want to hear anymore. This is going to be a mess. And she was right. What more will happen if it is already going “south”?
The flight attendants calmed passengers and started serving hot beverages and drinks to keep tension under control.
“It’s like a bad dream,” said one passenger. “What can you do about it?” asked another. “Nothing” was the response. The flight was in the air for 5 hours already.
About the sixth hour, kilometres in the air, to Cape Town, Jane opened her window shade.
“No! No!” were her only words as she slammed the shade down.
“Why would Jane do that?”, asked bewildered Harry.
But Jane was hysterical. Harry wanted to call the air hostess they were preoccupied.
“Put the shade up,” he said in vain, “it is not like we have an unknown virus on board.”
But he knew from Jane’s reaction this was worse.
The plane started to shake violently.
Passengers worried; maybe they made a mistake by coming on the plane while the virus was not under control. They knew this plane roll was no mistake.
Hysterical-Jane kept anyone from forcing the window open. Why?
“Attention! Attention! All passengers,” the flight attendant announced, we have an emergency. Sit down! Fasten seatbelts. Now!”.
“We have some good news, bad news and really bad news; the good news is that the chief pilot is in the cockpit. The bad news is that the pilot is lights out. When he wakes he sneezes and coughs but falls into a deep sleep again”.
“The real bad news is that the co-pilot is missing. And we ask all passengers to search for him and to immediately open their window shades and see if they can see the co-pilot”.
Harry knew. Jane must have seen the “missing” co-pilot.
Harry grabbed the shade from her grip and low and behold, a man was hanging outside the flying plane in uniform with a signboard towards the window. On the board was written,
“The pilot has the deadly virus and all passengers and crew must get out. Now!”
In the meantime, the oblivious air hostess asked,
“Anybody here knows how to play Microsoft’s Flight Simulator?”
That was the end of it. Every passenger had to jump ship.
Something is going to kill us. Obviously. But who would have thought today?
Harry was mumbling, “death in a plane flown by an amateur computer geek is surely a time to pray for mercy.”
Just then the plane started diving. And swirling. Steeply. Another few kilometres before the plane would crash into depths of cold salty water.
At least they could say goodbye. While they hugged some passengers followed the copilot.
One was shouting, “Outside the virus is blown away! No viral overload at 600 km per hour”.
Outside or inside does not matter. The deep blue ocean is approaching. Fast. Bang.
Well, it’s another time to get down and tell you the truth. 😳
The bad news is that all the outsiders froze. Even the copilot’s smile was frozen intact.
The good news is that an amateur computer geek took control of the plane. The best news, according to Jane, “At least this geek is a woman!”
“Why would it matter, Jane?” Harry thought as they landed it safely in the Maldives.
Was it the original plan? The Maldives? I cannot remember how this story started. Was it supposed to be Cape Town?
“Let’s not worry, and rather live another day. We made it”
Adventure isn’t hanging on the outside of a plane or landing safely with an amateur computer geek as the pilot. No. Adventure is an attitude we must apply to the day to day obstacles of life.
A Paraphrased quote by John Amat.
Make your Cape Town travel plans. Set the intention. Things will change.
May you have fun in this mad world we call home. 👍
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