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Cool Stuff: Air travel enjoys new confusion

Scene at LAX

Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA — This past Monday, Samoa News Photojournalist, Cool Stuff, was greeted by an onboard pilot announcement (on his return from the Vancouver Rugby 7s) happily announcing that inflight mask requirements were just made officially optional.  

Then we all heard the good news that Hawaiian Airlines was allowing masks optional.

What a relief, as 6 days prior Cool Stuff was threatened with banishment from an airline as his mask had slipped too many times below his nose when trying to read immigration requirements to the USA.  Ever try to wear a mask for 32 consecutive hours from Singapore Airport check-in & security, to jet, to US Immigration & Customs, to TSA airline security, to departure area, to next jet, to arrival airport, and inside an Uber?  My ears hurt from the too tight elastic.

Life getting back to normal?  These days nothing could be that easy, even with the mask optional announcement.  Whether an exercise in caution or a political assertion to thumb their nose at a US Federal Judge, who knows, Los Angeles City & County reasserted a mask mandate for all transit modes in their jurisdiction including buses, ferry boats, taxis, ride share Uber & Lyft, all airport, bus, boat and taxi terminals.

So my happiness of anticipated enjoyable breaths of fresh air while returning to the islands, thru LAX, evaporated on arrival.  I had to wear a mask thru check-in, security, and walking to my gate.

My stomach got me a pass as no mask is required while enjoying a Margarita Pizza at Wolfgang Puck Express near my gate.

As Los Angeles County does not control US Federal Air Space...when I board my flight...presto change-o...NO MASK REQUIRED ON MY FLIGHT!

So the emotional roller coaster continues.  Cool Stuff doesn't blame anyone and just goes with the flow as arguing gets you nowhere, and maybe somebody does know a lot more than Cool Stuff (most folks know a heck of a lot more than I).

In Singapore and Vancouver Rugby 7s I was asked frequently about the Samoa and American Samoa's COVID drama.  I simply said to pray for ya'll as we know too many relatives from the past that faced the negligence of the New Zealand induced flu epidemic.  It’s partly in our hands, and largely controlled by heavenly powers.

Cool Stuff even prays for China, as Shanghai is in a horrible world of hurt.  Too many friends and business acquaintances from Hong Kong to Shenzhen to Beijing.   

Will we ever be spared... or will we just be waiting for the evil virus?

And yup, I even pray for American Samoa's Hon Governor, Lt Governor, and Samoa's Hon Prime Minister Fiame Naomi as their decisions immediately impact the lives of so many (and so many of our dear relatives)

Try to be kind to all, be brave for your family... and hug them all.... all the time.