Diane Becker, "Country Life"

Next week, we will be in Pennsylvania visiting our daughter who is in school in Erie, which is right on Lake Erie.

It’s going to be one of our more unique trips as face masks are required for nearly the entire trip. Traveling just isn’t what it used to be.

Remember when people smoked cigarettes in the middle of the flight? A little light would come on telling passengers when it was time to put out their cigarettes, we were about to land. Smokers who flew back then were very unhappy when new rules prohibited smoking onboard. I have a feeling those same people would really be unhappy about the requirement to wear a mask for the entire flight.

We got an email reminding us that everyone over the age of 2 needs to wear a mask in the airports also, except when we were eating and drinking.

We were also told we would receive an ‘all-in-one’ snack bag that includes a wrapped sanitizer wipe, 8.5-ounce bottled water and two snacks, plus a sealed beverage on flights over 2 hours and 20 minutes.”

On flights shorter than that we’ll get a sealed beverage and that’s it. No more friendly flight attendant taking our drink order.

Erie is fairly close to Niagara Falls. We were concerned about whether or not we could see it since people like to go to the Canada side for a better view, and the border between the US and Canada is closed until at least the end of August.

Although the Maid of the Mist, which is the boat that takes you up close to the Falls, was closed in June, it’s now open on the U.S. side and available for people who are healthy, wearing masks and willing to stand at least 6 feet from other people on a smallish boat.

Fort Niagara opened in July and is available for healthy masked visitors, which is the same for any restaurants we stop at. There will be no buffets however, and it sounds like food “that requires minimal preparation” will be the rule.

Thankfully, Pennsylvania is not on the list of states that require a 14-day quarantine when we arrive home. We’ve also been assured that the plane is cleaned within an inch of its life and that the airports will be cleaner than our homes.

Still, we have little containers of disinfectant to use liberally when we’re feeling too far from a sink and soap, and we will be avoiding other people like the plague.

If it’s sunny in Pennsylvania, we may come back to Nebraska with tans on our face, and white where the mask was.

It’s a weird time to travel.


In other news

HARTINGTON — The attorney for a Cedar County commissioner who was charged last year with driving under the influence of alcohol argued Wednesday that there was no probable cause to arrest him, among other things.

The Norfolk Arts Center is bringing music and art to the riverfront with ’Fork Fest on Friday, August 21st. An annual event that grew out of the Hear Nebraska Good Living Tour, this year’s ’Fork Fest has been dubbed “social distancing style” to reflect precautions being taken for the communi…

The following court information includes marriage licenses, domestic cases filed, criminal judgments, felony cases bound over to district court, criminal cases, civil case judgments, city ordinance violations and speeding and other violations. 

The following area bankruptcies were filed in U.S. Court, District of Nebraska. Reprinted by permission from the Daily Record of Omaha.

None of us could have pictured a year ago that kids would be heading back to school wearing masks all day, that there wouldn’t be Husker football games, and that weddings would be curtailed if not completely canceled.