Mike and I made our annual trip to Key West recently. If you did not know that COVID is a real phenomenon, you would certainly not experience it in Key West. This recent trip highlighted the differences in how the COVID virus is being managed across the U.S.
Mike and I have been fully vaccinated, and we have been traveling for more than a year. We are careful, mask up, and stay as far away from others as is practical. But we have chosen to live life as normally as possible, and for us, that includes travel. We travelled to St. Maarten in April and August, and found the masks and social distancing restrictions far more rigid than in Key West.
In Key West, there were no restaurants that we went to that required masks. Granted, all of them were open air, but I was still surprised. In fact, the only place that I went that required masks was a bookstore. While there were some people who wore masks, most did not.
We were aware that Florida as a state has very loose COVID restrictions, but we were still very surprised that mask requirements were almost non-existent. This is a public issue for us, not a political issue. We believe that it has been proven that the vaccine and masks work. We were glad to get the vaccine as soon as we could, and will get the Moderna booster when it is available.
Key West is an area that I am not really excited to visit, until I get there. It happens every time I go that I wonder why I forget how much I enjoy the area. While I do not enjoy the vulgarity, such as some of the sayings on t-shirts and the profanity of some of the musicians, I have found that I can ignore that and focus on the beauty that is all around.
If you want to get away from COVID, go to Key West. Or, perhaps in going to Key West where COVID restrictions are almost null and void, you can come face-to-face with COVID. It may depend on your perspective.