My First Flight in the COVID-19 Era. Here's What It Was Like.

Along with half a million other fliers in the U.S., I jumped on a plane for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic started last Saturday.

Should I feel guilty for getting on a plane and risking catching the coronavirus or spreading it to others? Am I breaking the governor's stay-at-home order? Will I take heat from friends or readers for flying right now? Who would have ever thought that flying would present such a moral dilemma? But it does.

My recent COVID-19 test results were negative, so I felt good about that. I'm also a bit of a germ freak, so I'll have my N95 mask on from start to finish, so there's not much of a chance of me transmitting a bug outside my mask or from my frequently sanitized fingers. I checked my temperature on the morning of my flight, and it was a low 98.1 degrees.

Also, as a correspondent for SFGATE, I'm considered an essential worker. I need to see, feel and hear what it's like to fly and report back to my readers about the experience so they'll be better equipped when they eventually fly. Plus, Alaska Airlines agreed to foot the bill for my roundtrip flight, so I took off last Saturday for Palm Springs and flew back 24 hours later to SFO.

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