Home. I Am!

I know that they call New York City “the city that never sleeps.” It applies equally as well to Las Vegas.

My flight home was at 6:05am so I left for the airport a bit after 4am. There were a ton of people out and about the MGM Grand at that time of the morning. Some were doing the walk of shame, some were drunk, some were hardcore gamblers, and some must have just been night people.

My Lyft driver Amanda was quite pleased to know I was an airport fare. She said at that time of the morning she either got drunks or people heading to the airport.

The flights home on Southwest were uneventful in terms of turbulence and I was able to get an aisle seat on both legs. My first leg was noteworthy but more on that later.

I enjoy the SHOT Show but it is great to get home. Sleeping in your own bed with your own pillow is the key to a restful night’s sleep for me. That and having the Complementary Spouse next to me. I think I was asleep by 9:30 last night. There are people that are “road warriors” who travel constantly for work. They have my admiration for their ability to do it because I know I sure could not do it.

Now back to the first leg of the trip home. Southwest Airlines had routed me from Las Vegas to Baltimore and from there on to Greenville-Spartanburg. When I arrived at the gate in Las Vegas I noticed there were a number of passengers wearing paper surgical masks. I didn’t think too much about it at the time since it is a common practice for many Asians. It turns out most were part of a Chinese group of tourists.

About an hour and a half into the flight I noticed the flight attendants checking on a passenger many rows in front of me. I didn’t think much about it. Then they started passing out paper surgical masks along with alcohol wipes to those around that passenger. They later offered them to anyone who wanted them.

We landed and then stopped short of the gate. They announced that they had a sick passenger and were waiting on health officials to meet us. Below is a picture of what I saw outside the window. There were multiple ambulances, fire department vehicles, and other emergency vehicles.

The captain came on the PA, explained the situation, and said he was just being extra cautious. He later went on to say we were free to leave once we got off the plane.

After about 20-30 minutes, health officials escorted the passenger and his wife off the plane. Then the head of the BWI Emergency Department announced that the passenger was being taken to a local hospital for testing as he had recently been in Beijing, China. He went on to say there was a very small chance that it was coronavirus and we would be notified by Southwest if the passenger tested positive.

Finally, before we were allowed to deplane, they had the tour group leader who spoke both English and Mandarian explain the situation in Mandarian to the Chinese tour group. They were to remain on the plane for a special briefing.

As we got off the plane, paramedics squirted our hands with hand sanitizer. I did speak to one of the paramedics who said they were just being overly cautious about the situation given the spread of coronavirus in China.

Needless to say, we made the news.

From NBC Nightly News:

The story also made the Baltimore Sun, the Washington Post, and all the local TV stations in Baltimore and Washington. It also made the news in Las Vegas.

The Maryland Department of Health said the passenger did not meet the CDC criteria for coronavirus testing.

This afternoon, a passenger arrived on a flight from Las Vegas to BWI who showed flu-like symptoms and had recently traveled from Beijing, China.

The person did not meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria for 2019 novel coronavirus testing but was referred to a medical facility for evaluation to determine whether additional follow-up was necessary. Per guidance from the CDC, no special action was indicated for this person or for any other passengers or crew on the flight. 

Following evaluation by medical personnel, the person was released.

The passenger was previously screened and cleared in Mexico and Las Vegas.

Southwest released this statement:

Local medical personnel met Flight 2889 once it arrived at the Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport from Las Vegas due to reports of an ill Customer. Out of an abundance of caution, and in light of the recent concerns of the coronavirus, our Crew followed recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control for responding to concerns to ensure the Customer, and those traveling with them, receive the assistance or support they may need.

Frankly, I’m very glad that they took it seriously and didn’t just slough it off.

As to the other leg of the trip to GSP, the plane was half full so everyone was encouraged to spread out. There were a handful of people on that flight who had been on the previous leg and who also had attended the SHOT Show.