It was necessary
In the beginning itself, I would like to mention that we did not travel for leisure. I don’t want my readers to assume that the traveling can be resumed now.
We are still facing the pandemic and situation is no better than it was some months back. But at the same time, it can sometimes become inevitable to not travel. Although, traveling must be avoided right now but we did not had that option.
The current on-going pandemic has changed our lives. We never had to think this much before travelling as we are thinking right now. Around mid-June the unlock 1.0 was announced after the lockdown due to Covid-19 pandemic.
This is the same time we had to make an unavoidable trip to Vadodara from Mumbai. Fortunately, Vadodara is not very far from Mumbai and also it has great connectivity.
Choosing the mode of travel
My first choice was to travel by car. I did not want to come in contact of people. So, we tried to understand how we can travel via out-station cabs. To travel via car we had to apply for e-pass by submitting the fitness certificate from the physician. Good news is now that restriction has been uplifted. Flights were getting frequently cancelled on daily basis. So we finally opted for travelling by train.
We booked a special lockdown train from Mumbai to Vadodara. For the first time in my life I chose to travel via first AC sleeper class.
Our tickets were confirmed and we were ready to travel.
Packing for Pandemic Trip
It is not very difficult to guess that the sanitizer masks, gloves were the priority at these times. And we did exactly the expected thing. I kept all sanitization and safety things handy.
We had to board our train from Mumbai Central. We booked Uber cab for railway station and surprisingly reached station in half-time than usual due to less traffic on roads of Mumbai.
Mumbai Central Railway Station
Even in my dreams I could not imagine a scene that I saw at railway station of Mumbai. Very few people were there and mostly looked like migrants who were leaving Mumbai with families. Their faces were somehow conveying loudly that they are leaving for not to return. Impact of Covid-19 pandemic has been harshest on poor population.
At the gate, Railway staff sprayed and sanitized our luggage. There was no temperature check was done and after showing our tickets we moved towards our already standing train on platform.
As we had reached 2 hours early we waited in the train only for it to start. Thanks lord that ACs and lights were working.
Experience of First Class AC train travel for the first time
My first thought when I entered train and especially my coup was “why I did not travel earlier in First AC train before”. Due to pandemic the curtains, bed sheets and pillows are now banned in the trains. But the other comforts of First class AC train coach was hard to miss.
Most attracting part of coup was that it felt like home. Stair to climb to upper seat was wooden and wide. And cozy seats had other level of comfort. Also, it will be unfair to not mention that seat and table were provided for having our meals comfortably.
What was on our mind?
Nothing could distract us from the fact that no matter what we cannot forget to disinfect the place before we use. We carried branded air and surface disinfected to be on safe side. It was already 2 PM so we had our home cooked lunch in the train only. After a short while train started.
There were not many people on the train. Even the coup of 4 passengers mostly consisted of only 2-3 people max. Train was not fully occupied.
4 hours journey was finished sooner than expected. And we reached Vadodara by 7 PM.
At Vadodara station, thermal screening was done at the exit gate.
There were no guidelines given at the time of journey, departure or arrival regarding what rules to follow or not follow regarding getting quarantine for 14 days.
But being aware and responsible citizens we followed 14 days self-quarantine rule for our safety as well as safety of our loved ones.
If large population understands that we must travel only when we must then we can help in curbing this deadly virus. We reached Vadodara safely because there was less crowd and we took all safety measures we could.
We maintained distance from people everywhere.
But this can only be maintained only when each one of us act responsibly because with population like ours, it is not at all possible to be safe at crowded places.
I don’t know how long this pandemic will haunt us but this is our life and we must save it. Also, we must be sensitive towards other people’s life.
So, this was my pandemic journey which was not really a tough one but still an experience which I will never forget all my life. I saw what I never expected to see from non-crowded Mumbai to changed people for whom social distancing and hygiene remained priority to this level.
Today, to revive employment and economy, most of the restrictions have been uplifted especially related to travel. It’s not possible to deny that these restrictions are also the cause of rising covid-19 cases. Silver lining is that we have great recovery rate. But we have lost more than 85k lives in span of these 7-8 months of covid-19 crisis.
In the end, all I can say is we are still in crisis and pandemic is not over yet. We must wait for proper treatment and vaccine to be developed.
It’s been tough year for most of us. But if you are reading this blog then you are alive and hopefully healthy.
Let’s be strong for some more time and probably we will emerge victorious. And then we will travel more frequently because travelling is not just a luxury but a blessing too.
Let me know in the comment section if you had to travel during these times. And what was your experience.
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