I cancelled all work-related travel for this year, but our family also wanted some ocean time, so we decided to head out to Vancouver Island and stay in a self-contained property, thereby minimizing risk to ourselves or others. Driving would have entailed food and gas stops, a ferry ride, and a hotel en-route, so we figured flying would be safer and easier.

The early July flight between Calgary and Nanaimo via Vancouver was definitely different. To avoid crowds we flew out of Calgary on the first flight of the day, which looked to be running at around 10% capacity. Vancouver Airport, usually one of Canada’s busiest, was deserted, and most airport shops and restaurants closed. But beyond that, once we landed on the island, there was no signs of a worldwide pandemic.

Air Canada supplied masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, and bottled water. No onboard food or drink service.

Flying During COVID

Masks were required in all airports and on the plane.

Flying During COVID

Vancouver Airport – mid-morning, but as deserted as I’ve ever seen it.

Flying During COVID

At the north end of Vancouver Island, Telegraph Cove Resort is far removed from the rest of the world – the perfect place to escape the pandemic, if only for a few days. Aside from some social distancing requirements in the main office and cafe, COVID was quickly forgotten. We were part of a group of five families, each staying in their own house along the marina boardwalk. The three boats that the other families had towed in were the perfect way to get even further from civilization – and reach the best fishing, kayaking, and whale-watching spots.

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