Hi. I'm Toby Knapp. I just wanna go home.

@tobyknappON | Facebook

I just wanna go home.

I'm all up in some feels, trying to work through something right now, and maybe you can help me to make some sense of the conflicted thoughts which are raging in my head right now.

I haven't seen my parents in over a year. My plan... was to go back to the family home in March. You know, for Spring Break. Like I've done many times before.

You know what happened next.

Lockdowns. Closures. Travel restrictions.

We didn't know much then about this COVID-19. We knew it was killing people. It was like some sort of flu-on-steroids. We knew certain demographics were susceptible and we quickly learned that some parts of the country - and world - took it more serious than others.

My parents -- live in a place which, well, I guess took it seriously enough... but not enough... so their numbers have been off the charts. Red. Like, don't go down there unless you want to come back and quarantine for 14 days.

But since that time, we've seen more tests. We know more about the science and the virus. We know what we can do to stay safer... and how we can do our part to work NOT to get this virus.

That's what is in my mind as I think about upcoming time off... travel... and family.

I would take as many tests, give as much blood and more, if I could, to go to see my family. And, I'm ready to do just that...

... but I'd appear tone-deaf, right? If I did? Throwing caution to the wind with travel to do whatever and see whatever?

My birthday is coming up. I'd love to go to Mexico, which is open for business. American commercial airlines are flying tourists to Mexico. I know those who have gone, have come back, and are healthy. They tell me things are clean... the steps to sanitize and fight the virus are frankly more intense overseas than they are here.

But if I go, am I tone-deaf? Reckless? Unsafe? A bad example?

My friend - a brother in so many ways to me but not by blood - is turning 40 soon. We've been talking about gathering for his birthday... in a state with a really high case count. BUT... at their airport, they have COVID testing - rapid and swab - on demand. Yes, there's a cost, and I have a healthcare savings account which will cover it... and I know we'd all be socially-distant, masked and safe... but if I were to go, testing on the way out, on the way back - and when I return... does that make me tone-deaf?

I don't know the answers. That's why I'm writing right now. I know what I'm thinking and I know how I feel... but that 'wild-card' is the variable of some sort of public perception.

So... what do you think?

Have you felt like me?

What did you do? What will you do? Thanksgiving is coming. So as Christmas. How are you... handling this?

These are rough times. I just want to go home.... but I don't know if home is where I should go to be.


Thanks for reading...