The moment has come: You need to take your first flight since the pandemic began. Or you want to get back on a plane to take that long-postponed vacation finally. However, the primary concern with flying is sitting within six feet of an infected person. To ease your mind, we turned to the experts to see: Is It Safe to Fly?
Here is what they had to say:
- According to Dr. David Powell, airplane travel has some built-in safety features, a medical advisor for the International Air Transport Association. Customers sit facing forward and not toward each other, seatbacks provide a barrier, and passengers' limited movement once seated adds to the onboard protection. Airflow is less conducive to droplet spread than different indoor environments: flow rates are high, directed in a controlled manner (from ceiling to floor), to limit mixing, and the use of HEPA filters ensures that the air supply is pure. Source: Business Insider
- According to Dr. Julian Tang, a consultant virologist at the UK's Leicester Royal Infirmary and associate professor at Leicester University, most infection during a plane journey will stem from close-range, face-to-face conversations—and that these are unaffected by the plane's internal airflow. Ventilation systems attempt to stop transmission front to rear. ". Source: TimeOut.com
- If you do choose to fly, check out airlines' policies on seating and choose the window seat if possible. According to Kacey Ernst PhD MPH, an infectious disease epidemiologist at the University of Arizona, some airlines are minimizing capacity and spacing passengers by not using middle seats and having empty rows. Others are boarding from the back of the plane after you book your ticket and select a window seat. If you consider the six-foot radius circle around you, having a wall on one side would directly reduce in half the number of people you are exposed to during the flight, not to mention all the people going up and down the aisle. Source: Ted.Com.
Leaving your house, let alone stepping foot onto an airplane right now, might seem like a challenging task—but, it's possible.
All it takes is doing things a little differently to enjoy the people, places, and experiences that we get from travel.