Travel Listen: Is It Safe to Fly?

00:41  17 july  2020
00:41  17 july  2020 Source:   theatlantic.com

WTTC Reaches Major Milestone for Safe Travels Stamp

  WTTC Reaches Major Milestone for Safe Travels Stamp The Philippines became the 100th destination to receive the certification.The WTTC launched the world’s first global safety and hygiene certification stamp earlier this year and the certification is now being used by popular travel destinations such as Bermuda, the Maldives, Montenegro, Namibia and Uganda.

On this episode of the podcast Social Distance, the staff writer James Hamblin and the executive producer Katherine Wells discuss the perils of air travel and the best ways to prepare for it.

  Listen: Is It Safe to Fly? © Shutterstock / The Atlantic

Listen here:

Subscribe to Social Distance on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or another podcast platform to receive new episodes as soon as they’re published.

What follows is an edited and condensed transcript of their conversation.

The Gross Truth About What Happens When a Fly Lands in Your Food

  The Gross Truth About What Happens When a Fly Lands in Your Food The truth is worse than you probably think, but is the food still safe to eat? There are at least 100 different pathogens houseflies can carry, like bacteria, viruses, and parasite eggs, says Thomas J. Daniels, PhD, associate research scientist and director of Fordham University's Vector Ecology Lab at its Louis Calder Center.

Katherine Wells: We’ve got a question for you from an anonymous person:

I am a healthy 76-year-old thinking about taking a nonstop flight from Nevada to Baltimore. I want to see my daughter and her family, including my grandkids, who have been fantastic about quarantining. I could self-isolate in their basement. For the flight, I have an N95 mask and gloves, and a protective face shield. Icing on the cake—I can wear a diaper to avoid public restrooms. Should I get on that plane?

James Hamblin: The answer for her, just to cut right to it, is that she should get on the plane. She shows, just in that question, a level of vigilance and attentiveness that if everyone were that thoughtful and careful about the precautions they took, we’d all be able to travel safely.

Flight review: What it’s like to fly Frontier Airlines, from Miami to Newark on the Airbus A320neo

  Flight review: What it’s like to fly Frontier Airlines, from Miami to Newark on the Airbus A320neo During the COVID-19 crisis, our team has temporarily ceased taking review trips. Instead, we have been publishing a selection of our most popular reviews from the past year. However, we have now resumed the publication of new, previously unpublished flight, hotel and lounge reviews, from trips taken before the lockdown. We hope this will help you choose once we’re all ready …The flight was on time; pleasant enough interactions with all staff members I encountered.

The air in the cabin of a plane is constantly turning over. A lot of new air is coming in from the outside, and whatever air is recirculated is run through these high-efficiency HEPA filters, the same things they use in hospitals. They’re rated to catch 99.9 percent of viruses. And the whole cabin’s air is supposed to turn over every two to three minutes. The chance of spreading a virus widely within the cabin of a plane is next to zero as long as that system is on. And there haven’t been confirmed cases of coronavirus spread on airplanes to more than one other person ever since we started having people rigorously wear masks and told sick people to definitely not travel. There have been cases where sick people have traveled internationally and people around them have not gotten sick.

Wells: Okay. But you have no control over the other people on the plane and there are many well-documented examples of people not wearing masks on planes, including, recently, Ted Cruz. Does that change things?

Germany welcomes Israeli air force for first joint exercise

  Germany welcomes Israeli air force for first joint exercise Rep. John Lewis was remembered on the last day of the 2020 DNC. Musical artists John Legend and Common performed a moving rendition of their song “Glory” to honor the civil rights icon. Lewis died July 17 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

Hamblin: Right. There is a theoretical possibility that you get seated next to someone who has been really inconsiderate and is symptomatic and refuses to wear a mask. And I don’t know what recourse airlines have in compelling them to. But we haven’t heard about violent showdowns where someone’s refusing to wear a mask. It seems that people mostly have been pretty good about that.

Wells: But what if she walks on the flight and it’s full and the person sitting next to her either doesn’t have a mask or is wearing it incorrectly?

Hamblin: Yeah, that’s an unfortunate situation, but from what we’re seeing, there aren’t reports of lots of transmission on planes, especially since people started taking these precautions. So, yes, it’s a risk—but it’s a very small risk. I think that as more and more people start to travel, there’s probably going to be some interesting confrontations and maybe even legal battles about this.

Wells: I’m going to tell you what I would do if I were her in that situation: I would insist to the flight attendant that I needed a different seat and say that I’m an at-risk person and I can’t sit next to the person.

Yoga lawns, giant chess, and glamping wagons: These are the 10 most popular campsites and RV resorts across the US right now

  Yoga lawns, giant chess, and glamping wagons: These are the 10 most popular campsites and RV resorts across the US right now From a luxury RV resort in Colorado to an Old West-themed park in Maryland, here's where Americans are traveling this summer.

Hamblin: Yeah, I think that would be a great move. If it’s a full flight, your options might be more limited. But I just have to think that there’s enough collective spirit right now that it wouldn’t just be the flight attendant scolding that coughing person who refuses to wear a mask; it would be, like, the entire seven rows all around that person. [Laughs]

Wells: All right, here’s another question: What about public restrooms? She’s going to wear a diaper to avoid public restrooms. Is that what she should do? You’ve told us about toilet plumes. It seems like public restrooms have the potential to be dangerous, right?

Hamblin: You should not have to wear a diaper. Public restrooms are supposed to have ventilation systems that suck air out of the restroom, and anything lingering in the air is not lingering long.

Wells: Do airplane bathrooms have that?

Hamblin: Airplane bathrooms have ventilation like the rest of the plane. One thing is that you should still wear a mask. I wouldn’t assume it’s safe just because you’re alone. I would still wear the mask. We know that flushing a toilet has the capacity to aerosolize virus, if there was virus in the stool that was in that toilet. We don’t know how much virus would have to be present in order to infect someone, and airplane bathrooms are kind of weird. They don’t have the same swirling water mechanisms—they just suck down. I don’t believe they have specifically been studied as a contributor.

Is It Safe to Fly Right Now? Here's What Experts Have to Say

  Is It Safe to Fly Right Now? Here's What Experts Have to Say We spoke with medical, aviation, and travel experts to answer the question of whether or not it’s safe to fly right now. The answer is complicated and comes with caveats. Even still, is it actually safe to take a flight right now? According to the medical, mathematical, aviation, and travel experts we spoke with, the answer is complicated and comes with numerous caveats. While it may be safe to fly, that doesn’t mean it’s without risk. In a nutshell, it all boils down to weighing the many variables and deciding how comfortable you feel getting back on a plane. Here’s what the experts have to say.

Wells: So the most important thing is: If you’re going to use a public restroom, it’s very important to wear the mask.

Hamblin: Right. There’s one important caveat to this discussion. In 1977, there was a flu outbreak on a plane. The plane was on the tarmac, waiting, and they turned off its ventilation system. Thirty-six out of 54 people on the plane got the flu.

Wells: How long were they sitting on the plane?

Hamblin: Four and a half hours. This was not a brief turning off of the system. This is not a reason to have your heart stop if they turn it off briefly. But it should not be practice that they are turning off the ventilation system and having people sit together right now, and maybe they shouldn’t ever do that. So there’s that. And the other issue is deplaning and boarding, where they tend to turn the air off. And some airlines are thinking of creative ways to try to make that process more efficient so you’re not sitting there for 20 minutes after the plane has landed.

Wells: I know that your answer to the original question is: She should get on the plane. But everything you’re telling me—if it were me, I’d be like, I’m not getting on that plane.

Hamblin: It’s a calculated risk, and if you’re 76 and you want to go see your family and the other alternative is waiting two years? That changes the equation.

Wells: It sounds like what you’re describing is the kind of calculation that is always going to be very individual, and that we have to build this muscle for risk calculation if we’re going to live this way for the next few months or even years.

Hamblin: Exactly. And we can all collectively lower risk if we try to limit things like travel to instances when we really feel we need to.

What’s Safe To Do Right Now? The Most Common COVID-19 Questions, Answered .
With states in various stages of reopening, coronavirus cases are increasing across the country. And without standardized guidelines on how we’re supposed to behave, everyone seems to be living by their own rules. Many of us are wondering: What is actually safe to do right now? Is it safe to fly or stay at a hotel? What about a road trip? Can you go to the dentist, restaurant or gym? HuffPost hosted a COVID-19 Q&A with Dr. Kavita Patel,Many of us are wondering: What is actually safe to do right now? Is it safe to fly or stay at a hotel? What about a road trip? Can you go to the dentist, restaurant or gym? 

usr: 0
This is interesting!