Well being Issues: Is it Secure to Fly for the Holidays?

Health Matters is a psychological component every week. The ideas expressed are those of the author alone.

The holiday season is fast approaching, and millions of people are seeing the dangers of air travel compared to being at home. The assumption is that most people have not seen families for about a year, and driving long distances is not possible.

While the idea of ​​just being in a small area with visitors for long hours is dangerous, recent research says that flying may not be as dangerous for COVID-19 as it is thought, and that indoor air can be cleaner than hospital air.

The idea that air travel can be safer than a hospital or grocery store is the idea of ​​corporate companies that praise and advertise vigorously to all who want to listen. The airline industry is the one that has been most affected by COVID, while flights have fallen sharply compared to 2019.

For Reagan National and Dulles International, public transport services have dropped by about 80% in August compared to August 2019. Air travel information seems reasonable, as recent data from the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority indicates that the number of passengers in the country. the house has tripled in Reagan and doubled in Dulles, out of April.

The airline has put a lot of effort into researching aviation safety, and perhaps the most satisfying research supported by United Airlines has just been released, albeit unchecked by its peers. Using man-made mannequins and high-resolution counters close to the occupants, the researchers found that the risk of airborne aerosols was reduced by 99.7% due to higher air exchange rates, HEPA resuscitation and lower air pressure.

A strong atmospheric change means that the total atmospheric volume is changed every three minutes, and 75% comes from outside the aircraft and 25% returns after passing the HEPA filter. As the air conditioning system moves, air flows from the roof to the floor, reducing the risk of infection. In other words, the risk of contracting the virus is much higher if the passerby is in the same line, and much lower in the front and back lines.

All the mannequins and nanometrics in the world can tell us that flying is safe, but are people sick? A recent study from the International Air Transport Association states that 44 COVID cases related to air travel from 1.2 billion passengers have flown since the beginning of 2020.

A few figures are in line with the results published in the Journal of Travel Medicine last month, which looked at all peer-reviewed aircraft records that could be sent. They asserted that the “absence of multiple SARS-CoV-2 statistical data is encouraging but not conclusive evidence that flying is a viable option.” On October 27, a study from Harvard’s TH Chan School of Public Health confirmed that with masks and air conditioning, there is “a very small risk of transmitting SARS-COV-2 infections on the air”.

Despite these positive studies on aviation safety, not all have been light. One study saw two riders and two fighters flying 15 hours from Boston to Hong Kong a few days later with the same COVID problem, indicating the spread of viruses while flying.

One study looked at a flight from London to Hanoi, where 16 passengers, most of whom were part of a business group, were found to have COVID, showing the proximity as a major carrier. Both studies were published in the journal Emerging Infectious Disease and were both in March before. Recently, a report was published that despite safety precautions and reduced air traffic, more than 100 airlines have been infected since the introduction of COVID.

What I take after writing it all down is that air travel is dangerous, but less than I initially thought. Masks, air-conditioning, HEPA filters, air conditioning, abrupt climbing and disinfection during the flight are the most effective methods already available. Of course, many of these major courses are sponsored by aircraft manufacturers and are driven by preferences, but repeated research that describes the passengers is not paid for by the airline.

Being on an airplane can be safer than all the activities going to board a plane such as checkpoints, bathrooms, security checks, taxis, trains, and so on. I agree with the CDC that staying at home is very safe, and I do my best to let people know that they will fly. If you are thinking of flying and unaware that you do not have a recent COVID show, there are things you can do to make your travels safer:

  • Book flights are always unpleasant – fewer people in the airport mean less visibility.
  • Keep away from people at all times from entry to board.
  • If you are flying alone, choose a window seat. There’s not a slight approaching of people moving the aisle, and carrying luggage upstairs and going to the bathroom. There are also a few people around as the window becomes a barrier for the body.
  • Wipe public areas with pesticides beforehand. Most planes kill germs in the middle of the aircraft, but they do not hurt twice as much.
  • Open the air vents as everyone climbs. Not all airplanes have enough airflow when flying, and this is one way you can improve.
  • Limit eating and drinking if possible, reducing the amount of time without a mask.
  • Check out the latest COVID updates to your destination. If there are large springs, it may be best to delay the trip to the tropics.

This is not a complete list of courses, many others are out there and come out every week, but I think these are very important examples.

What do you think? Are you safe to fly? If not, when can you be free? Do you have any other instructions for flying?

Dr. George C. Hwang, known to his patients as Dr. Chaucer, is a paramedic who also manages the operation of Arlington Peace Street Hospitals. He authored several magazines, books and medical sites, and has lived in Arlington for the past 15 years.

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