When the pandemic hit this past spring, the travel industry suffered a massive blow. No one wanted to travel (even if they were allowed) due to the fear of catching COVID-19.
After all, being at an airport with ALL those people and their germs, then forced to sit on a packed plane with them seemed almost foolish…
… except now studies show a lot of that fear really wasn’t warranted… and flying is actually pretty safe.
Sure, it’s ANNOYING to travel now that all passengers are forced to wear a mask – whether they have health issues or not. But studies show wearing a 3-ply surgical mask on a plane practically eliminates your chance of catching COVID-19.
Even the CDC has walked back travel restrictions.
And while some airlines still pack passengers in like sardines, a few like Delta and Southwest are keeping the middle seat empty – at least for now.
So you can breathe easy… literally.
In a little more than 5 minutes, 99.99 percent of particles are filtered out of the air cabin on a plane – which is higher than a typical operating room at a hospital!
I mean sure…
… airplanes are still a disgusting place full of all kinds of germs – but we already know that.
So it’s still wise to take a few moments and sanitize touchpoint areas like your tray table and seatbelt.
And since airlines are laying down the law with their mask mandate, even going so far as to kick a mother and her 6 children off a plane because her 2-year-old wouldn’t keep a mask on…
… I think you can have confidence that should some “unruly” passenger have his mask down too long to eat his pretzels, the flight attendants will make sure he puts it on quickly.
Especially since they are even banning passengers indefinitely from flying (even the hero who took out Bin Laden) if they don’t follow the rules.
Here’s the thing – leaving your house each day and doing normal activities proposes a risk.
Clearly many businesses have gotten more lax, as few stores (if any) actually still sanitize grocery carts anymore, and many restaurants have given up with the salt and ketchup packets and just bring you the full bottle.
And don’t think the teens at your local drive-thru are actually changing their gloves in between each customer.
A lot of the “safety” measures are simply for show at this point.
Hand sanitizer stations, masks, and gloves may create an illusion of safety – but wearing your mask into a restaurant, and then taking it off to eat with eight of your closest friends technically puts you at a higher risk than ordering takeout.
But what’s the alternative?
Stay inside all day? Never leave your home?
Some people choose that path – and that’s their choice.
And yes, for pregnant woman, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems – they actually should take greater precautions than your average citizen.
But other folks HAVE to travel for work and simply cannot afford not to fly to meet clients for business meetings.
So the best we can all do is be smart and try and mitigate our risk while flying.
It’s probably not wise to sit right next to a huge group of people while you wait for your flight.
And if you travel smart and do things like check-in and print your boarding pass – and pack smart so you don’t have to check a bag – you’ll avoid having to wait in long lines and limit your exposure to massive groups.
Now we’re not saying it’s the best time to book an international trip…
…flying restrictions have eased up some but it’s still sketchy, and every country has their own entry requirements.
But if you need to travel for work, or really want to consider taking a winter vacation – be smart about it – and don’t let the “what ifs” control your life or you’ll never leave your home.
(h/t Proud American Traveler)