Don’t fly if you don’t have to

So I’m sure you’ve seen it cuz it was everywhere: A highly-hyped study concluding that flying is not only safe in this COVID-19 era, it’s safer (in terms of preventing you from coronavirus infection) than nearly every other routine activity you can think of such as grocery-shopping, for example.

But as I pointed out earlier, that study (and similar studies), which was (they all were) paid for by the airline industry, didn’t account to my satisfaction for some very highly-relevant variables such as the your risk of infection at the airport, the oft-changing criteria for social distancing and mask wearing by airlines, individual variable prevention protocols by airlines and airports, and several other pertinent variables.

Which is why I said that despite these rosy reports, I would still be very reluctant to chance a flight these days.

So it’s very interesting but no surprise to me that a new report found that this summer, “13 of 49 passengers on a 7½-hour flight to Dublin, including a child, tested positive for COVID-19, and another 46 in contact with them in Ireland became infected”.

And even worse, four of these people were hospitalized, one ended in the ICU.

Most troublesome to the pro-flight people out there, according to this report, “at least nine of the 13 infected passengers reported wearing masks”, and most strikingly, “four of the 13 who were wearing masks were not seated next to another affected passenger on the flight nor would be considered a close contact of them.”

So even though I am really really really missing my annual pilgrimage to Hawaii, unless I absolutely have to, I am not getting on an airplane (or going to an airport) until the situation improves dramatically.