On January 30, 2020, The World Health Organization officially declared coronavirus as a global health emergency, and the U.S State Department issued a “Do Not Travel To China” advisory, since Covid is airborne and affects the respiratory tract, leading to illnesses like the common cold, pneumonia and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Now, cases are down, and masks are mandated on planes, but risks are still there. If you’re flying, the best seat on a plane (window seat) helps decrease your chance of getting Covid.
Reasons the windows seat are best to avoid Covid
If you are traveling, there are ways to protect yourself from getting Covid, especially if you’re flying on a plane.
The best way to decrease your chances of coming in contact with someone with Covid on a plane is picking a window seat, according to FlyHealthy, a Boeing-sponsored research group that helps study and understand rates and routes of transmission of infectious diseases in an airplane cabin during flight. This is the best seat on a plane to avoid Covid.
In the infographic below, passengers sitting in a window seat have less probability (0 to 10%) of direct contact with an infected person.
So if you’re an aisle person, you may want to think twice about booking an aisle seat if you’re concerned about Covid. In general, window seat passengers are less likely to catch a disease or virus over aisle-seat passengers, indicating the window seat is the best seat on a plane (we love the window seat in general).
FlyHealthy also points out that, regardless to what seat you book, a passenger increases his or her chances of direct contact with an infected person if they are within one row of that infected person, as suggested in the infographic below.
The “FlyHealthy Research Team” led by Emory University’s Vicki Stover Hertzberg and Howard Weiss determined the probability factors. Hertzerg is a professor of biostatistics and bioinformatics, and she directed the MSPH program (Master of Science in Public Health) in Public Health Informatics. Weiss is a biomathmetician, and PI of FlyHealthy.
The best preventative measures to avoid infection on a flight is by following the guideline CDC issued to cabin crew.
1. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds in a routine manner, and use alcohol-based hand sanitizer (containing at least 60% alcohol).
2. Clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces, which means your seat and tray table.
3. Minimize contact with anyone who has symptoms of illness, like persistent coughing, difficulty breathing, appears obviously unwell or has a fever. If you do see someone with these symptoms, report it to the flight attendant.
It’s also a good idea to wear a face/mouth mask. This will help prevent the spread of germs or you inhaling germs, though whether or not it helps prevent you from getting a virus has never been determined.
You can get a face mask with Amazon in the health and personal care section.
The coronavirus outbreak, originated in Wuhan, China, has spread to 18 countries, including Canada, France, Germany, Finland, Australia, and the United States, and it has affected nearly 9,8000 people (mostly in mainland China) with a total of 213 deaths. This past week, the first person-to-person coronavirus case in the US was reported in Chicago, Illinois (though the patient is in stable condition, according to Chicago Tribune).
According to a report by GlobalData, coronavirus could have serious impact on global tourism since China had 159 million outbound tourists in 2019. ““The tourism industry is already facing a number of headwinds, including ongoing uncertainty over the terms of the UK’s upcoming Brexit withdrawal and intensifying geopolitical tensions between a number of powerful nations,” says Ben Cordwell, Travel & Tourism Analyst for GlobalData. “These factors, combined with the coronavirus outbreak, could mean a tough year lies ahead for the international tourism industry.”
Take preventative measures now! If you plan on traveling, definitely book through TripAdvisor. You can actually book hotels through the site, as well as the best seats on a plane, and I found TripAdvisor offer the best rates.
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