Why are planes still flying during a pandemic?
Airlines and travelers have scrambled to adapt to the changes due to coronavirus. The US State Department has put the country at Level 4: Do Not Travel. All American citizens have been warned not to travel internationally.
Since the outbreak, flight travel is down 95 percent. TSA’s official website reported that on April 19, 105,382 people traveled – a shocking decrease from the 2.3 million passengers that were screened on the same day in 2019.
Travelers who must take flight have taken extreme precautions. Images captured across the country show travelers in biohazard suits, gloves, masks and sometimes even googles. With all the safety wear, why do commercial flights continue to operate?
Dennis Tajar, American Airlines captain, told The Washington Post that flights are still deemed essential. Some medical and other essential workers require transportation; some trips are delivering cargo. However, the CDC has recommended that all non-essential flights be cancelled – so as not to put people at a risk.
Business Insider’s correspondent Kate Taylor has been traveling for work purposes through South Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand. Taylor said she’s been surprised by the number of people still traveling about Asia.
Across Asia, there are several safety checks were personnel are checking the temperature of travelers. To keep herself safe, Taylor said she wipes down her seat, armrests and seat table when she takes her seat. Similar measures have not been reported in the US.
Experts call the second wave of coronavirus “absolutely inevitable”
As states like Georgia move to lift shelter-in-place orders, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Tuesday that a second wave of the virus this winter will be “more difficult”
“There’s a possibility that the assault of the virus on our nation next winter will actually be even more difficult than the one we just went through,” CDC Director Robert Redfield said in an interview with The Washington Post. “And when I’ve said this to others, they kind of put their head back, they don’t understand what I mean.”
Redfield said these coming months are a time for preparation for the uncertain times ahead. During the extensive interview, he also called the recent protests against the stay-at-home orders “not helpful.”
Dr. Dena Grayson, a medical doctor and a specialist on deadly pandemic diseases, confirmed Redfield’s warnings. During an appearance on Dr. Phil, Dr. Grayson said the flu-season would cause an uptick in Covid cases.
“Come next flu season…we expect that this virus will kind of boomerang back here to the north, causing a second, even worse wave of infections,” she said. Adding, “The only defense we have against this virus right now is to shelter.”
Dr. Irwin Redlender called the second wave, “absolutely inevitable” during an interview with MSNBC.
The Director of Columbia University’s National Center for Disaster Preparedness also said that even when we do reenter “normalcy,” new procedures and testing need to be put into place.
According to Johns Hopkins University, almost 2.5 million Covid-19 cases, killing at least 171,000 globally. The virus has killed an estimate of 42,000 people in the U.S.