A friend mentioned to me "I'd like to see my folks but they live far away and I don't want to fly and they are immune compromised". And that made me think and then write this.
Is Flying Safe?
Here's what I know about flying right now:
- Airlines, even when they promised first responders to New York City a flight home with "no one in the middle seat", they still filled the middle seat.
- The three leading Airlines have all stated that they won't enforce their mask restrictions. So there will almost be a certainty that someone is going to take off their mask.
- Flying is inherently dehydrating so even if everyone is masked, how do they drink something without exposing someone next to them?
- We know that this is largely spread via airborne particles and at distances up to least 8 feet. And there absolutely isn't 8' of separation between passengers.
This makes me think that getting on an airplane, unless you have already had COVID-19, is idiotic to say the least.
I live in the Mid West (Indiana) and people in this part of the world tend to view drives as up to 10 hours as, seemingly, a matter of course. A drive of 10 hours can generally be done with no more than 4 bathroom breaks (personal biology may alter this; this is in my personal experience).
My friend is facing roughly a 700 mile drive so it falls into that 10 hour benchmark. A 10 hour drive can be done entirely in one day, even with one driver, as long as you are realistic about your personal need for naps (and that you can nap in a car). And concerns about social distancing in terms of food can be handled with a lunch box and a series of snacks. This reduces the COVID-19 concerns about a long road trip to two fold:
- Bathroom stops. Presumably if you chose a bathroom slightly off the highway (i.e. not the gas station right off the exit but one down the road a bit) then there would be less crowds and less infection risk.
- Are you bringing COVID-19 to your destination. One of the most insidious thing about COVID-19 is its asymptomatic nature. If you are traveling to see someone that isn't leaving the house much then they may not infect you but there is a chance that you might infect them.