The holiday season is just around the corner. People have been cooped up. Folks are looking for ways to venture out safely. Perhaps you’re looking ahead to the holidays and safe gatherings with family or friends in distant places.

If your plans involve flying, you’ll want to protect yourself and the loved ones you’re visiting.

I had the chance to ask infectious disease doctor Pablo Feuillet about flying safely during COVID, especially if you’re in a high-risk group or have underlying conditions. Here’s a summary of our Q&A session.

Is it possible for people with underlying conditions to fly safely and avoid COVID-19?

Nothing is 100% safe, but if you need to fly, there are definitely precautions you can take, whether you’re in a high-risk group or not.

I’m assuming this involves wearing a mask?

Yes, but it should be an N95 mask. You wear glasses, so that gives you additional protection since the virus is contracted through the nose, mouth or eyes.

[Note: Here’s information on mask ratings. Here’s Amazon’s information about N95 and K95 masks. Here’s an example of K95 masks.]

What about not being able to social distance on the plane?

If you’re flying on a newer plane, the circulation systems are very good.

Actually, your concerns should start as soon as you enter the building. Watch your distance in the security line, and don’t let your guard down in the gate area. Do your best to keep space around you when people gather to board the plane, as well as while on the jetway.

On the plane, it’s not just the people next to you. The people in front, in back and across the aisle are within range of emitting droplets. If they’re coughing or sneezing or talking very animatedly, be extra vigilant. Don’t adjust your mask, which might let the droplets in. Don’t touch your face, and don’t touch objects that touch your face. For instance, be sure to wash your hands before touching your glasses.

Also remember to attempt to keep your distance from others as you exit the plane and the airport.

When I fly, I usually wipe down the seatback and tray in front of me, arm rests and seatbelt. Will that help during COVID?

That’s not a guarantee, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt. You’ll be getting rid of germs. The airlines are also supposed to wipe down the planes between flights, and they should be using cleaners that kill viruses.

This is a summary of my notes from speaking with Dr. Feuillet.

If you need a second opinion about flying safely during COVID, here are two sources for you:

MIT Medical School

CDC

Safe Travels!

About Helene Segura, M.A. Ed., CPO®

As The Inefficiency Assassin™, Time Management Fixer Helene Segura empowers professionals on the go with the tools to slay lost time. Personal inefficiency at work leads to increased stress levels, lower morale, higher absenteeism, more turnover – and rising spending on employee health care and hiring. Why not improve productivity, decrease stress levels, and increase profits instead? The author of four books – two of which were Amazon best-sellers – Helene Segura has been the featured organization expert in more than 200 media interviews. She has coached hundreds of clients to productivity success and performance improvement by applying neuroscience and behavioral modification techniques to wipe out destructive, time-wasting habits. Helene turns time management on its head by sharing both client case studies and pop culture examples to teach her mind-bending framework for decreasing interruptions, distractions and procrastination so that companies can spend more time generating revenue.

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