Covid-19 Risk: Air Travel Is Safer Than Buying Groceries, Eating At Restaurants As Per This Study
It has been established in a recent study conducted by the scientists of Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health in the US, and funded by airlines, airports and concerned manufacturers that the chances of an individual contracting the coronavirus disease is more likely in case of dining out or grocery shopping than travelling in a flight.
The following article scrounges if there’s any truth in this comparison, or better so, if such a comparison holds any weight, with the help of multiple facts and information from different researchers.
What Makes Air Travel Safer?
The scientists from the Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health in the US have claimed via a study that air travel is safer than going out for dining or grocery shopping, in regards of Covid.
Their claims are backed up on the basis of ventilation systems present in an aircraft.
It is made up of High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters, which continuously circulate and refresh the air supply.
This is known to filter out over ‘99%’ of the COVID-19 causing particles.
Is Air Travel Really Highly Safe?
After the aforementioned researchers reported their study, other researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) concluded otherwise.
Arnold I Barnett, one of them commented that while HEPA filters are very good, they are not full-proof as there are numerous examples of transmission despite these filters.
Is A Comparison Between Airline Travel and Grocery Shopping Valid?
Researchers have commented that contraction of coronavirus on airplanes mainly depend upon the distance from an infected person.
While the risk of contracting the virus is not as significant in aircrafts due to airflow patterns, enhanced cleaning, and mandatory mask-wearing, the chances rise if one is seated next to an infected person.
“There isn’t really a safer-riskier order of situations between airplanes and grocery stores as it depends on many factors.”, says Justin Yang from the Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health.
Despite differences in their agreements about degree of contraction of Covid on a plane, all the scientists have given utmost stress on the use of masks.
Taking off masks for about 20 minutes in a two-hour airplane journey increases the transmission risk by 33%.