Ashley Nault - Mar 9, 2020
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Although the new epidemic of coronavirus or Covid-19 is fast spreading, the disease has made it mandatory for everybody to learn, remember and, above all, use certain hygiene rules and regulations to curb the spread of the epidemic – especially when traveling by plane.

Avoiding coronavirus infection does not require strenuous activities. The disease might sound extremely serious, but its preventive measures are quite easy.

They include frequent and appropriate washing of hands to avoid the spread of bacteria. Also. since coughing and sneezing are inevitable, it is advisable to use a disposable tissue to cover the mouth and dispose of it immediately after use. Furthermore, during emergency cases where a disposable tissue is unavailable, sneezing or coughing could be done inside the elbow, instead of the palms. This prevents the bacteria emitted from our respiratory system from passing onto those around us.

Coronavirus Infection on the Plane

Research has shown that just the way the flu is an airborne disease and is transmitted by the respiratory system, so is Covid-19. There is a high risk of getting infected when in contact with an infected host at a distance of fewer than 2 meters for more than 10 minutes.

While it is possible to avoid sick people in our daily lives, it is impossible when it comes to traveling by plane, as you are unable to pick who you want to fly with. However, if a carrier of the disease is on that plane, the rate at which the disease spreads can be significantly reduced.

What Can Be Done on the Board

As a passenger on an air trip, there are three factors that you can apply to stay safe.

Firstly, get up from your seat and move around the plane as little as possible.  Most times, passengers on the plane move around even when it is not necessary, with excuses for going to the toilet, checking their luggage or taking something from it, etc. When these unnecessary movements are made, you may come in contact with carriers of the disease. Limiting your movements reduces your chances of coronavirus infection.

Secondly, maintain a "safe distance" in the position of your seat. Research has revealed that sitting by the window is safer than sitting by the aisle.

Thirdly, always air travel with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or a small bottle of liquid antiseptic.

Practical Tips for Air Passengers

The simplest protection is the use of a face mask. If possible, pick a window seat. Also, if it is possible, avoid the seat close to the restroom because it is a place visited by a lot of the passengers.

When you get to your seat, make use of alcohol-based sanitizing wipes to clean your tray tables, armrests, and the surface of the cabin wall close to you, your windows glass, your seat belt, and your seat buckle. Disinfect your hands with your sanitizer after sitting down.

Open your overhead air vent and adjust it towards your face. The continuous airflow creates a small invisible "wall" that slightly keeps away exhaled air from other passengers.

Restrict your inboard movement. Due to this reason, make sure you visit the airport restroom before the flight. Also, make sure you take out whatever you might need during the flight from your luggage.

Lastly, use anti-DVT sitting techniques to avoid stretching. Steer clear of putting your hands on your face. This is because microbes and viruses can get into the body through the mouth, nose, and eyes.

Avoid using airplane magazines located close to your seat. The reason is that they have been probably used by other passengers before. To avoid being bored, make sure you bring your magazines. Using your tablet for entertainment is preferable.

To avoid close encounters with other passengers, do not rush to the aisle of the plane for your exit when the plane lands. It takes a while before the doors open and passengers start to come out slowly. If you rush to exit the plane, you just might come in contact with potential carriers of infection so avoid rushing.

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