In Australia, Japan, and a few other countries, airlines have introduced “scenic flights” that take off and land in the same place. One of these “flights to nowhere,” a seven-hour excursion on a Qantas jet, sold out in ten minutes.
I don’t get it. I understand that you’ve been feeling cooped up for the last six months, but flying is the worst part of any vacation — and scientists from Dr. Fauci on down have repeatedly said it’s not a good idea to spend time jammed in an enclosed metal tube with dozens of other humans. Even if they leave the middle seat open, those in the aisle seats will still lean over towards the window to see what they can see from high above our planet.
Worse, after you get off the airborne viral incubator, you take whatever you’ve inhaled home with you and, instead of sharing photos from your wonderful trip, you spread the virus to your family and friends.
How are airlines checking to see if passengers have coronavirus? By using infrared thermometers to take temperatures? As I wrote in July:
The lack of a fever does not mean you don’t have COVID-19. In fact, much of the spread of the virus is from people without an elevated temperature, who feel fine and are otherwise asymptomatic. Thus, allowing entry for someone whose forehead radiates a “normal” 98.6 degrees neither prevents the spread of the disease, nor protects the workers and other customers inside.
Other businesses aren’t even bothering to take temperatures. Instead, they’re simply asking customers and workers whether they have the virus or have been exposed to someone who does. Really? During a pandemic, are we comfortable relying on health checks via the honor system? Have you seen how often someone leaves a public bathroom without washing their hands?
Here’s why that won’t work, either.
In a recent study by Brock University, lots of people who have had coronavirus lied about it. One in three COVID-19-positive participants said they had denied having symptoms when asked by others, while more than half reported some level of concealment of their symptoms. Some of the lying may be to avoid stigma and social repercussions, or because many folks can’t afford to miss a day of work in this economy. But I’ll bet a bigger factor is that people don’t want to be prevented from doing whatever they want to do, regardless of the impact it might have on others (see “Face Masks, Covidiots Refusing To Wear”).
This problem isn’t going away, either. When a vaccine is finally determined to be safe and effective next year, you know there will be tons of people who won’t get the shots but will lie about it.
Yet more proof that we are not all in this together. And that, when it comes to COVID-19, we’re all on a flight to nowhere.