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Up In the Air

This very timely article was written by Dr. Evan Cantini, Medical Director of Everhome HealthCare.

What precautions should I take before traveling by plane for several hours to a state in the mid-East?

I posed that question to myself, when preparing to fly back to visit my 93-year-old mother in Ohio. This is a relevant question because we have no national standards regarding infection precautions or reduction of transmission with respect to COVID-19, though we do have recommendations by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). They recommend wearing a mask, washing or sanitizing hands frequently, avoiding touching your face or mouth, avoiding contact with sick people, and staying 6 feet apart. Although some of those actions are very possible, the issue of staying 6 feet apart is difficult on an airplane.

What I chose to do after understanding the risks and knowing I could not quarantine myself following my arrival included:

- Wearing a mask as much as possible.

- Wearing a long sleeve shirt and pants and packing a change of clothes in my carry-on bag.

- Wiping down my seat and tray table along with the one beside me, upon boarding the plane.

- Bringing food that I prepared and packaged at home, to eat on the plane.

- Wiping down the water bottle I was given on the flight, before opening and drinking from it.

- Sanitizing my hands intermittently during the trip.

- Going to the restroom to wash my hands and face, change my clothes, and wash my hands again, upon arrival.

I felt that these actions decreased the chance that respiratory droplets from fellow passengers, possibly containing COVID-19, would come in contact with my mother, when I reached her house. Fortunately, she did not develop symptoms of COVID…..14 days and counting, since my arrival.

Dr. Cantini gave these suggestions to his Director of Operations, Jodell Estrada, prior a recent plane trip to Mexico. Both she and her husband returned home Covid 19 free.

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