Indignity Vol. 2, No. 27: Cleared for takeoff.
PUBLIC HEALTH DEP'T.
Everybody but the Covid Virus Is Ready for the Post-Covid Era
WHICH CLAIMS ARE out there, in this vast and complicated world, that you simply do not and will not accept as true? "Several studies...have concluded that an airplane cabin is one of the safest indoor environments due to the combination of highly filtered air and constant air flow coupled with the downward direction of the air," a collection of eleven airline executives wrote in a letter to President Joe Biden last week, asking him to lift the federal mask mandate aboard airplanes, and to stop requiring negative Covid tests for international travelers.
The executives were discussing the narrow quesiton of whether airplane cabin air is likely to transmit the SARS-COV-2 virus, so it's not specifically germane to note this week's news that Congress is introducing regulatory legislation to follow up on the Los Angeles Times' finding that "dangerous vapors contaminate the air supply on planes with alarming frequency, sometimes sickening passengers and crew and incapacitating pilots during flights"—except inasmuch as a Boeing spokesperson chose to bring up the filtration technology to the Times as evidence that cabin air is safe, even though those particle filters do nothing to stop the specific toxic fumes the newspaper and Congress are talking about.
Who knows? Maybe the toxic fumes—which result from the fact that "air you breathe on planes comes directly from the jet engines," complete with whatever jet fuel or hydraulic fluid might be leaking inside the engines—help kill the virus. But there is no amount of evidence, from any source, that could possibly move me off the belief, based on longtime personal experience, that airplanes are germ-propagation chambers. Airplanes are filthy and the people inside them are filthy, and the people who run the show are the filthiest of all.
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