As I sit in my house, not traveling, I’ve learned about all the things airlines have done to try to get people like me to fly again. I’ve heard all about HEPA filters, seen promises of cleanliness and middle seats being kept open, you name it. There was even American Airlines’ CEO’s frustrated exclamation of “Let’s fly again, for God’s sake!” And I just shake my head because no, I’m not flying ANYWHERE right now.
Debra Furr-Holden is associate dean for public health integration at Michigan State University. This is what she recently said about traveling during the throes of a pandemic:
We are not ready, and all of the provisions that people are trying to put in place and these recommendations that are being made are not fueled by science or public health, they’re fueled by people’s desires to get back to business and get back to the lives they had before this. And unfortunately, it’s premature. We’ve seen what happens as people increase contact with other people.
Of course, we know this, deep in our hearts. If we work in the business of travel, we want people to travel again so we can make money. If we’re the ones who are usually on the planes and in the hotels and visiting the places, we want to start traveling again just because it’s what we love to do. And because of this #coronacrapola and an abundance of caution, none of that can happen.
But who is the first person “in the business” who I’ve heard say what the “cure” for all of this is?
United’s CEO, Scott Kirby.
He told CNBC the other day:
We don’t expect to get anywhere close to normal until there’s a vaccine that’s been widely distributed to a large portion of the population.
He hit the nail right on the head.
Of course, other airline executives have said as much since March. But I don’t think any of them ever said it so bluntly. For me, it was nice to hear an airline CEO say exactly what’s been in my mind since March.
“I know people want to travel. I want to travel,” Furr-Holden added. “It’s just not wise right now. We don’t have enough information, and we don’t have the provisions in place to be able to do that safely.”
Click here to see the video of Kirby’s interview on CNBC.
#stayhealthy #staysafe #washyourhands #wearamask
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary