Air travel in the future must address two issues, and it is very unclear how — how to protect passengers from infection while on board, and how to protect the receiving destination from potential infection by these same passengers. Even when this pandemic subsides, those two issues remain, given that future pandemics can’t be ruled out and it is indisputable that the airplane is the main method of spreading infection. The current mode of air travel is a recipe for disaster. It has to change fundamentally.
The Coronavirus Good News
The good news about this coronavirus pandemic is that the death rate is much lower than what happened in 1918/1920, and now the entire world has had its experience with trainer wheels in dealing with a pandemic, so if and when we get hit with a more virulent one, the world will already have been experienced in dealing with it — we all know exactly what needs to be done. Back in January, we were all newbies, but now we are all veterans.
Can’t wait for this pandemic to be over so we can have filthy hands again.
Now in retirement, I take long walks for the exercise, and these days have always included the quarter mile cemetery in our town. I don’t think any of the residents there have the virus.
The flu pandemic in 1918/1919 (it came back a second year) infected about 1/3 of the entire world, i.e., it was highly infectious with a huge number of people infected. But it wasn’t a death sentence as the death rate was only 2.5%. Yet millions died because so many were infected. The death rate for the current pandemic is a little over 2%, much greater than the standard flu death rate of just .1%, but, so far, it has infected far fewer people than the 1918/19 pandemic.
A nasty aspect of the Spanish Flu is that it could kill very quickly. Often those people who were infected died that same day or shortly afterward. A respiratory killer — you suffocated from lack of oxygen.