Lately, there’s been a lot of controversy over the use of face masks, with an alarming number of people walking around without masks, as if the whole coronavirus pandemic is behind us. And many of these people are refusing to wear face masks when flying, making all kinds of idiotic excuses about how breathing in CO2 is bad for them and stuff, even though doctors and nurses wear masks for 12+ hours at a time with no issues.
“BUT I READ IT ON FACEBOOK, IT MUST BE TRUE?!”
Here’s the deal.. Wearing a face mask won’t necessarily protect you from catching COVID-19. What it will do is prevent you from potentially spreading it to others. And given how this virus can be asymptomatic at first, you might not know that you even have it for 7-14 days, during which time you could be unknowingly passing it on to others you come in contact with.
Simply put, stop being a selfish asshole and just wear a mask in public. It’s not a big deal, and it will help to slow down the spread of the coronavirus, so that we can all get back to normal life once again, like professional sports, dating, and work.
When the coronavirus first hit, most major airlines instituted a mandatory face mask policy for passengers while in flight.. but they weren’t enforcing it. But that’s now changing, with Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines implementing the following policy regarding face coverings:
- Preflight Communications: Each airline will clearly articulate its individual face covering policy in communications with customers, which may require passengers to acknowledge the specific rules during the check-in process.
- Onboard Announcements: Onboard the aircraft, crew members will announce specific details regarding the carrier’s face covering policy including the consequences passengers could face for violating the policy.
- Consequences for Noncompliance: Each carrier will determine the appropriate consequences for passengers who are found to be in noncompliance of the airline’s face covering policy up to and including suspension of flying privileges on that airline.
Failure to comply with these rules could land you on a no-fly list, something that an American Airlines passenger learned the hard way just last week after getting booted off of a flight for refusing to wear a face mask. United Airlines has also stated that they will temporarily ban passengers from flying if they refuse to wear a mask on board as part of a new policy.
The other major carriers have also pledged to impose consequences for not complying with their mask policies on board. Each airline will determine the exact repercussions.
“Every reputable institution says wearing a mask is one of the most effective things people can do to protect others from contracting COVID-19, especially in places like an aircraft where social distancing is a challenge,” said United’s Chief Customer Officer, Toby Enqvist.
Don’t want to wear a face mask? Then I guess you’ll be driving to your destination instead.