Traveling and the Coronavirus
Don't Be Anxious
Just Be Ready
Director of Operations & Founder of
IN A PANIC!
It’s the second week of March 2020. We all woke up to a very different world. The Coronavirus (Covid19) has broken out and is spreading across the United States. But hey, don’t be anxious, just be ready. Whether we’re a pilot or passenger, there are many things we can do to mitigate risks. The CDC suggests maintaining a 3 foot separation from other people. “Say again?” Well, we’ve all been on that flight with the 300+ lb. dude crushing us like a Chihuahua in a handbag as we’re being pressed against the window with someone else’s face print coming at us on the not so clean glass—possibly from someone who suffered the exact same situation.
Passenger aircraft are not known for their cleanliness and sanitation practices. This reality confronts us especially as we use the latrine with the mysterious puddles on the floor. We pray to god that it’s water as we Spiderman our way in and out, failing to avoid touching anything, but sadly knowing it’s not water. Fear not, there are some things that can be done! Meet your new friends: Lysol, Clorox wipes or similar; gloves; alcohol pads or similar; hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol content; and in a pinch some plain old vinegar. These just became your friends. It’s time to bring on the O.C.D! This is my hand sanitizer. There are many like it, but this one is mine!
People can be nasty, so we’re going to start from the cockpit as a pilot and work our way to the rear, as a passenger. Know any paramedics or law enforcement who share vehicles and equipment? They wipe their stuff down.
Here are the elements to the rituals:
1. Don’t touch your face.
Your ears, nose, and throat are a gateway for germs and bugs into our systems. Let’s not introduction them. If it’s a hard habit to break maybe try a dog cone. (Not a CDC recommended item but would certainly help and be funny to us.)
2. Wipe everything down with sanitizing wipes. Use gloves!
I hope you use your own headset, but if not, those need to be thoroughly scrubbed and don’t let the boom of your mic touch your face. Fight the urge for the “pilot duckface” and resist bringing those lips to the mic. (You know what I’m talking about.)
Even if it’s your headset, wipe it down.
Wipe down the controls, fuses, switches, door handles, seatbelts, and anything you may come in contact with.
Don’t forget the Oxygen masks too!
3. One of the biggest contamination hazards is your own phone, and sunglasses so clean them often. (Twice a day is recommended.)
4. Bring your own meals. Unfortunately, that minimum-wage worker doesn’t always understand the importance of keeping their nails short and hair back. Countless times I’ve seen workers use the bathroom while wearing their aprons and touching their faces before handling your delicious food. This is a no-go.
5. See if your airline/company will start applying disinfectant after every flight.
Currently, this is only done on international flights, but it may soon change.
Viraclean, MD-125, seem to be the disinfectants of choice for these major airlines.
If you’re wondering which cleaners will work best, click photo to link to a list of approved items by the EPA.
Now as a passenger:
1. We suggest not using those seat pockets; we’ve all found some grody items in there. But if it’s a must wipe it down, too with Lysol style wipes, including the emergency procedures card.
2. Wipe down the armrest, reclining button, window, seat, especially the seatbelt and buckle, tray table and tray table lock, overhead buttons, and air vent.
3. We suggest keeping the air vent on.
The positive pressure will help keep those airborne nasties away from your face. The air from those vents has already passed through the HEPA filter system.
4. Bring your own blankie and pillow.
These items might not be cleaned and or sterilized properly, so let’s just remove that variable.
The Coronavirus is a serious matter, but thankfully it’s fairly easy to kill with disinfectants. It’s just a matter of adjusting habits and making sure we just wipe down items often even things we don’t typically think about such as the restaurant table and their menus. Many places haven’t received guidelines and are operating the business as usual until the CDC hammer comes down. Be preemptive and not reactive; take charge and things will be okay. Make an additional checklist if it helps. Please, if you do use a dog cone, send us pictures of your hyper-vigilance. It will be much appreciated and enjoyed.
Be Safe out there!
Everything Lifesaving, Director of Operations and Founder.
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A Note about Everything Lifesaving
Paul Herrera is a former U.S. Army soldier and now a disabled veteran. During his military service and as a government contractor, he spent nearly a decade protecting his brothers and sisters in arms. He worked with manned aircraft and flew UAS/drones. He was part of an IED Task Force, as well as assisting with surveillance reconnaissance operations. He always felt the need to help those whose lives and well-being were at risk as he worked to make sure that sons, daughters, husbands, wives, fathers, and mothers returned home safely. His desire to help others developed during childhood where he grew up in Madison, WI with an older brother who had joined the city police department right out of college. Having accomplished all of the training that was available to him through his assignment with Army surveillance/intelligence/UAS (drone) operations and the further development in those fields in the private sector, his overseas experience allowed him to develop strategies for adapting to and/or solving the daily problems he was confronted with.
- Keep the Shiny Side Up,