A United flight diverted when passengers become unruly over someone sneezing on board when most COVID-19 patients don’t sneeze or have runny noses. The primary symptoms are dry cough and fever.
There appears to be very little asymptomatic transmission of the novel coronavirus. People are staying away from planes out of fear, but that doesn’t seem necessary inside most of the United States at this point. While there are usually crowds at airports and people are packed together on board, right now there aren’t that many people much of the time.
Still a Milwaukee man arrived at the airport in a full hazmat suit and took a flight to Fort Myers on Saturday. The man explained that he has Crohn’s disease and worries about the impact of the virus on his immune system.
He didn’t buy the hazmat suit just for the flight – he happened to have it from going as Breaking Bad‘s Walter White for Halloween.
This was the man’s spring break trip. He does not plan to wear protective gear on the beach. The suit after all is hot. He used ice to keep cool inflight, but it seems like he would have had to take off his suit for that, defeating the purpose of his protective measures.
China’s and South Korea’s case growth has largely subsided though that doesn’t guarantee there won’t be a second wave. Containment in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan appears to be working. There’s nowhere as problematic right now as Northern Italy and Iran. Northern Italy’s death rates are concerning (older age of population and hospitalizations overtaking medical capacity) and I don’t believe Iran’s low numbers.
In the U.S. spread is almost certainly much greater than reported. In addition to getting a very slow start with testing and still being nowhere close to South Korea’s drive-through testing centers, I noted yesterday that there appears to be a shortage of the chemicals necessary to process the tests.
United’s extreme planning seems to make sense, although I’m still flying this week.
(HT: Paul H.)