Why You Need To Wear A Mask On A Plane Even If You Have Covid-19 Immunity

The idea of developing immunity from Covid-19 after you’ve had it isn’t new. And while antibodies seem to wane, that doesn’t mean immunity goes away. You may have memory T-cells fight off a new infection, too, although it’s possible your T-cells will just keep you from getting very sick rather than getting infected.

The CDC is finally acknowledging some immunity, but is taking a cautious approach. Even though immunity may last much longer, they’re saying you should be good for a year but they still advise distancing and mask wearing.

Since they’re only offering this in the context of saying someone who has recovered from the virus within the past 3 months doesn’t have to self-quarantine when exposed to someone with the virus, they’re not offering guidance on what practive activities someone should engage in after recovery.

Nonetheless, @RyanSchohr wants to know why people who have recovered have to wear masks on planes? Isn’t is just “feelings, image & marketing?”

It’s simple, really.

  • When you approach someone who doesn’t know you, whether on a plane or in a grocery store, they don’t know you’ve had the virus and recovered.

  • People with lab-confirmed positives in the past, followed by lab-confirmed negatives, don’t have green ‘no mask’ lights above their heads. Immunity passports won’t work for travel and ‘no mask passports’ are logistically even more problematic.

  • There’s no practical way for an airline to enforce a mask rule ‘only for those people who cannot spread the virus’.

Someone who cannot get the virus can’t spread it either. Assuming that the presence of antibodies (let alone t-cells, b-cells, or other immune system properties) form immunity for some period of time, a person won’t make others sick without wearing a mask.

However to reduce the spread of the virus many governments, businesses, and individuals have decided to require everyone to wear a mask. It’s a simple low cost approach, far less intrusive than a government shut down. It’s the conservative alternative to heavy-handed government health measures. And private businesses are certainly entitled to require this as a condition of service.

Go let friends and family know you’ve had the virus and recovered, and visit with them if you wish and they’re comfortable. Go dine inside restaurants without a mask where that’s permitted (ideally with other people who are similarly immune). Go work out at the gym, go to newly re-opened movie theaters, following the rules that those places have. Many businesses are open that people are cautiously avoiding – someone confirmed to have had and recovered from the virus recently likely doesn’t need to do that.

Understand that the only way to have a mask mandate is for the mandate to apply to everyone, and that mandate is in many cases the only alternative to stricter measures. Whether you agree with that scientifically or not you need to at least acknowledge that as the political reality. And that’s why an anti-masker should, I think, support mask wearing because it’s less intrusive than the policies that would happen otherwise.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. @Joe
    Ok, I’ll apply the logic to chickenpox.
    Death rate: Covid 19 approximately 1000 times as many people as chickenpox.
    Vaccination: Covid 19, none. Chickenpox very effective vaccine that approximately 90% of people can use.
    Contagion: Covid 19, with a mild case you could be contagious the entire time and don’t know it. Even with a serious case you can be contagious a week to 14 days and not know it Chickenpox only contagious 1 or 2 days before pox shows up. After the pox show up, you know you are contagious. If you are one of the anti-mask crowd, you probably don’t care and will try to fly anyway.
    In summary, there doesn’t seem to be any comparison at all between Covid 19 and chickenpox.

  2. UA-NYC . agreed, pretty good case can be made that history will judge the Trump era as new twist on the McCarthy era. Once we all have luxury of 20 20 hindsight.
    What’s really sad about the covid deniers is the disrespect it shows the many health care workers who are risking their lives to save people. I can’t imagine being on the front line in New York at Covids peak and then having to listen to people say what they did was all a hoax.
    Kind of like someone that wasn’t there telling a WW2 vet that “D Day wasn’t all that bad”

  3. @Jim – Oh please. You have no idea what you are talking about. Sound like a CDC parrot. Chickenpox, measles, etc.. are simple childhood diseases all kids should go through to get lifelong immunity. Instead, a newborn is given multiple vaccines within a few months and by the time they reach 18 they have had 72 injections of poisons. With more than 200+ in the pipeline. Americans are so brainwashed they literally vaccinate newborns on their very first day of life for an STD. WTF? A disease that can only be passed through sex or dirty drug needles

    What you have coming in the near future is a predicted 1 out of 2 with autism. Directly correlated to the rise of the vaccination program.

    The CDC was just FORCED to admit they have never done a study between the vaccinated and unvaccinated after years of being challenged. They refuse to do it because they know clearly the outcome. Unvaccinated children are multiple times healthier. They can crunch the numbers in two days as they have all the stats from the VAERS system. Meanwhile, the VICP has paid out 4 Billion to children and adults who have been injured or died after receiving federally recommended childhood vaccines. And, guess what. That is only about 1% (Harvard study) of the possible injured due to doctors being too lazy or arm twisted by big pharma to avoid reporting to VAERS.

    We do not know the contagious factor. It is assumed by mainstream up to 14 days. In reality, if that was the case so many would be sick or dead with from the “positive” results They are not. .008 percent chance of dying from Covid. Tests are flawed. They don’t work well at all. Testing positive for CV may just be genetic material left over from a cold.

    In 2018 TB killed over a million, including 200,000+ children. TB vaccine didn’t help them. Perhaps due to having no immune system from all the poisons and garbage food they eat. We didn’t shut down the world! Which ultimately has caused more damage and deaths than Covid by the time this is all over.

    American is the sickest nation of the industrialized world. We are 4% population yet consume the most meds of all. Yeah…we are sick all right. In the head, body, spirit, corruption, big pharma, processed food. Number three cause of death…Going into hospital and not coming out due to mistakes, poor treatment, etc…..

    Will have to get a lot worse before we make change.

  4. @JohnW

    I agree it is sad so many health workers lost their lives. For the record, whether here or anywhere, I have never said this is a hoax. On the contrary it is very serious for a certain group of people. But generally not for most of the population.

    I will tell you why many in the front line/health care workers died. There are numerous studies correlating Vit. D levels below 40iu to CV death. Every incoming patient gets their D levels pulled. Most of American are under 30. Doctors are the worst patients and do little to take care of their health. They are inside often working in contagious environments and have no immune system. They should have been on Vit D, C, HCQ and Zinc supplementation. Hardened their bodies to help fight this. But nothing from the CDC, the CCP controlled WHO, big pharma to help them. What you have instead is a fake study done that increased the HCQ levels 10 fold which naturally would kill the patients. That would happen to aspirin. So the FDA pulled it and replaced with Remdesivir at $2000 instead of $20. Which doesn’t do much good at all. And, no FL, AZ, CA are all smothered in sunscreen so they get no D and certainly don’t supplement. Rest of the time with air conditioning.

    So next will be tens of billions of dollars on a vaccine that won’t work. You can partly thank the Gates foundation for that. An organization that has killed thousands of children around the world with defective vaccines. Should have spent some of that money and build plumbing infrastructure in those poor countries. Which is what saved America back in the later 1900’s.

    It is all a big mess.

  5. What’s sad about the masks is that they probably don’t actually work. That’s what the science has always said, and continues to say. But people are fearful, and the masks make people feel they are doing something to protect themselves. It will be interesting to see how the mask cult ends. We have several states now that have almost no virus. We will have many more such states in the next few weeks as the virus wanes. In these places, it would obviously be better if we remove the masks and stop pretending things are unduly dangerous and not normal; the masks encourage fear. But who gives the “all clear”? Do you need to have zero people in the hospital for a month? If that’s the standard, we’ll wear masks forever due to the prevalence of ordinary flu.

  6. Having developed immunity does not close the door on the fact the person can still be an active carrier (typhoid Mary, anybody??).

    Mask up!

  7. @kk – Sorry but you and others have been duped. Go do some research instead of just following the narrative. Masks don’t work! Vitamin D does work. Go check your levels and if below 40 iu regardless of the RDA, you are deficient. Swap your mask for Vit D3 drops.

    There are plenty of studies showing a correlation of deaths worldwide to very low levels of D. Which is evident in the elders(85% if desths), darker skins and people who cover themselves in sunscreen.


  8. Woohooo, Todd seems like a good candidate to succeed Dr. Faucci.

    So many experts out there! Keep you day jobs people.

  9. Thank you Jimmy for your nomination. Life is my day job and I do the research to keep it so. I’m not a follower. I will keep not wearing a mask whenever possible though I do wear one when I have to be in specific shops or around old people to not shock them to death from all the retarded mainstream fear mongering clouding up their minds. But I have personally helped some friends through Covid due to their below 25 iu D levels and they recovered fine along with C, Zinc and others.

    Faucci will be held accountable for crimes against humanity. Sick (mentally and incompetent) individual along with Gates foundation who has caused death to so many children worldwide. Plus big pharma who has a liability shield around them and all the corrupt politicians. Cuomo and his rat pack. The biggest lawsuits the world has ever seen will be forthcoming……

  10. Thanks Todd. Now you’ve gone off the deep end, and I’m losing any faith I had left for this country. Keep edumacating yourself watching OAN, InfoWars and all of the other right-wing nut jobs out there.

  11. Jimmy – I’ve presented just a couple links from hundreds of studies across the world from medical experts who have contrarian viewpoints. That is the real problem of the world today. Anyone no matter what their expertise is silenced when it goes against the narrative, regardless of the evidence.

    You on the other hand have classified me as a nut job and somehow believe I listen to news from outlets I never heard of. That’s fine. You are entitled to whatever you like to believe.

    For those who wish to better themselves what harm would it cause you to strengthen your immune system by consuming healthier foods, getting exercise, taking D and C (even Fauci admitted he does), especially now during winter months when D is severely deficient, turn off the constant bombardment of mainstream (dark winter) news and enjoy your life.

  12. Todd has a point that a more holistic approach approach could help. I think Vit D and Zinc could help. Although it’s not the cure all, in areas were the population get’s plenty of sunshine (Ample Vit D) there still are many covid deaths…… much of it because of spread caused by people without masks. Masks are the easiest way to slow the virus, just because it’s not 100% doesn’t mean
    they don’t work.
    The credible research is overwhelming that masks help…….a lot.
    There always will be outliers trying to get attention, and now with the internet and Q-anon/Plandemic, etc the info/terrorists are having a field day. I think they call themselves “researchers”, they spend all day trying to debunk the people doing the real research.
    Todd, you’ve been victimized by them. As P T Barnum said…”A sucker is born every minute”
    The Plandemic followers have killed 10’s of thousands of Americans.

  13. John – One of our close friends live in Florida. During the summer she was out in the sun every day. She is a runner, loves to exercise. We finally convinced her to get a Vit D test because she covers herself in sunscreen, clothing, etc. Result – around 22, which is extremely deficient. Her standard medical practitioner even told her to supplement. Way too low. Given that many deaths worldwide D levels have been below 30 and the fact that many (finally) are calling for its intake, doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out. Also, doesn’t take a much thought to understand during fall/winters D levels drop drastically while flu’s go up.

    As for the rest in the sunshine countries. Same issues. Many are darker skins which takes double or triple exposure time to get sufficient Vit D levels raised only by the sun. Most use sunscreen. They go out of their homes, into their air conditioned cars, transfer to the shopping centers and reverse the order. Many eat poor foods, all kinds of medical conditions and plenty of drugs.

    So what you and others like you to do is put some cloth over your nose and mouth and now say you are protected and protecting others. While at the same time doing NOTHING to boost your immune system.

    Great. Follow that path. Lets see where that gets you. In the meantime, my family lives their lives as like this doesn’t exist. My kids never had a vaccine, never had anything from the pharmacy/drugs/tylenols whatever….have sleep over parties, play with their friends, went to summer camp with no masks and don’t get sick. They go to school every day.

    Are you going to be part of the one billion who server the one million, engineered by the technocrats??? Perhaps.


  14. Todd, My kids did all the same activities as yours, except they were vaccinated and were doing their part for the health of society as a whole. If all kids were like yours the risk to society would be substantial. It’s vaccinations that keep many diseases at bay that could come back if no one bothered with vaccinations.
    Your mistake is you are taking individual examples and thinking that makes your case. for everyone.
    The happy medium that would save the most lives is a heavy emphasize on well being and a holistic approach to good health practices and combine that with mask wearing and common sense social distancing practices until a safe vaccine can be distributed.
    Just like if more people would were masks less people would get infected, the more people that do get vaccinated the less people will get sick.
    I would guess you are already against a Covid vaccination that you know nothing about (nothing personal, none of us do).
    Yet a Covid vaccination could save 100’s of thousands of lives and will be very important to getting society moving again.
    I’m sure some people are already seeing profits to be made off of spreading anti vax rhetoric……people will die because of it.

  15. JohnW – Think about why the vaccine court has paid out over 4 billion dollars to injured or dead children from vaccines. Which only represents about 1% of the many who have been hurt.

    Have you ever looked at a vaccine insert? See all the warnings? I didn’t think so.

    Why vaccines need aborted fetal cells? What’s that purpose?

    Your entire statement is based on false narratives. I won’t bother to answer you anymore as it is a waste of my time. I’ll leave you with….

    Good luck with the Warp Speed vaccine. You will need it!

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