Sitting squeezed between a number of strangers on board an aircraft might feel like a risky position during these uncertain times.
But according to some experts who point to the very few documented cases of in-flight transmission, the chances of catching Covid-19 while on board a flight are actually relatively slim.
Fear of flying during the pandemic has drastically reduced global air traffic, which has also been restricted due to border closures. If new scientific claims are borne out, the perceived heightened risk of boarding an airplane could be unfounded.
In one case, about 328 passengers and crew members were tested for coronavirus after it was learned that a March 31 flight from the US to Taiwan had been carrying 12 passengers who were symptomatic at the time. However, all the other passengers tested negative, as did the crew members.
And while there have certainly been cases of infected passengers passing the virus on to an airplane's crew or fellow travelers in recent months, the transmission rates are low.
A study recently published in medical journal JAMA Network Open found evidence of the possible spread of coronavirus during a four-hour flight from Tel Aviv to Frankfurt in March.
Two passengers developed infections after flying with a group of tourists who had come into contact with an infected hotel manager and also became infected, according to researchers from the Institute for Medical Virology at Goethe University in Frankfurt.
The two who may have been infected were seated at the back of the aircraft, directly across the aisle from seven passengers who had unknowingly picked up the virus.
An earlier flight from the UK to Vietnam on March 2, in which one passenger seemingly spread the virus to around 14 other passengers, as well as a crew member, is so far believed to be the only known on-board transmission to multiple people.
One explanation for the apparently low risk level is that the air in modern aircraft cabins is replaced with new fresh air every two to three minutes, and most planes are fitted with air filters designed to trap 99.99% of particles.
Meanwhile, various new protocols have been implemented, such as face-coverings for both passengers and crew, which is mandatory on most airlines, temperature screenings, as well as more intensive cabin cleaning and limited movement in the cabin during flight.
Arnold Barnett, a professor of statistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management, tried to quantify the odds of becoming infected with the virus while on board a short flight in a recent study that looked at the benefits of the empty middle seat policy.
I did Niagara Falls in a previous blog, but here is the video I did on it recently:
Also, in my last blog, I had included a video of Anguilla, which started quite a few comments from local residents of Anguilla. They told me my information was wrong, but actually, it was a reported account of things that happened. I didn't make this up, I read directly from the article. We remember things differently as we get older. But at least I got comments-that's a start and lots of views.
Start planning your trip to Hawaii!!
Last updated: 10:31 AM ET, Fri August 21 2020
Hawaii Moving Forward With Resort Bubble to Welcome Tourists
Moloa'a Bay Beach, Kauai(Photo by Lauren Breedlove)
Hawaii is working to establish an Enhanced Movement Quarantine (EMQ) with resorts and hotels that would allow tourists to visit the state again with heavy restrictions. According to MauiNow.com, Governor David Ige announced the “resort bubble” as part of a supplementary emergency proclamation, which would require guests staying at hotels in Hawaii to stay in clearly defined geographical areas and limit contact with locals and other travelers. To be eligible to arrive in Hawaii as part of the EMQ, tourists must comply with all state, county and industry safety and health standards, including completing all documentation and respecting mandatory mask policies. “We continue to work on digitizing and refining the travel screening process as well as developing enforceable, safe alternatives to self-quarantine,” Governor Ige said. Resorts and hotels will need to define the geographical regions guests must not leave, which can include adjacent shoreline areas where beach access is permitted. Each facility must also provide capacity for isolating any positive or suspected COVID-19 cases. In addition, travelers must sign waivers confirming they have “voluntarily elected to participate in the EMQ, will voluntarily agree to electronic monitoring and other requirements and voluntarily waived express privacy protections, including to health information, as necessary to accomplish public health purposes.” Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami said the EMQ should make enforcement of quarantine measures easier for authorities, but it’s up to arriving travelers to stick to the guidelines and keep everyone safe. The state’s 14-day mandatory quarantine requirement for out-of-state visitors and the inter-island travel quarantine for those arriving in the counties of Kauai, Hawaii, Maui and Kalawao will remain in place until at least October 1, 2020.
MOST WALKABLE US CITIES by Lauren Bowman of TravelPlulse
Getting Out and Stretching Your Legs
One of the best ways to really experience a town is just by walking around. You get to see more hole-in-the-wall shops, feed off the energy of others in the area and just generally get a better foothold on what a place is about. But not all cities are made for easy foot traffic accessibility. Here are the topmost walkable cities in the U.S.
Walking around the Historic Downtown area of the “Horse Capital of the World” will take you about half an hour to go from Courthouse Square to Lexington Cemetery. Along the way you’ll pass by numerous street installations that are a part of the city’s MuralChallenge, a bourbon distillery and even Mary Todd Lincoln’s childhood home. Don’t forget to pop into one of the local restaurants for the city’s famous ‘hot brown’ dish.
Charleston, South Carolina
The Charleston Historic District will take you a little bit longer as the route from Washington Square to the end of King Street is almost three miles. But along the way, you’ll get to see many of the highlights of The Holy City like Rainbow Row, Charleston City Market and numerous pre-Civil War era mansions.
Fort Worth, Texas
Pedestrians will need to be watchful along the Historic Stockyards District in Fort Worth, Texas where cattle drives still happen twice a day. Make this Wild West flashback complete with a stop to get authentic cowboy boys. Or cool off on Joe T. Garcia’s Texas-sized patio with a famous margarita.
The one-mile route around State Street in Bristol, Virginia will have travelers exploring the Birthplace of Country Music. From the Paramount Theatre to antique shops to craft breweries to the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, it’s easy to fill your day with fun places to see here.
St. Petersburg, Florida
Feel the ocean air as you walk along the newly renovated St. Pete Pier. Enjoy boardwalk favorites, outdoor seating with fresh local seafood and unique art installations. For more surrealist art, head over to the Dali Museum which houses the largest compilation of pieces from an artist outside of Europe.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Home to another great boardwalk, travelers can take a stroll down the Fort Lauderdale Beach boardwalk for bars, restaurants and stunning views of the crystal-clear water. Head to Las Olas for a photo op with a snowman made of sand or check out SKY bar for an ideal rooftop cocktail.
Key West, Florida
Key West is only seven square miles to begin with, but with many points of interest located in an even smaller radius, this island makes for a great walkable adventure. Whether you want to take selfies by the Southernmost Point in the Continental United States, pet the cats at Ernest Hemingway’s house, see the sunset at Mallory Square or just revel in the nighttime celebrations along Duval Street, there’s plenty to see and do.
Lake Forest, Illinois
Big cities aren’t the only places to visit as a great walkable destination though. Lake Forest, Illinois is just under one hour from Chicago and offers a small-town feel with ample appeal. Surrounded by nature, the city offers beautiful views of Lake Michigan, the scenic Elawa Farm and the 29-acre Forest Park. Visitors can get their shopping on at high-end retail stores as well as the classic candy shop.
Grand Rapids, Michigan
For those that love museums, the Cultural Downtown area of Grand Rapids is an ideal getaway. Spend time checking out the Grand Rapids Public Museum where you can see everything from a piece of the Berlin Wall to a fossilized dinosaur. Or head over to the Gerald Ford Presidential Museum to learn more about our 38th U.S. President.
Beverly Hills, California
For those wanting the ultimate getaway, head over to Beverly Hills, California where you can get caught up in the Hollywood lifestyle. Marvel at the unique architecture and iconic palm trees or head over to Rodeo Drive for the ultimate shopping experience. Clear your head with a visit to the Beverly Gardens Park.
Sometimes a stroll along the beach is all you really need. Experience one of the hottest areas of Hawaii by walking along its most famous beach - Waikiki. Whether you want to take a dip in the water yourself or just watch the surfers, it’s easy to spend the day taking in the laid-back atmosphere of the area. Make sure to stop at the statue of the father of modern-day surfing - Duke Paoa Kahanmoku - and try out the local cuisine.
Whether you’re a huge history buff or are just trying to walk off all the Philly Cheesesteaks, Market Street of Philadelphia is a great area to walk around in. Make sure to stop at Independence Hall and get a glimpse of the Liberty Bell. Or head over to Reading Terminal where you can get your fill of delicious cuisine and sweet treats.
The National Mall and Memorial Parks is a must for seeing some of the nation’s most iconic memorials, from the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument. But don’t forget to head over to some of the commemorative memorials like the Albert Einstein statue and World War II Memorial.
HARVEY BUNCO-we had some issues in the editing of this YouTube video, but if you ever wanted to learn how to play this fun Gin Rummy game-this video will show you how.
ADVENTURE TO A GLACIAL WONDERLAND ON THE ALASKA RAILROADby Heather Dudick
Picture yourself smiling in front of a massive blue glacier, miles from the road system in Alaska’s backcountry. It’s just a train ride away, aboard the Alaska Railroad’s Glacier Discovery Train with passenger service to Spencer Glacier Whistle Stop.
Heading south from Anchorage every summer day through early September, the Glacier Discovery Train takes passengers to destinations like Girdwood, Portage, Whittier, Spencer Glacier and Grandview. At the stops along the way, passengers can customize their rail trip with add-on adventures like day cruising, wildlife viewing and rafting or kayaking.
While on the ride, the Glacier Discovery Train offers Adventure Class service that features large picture windows to take in views of the Turnagain Arm and Chugach National Forest. After stopping in Girdwood and Portage, the train stops in the small coastal town of Whittier, the gateway to Prince William Sound. To get here, passengers travel through the longest rail and highway tunnel in North America, and upon arrival, many enjoy hopping off the train and onto a glacier cruise for the afternoon and taking the train back to Anchorage in the evening.
If you wish to continue on the train, arrival at Spencer Glacier is part of what makes this train ride so unique as the only way to access this backcountry and remote glacier is by rail. The dramatic wall of blue ice that is Spencer Glacier never fails to impress; guided adventures like kayaking and rafting across the iceberg-studded glacial lake are easy to add-on to a rail trip.
Excursions with raft guides Chugach Adventures are available for the summer 2020 season at Spencer Glacier, and the river float is among the most popular. A guide hosts the journey and weaves each group around icebergs through Spencer Lake and down Placer River for a seven-mile trip. This excursion shows off views that cannot be seen anywhere else and takes rafters close enough to touch Spencer Glacier’s infamous blue ice.
Back on the train, those who wish to stay on for the entire journey enjoy the most scenic part of the Glacier Discovery’s route: views of Bartlett Glacier, Trail Glacier and the winding mountain tunnels above a steep river canyon. After the turnaround point at Grandview, the Glacier Discovery Train makes its way back to Anchorage, rounding out an ideal day trip for families, couples or solo travelers.
The Alaska Railroad has taken extra steps to ensure passenger safety this summer season. Find more information and resources and learn more about the routes and adding on excursions to a railroad trip at www.alaskarailroad.com.
That's it for today. Hope you liked the blog, please comment, share etc.