Learn the "Three Ws" to fly safe during the pandemic


(NEW YORK) — While millions of us are staying at home, there are people who must travel, either for work or to visit family. ABC Audio caught up with Dr. Jake Deutsch, co-founder and clinical director of Cure Urgent Care centers in NYC, and asked about how you can stay safe while taking to the air these days. 

“We leave [the house] with our keys, our cellphone, our breath mints. But we need to really be leaving with a COVID…anticipation,” Dr. Deutsch says. “Hand sanitizers, great simple solution. Applying it frequently, you know, the three W’s of COVID protection as: Wearing a mask. Washing your hands, so the hand sanitizer — and Waiting to get close to people, so the social distancing.”

Regarding masks, Dr. Deutsch explains that not only are they required on airlines — they’re effective.

“I’ve actually read anecdotal information about a person who was COVID positive, flew from China to the United States…he wore a mask the entire flight and they tested 30 people that were in close proximity to them and none of them tested positive for COVID,” says Deutsch.

He adds, “So, you know, when everybody talks about airlines and air circulation, there’s this assumption that there’s a high probability of getting sick in that environment. But the masks seem to be the most effective tools.”

In addition to masks, Dr. Deutsch also recommends some kind of eye covering.

“I wouldn’t be mad at you adding that into the mix as well, because there is a port of entry through any of the mucous membranes in the eyes,” he says.  “So you have an N95 mask on and then you rub your eyes because you’ve touched the surface or had some sort of exposure of that regard, you’re really setting yourself back in terms of protection.”  

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