From the New York Times: How Safe Are You From Covid When You Fly?
After over a year of dealing with COVID-19, people are excited to start traveling again. However, the virus is not gone, and many people are concerned with the safety of travel, especially when it comes to planes. Obviously, everyone should follow CDC guidelines, and then make choices based on what makes them the most comfortable. In order to help people make informed choices about their safety, The New York Times, together with researchers from George Mason University, put together a fascinating animated 3D model to show how air actually flows in planes and what that means for the spread of illness on a flight.
One of the big fears with plane travel is that people are stuck in a small confined space with air that is constantly being recirculated. According to this model that is only partly true: in fact, it is a mixture of fresh and recirculated air. Half of the air is routinely released from the plane, and the other half is filtered and sent back through the cabin. The air is refreshed approximately every 2–3 minutes, and thus it is fresher than the air in your local grocery store. While this is excellent news for people planning on flying, the model also simulates how viral particles might spread in such a system and explains why it is still important to wear your mask.