As spa management consultants for a variety of distinctive hotel spas and day spas around the country, the team as ISM Spa Management could easily be considered frequent flyers – under normal circumstances. Things, of course, are far from normal this summer.
Like countless other Americans, our spa consultants have been spending a lot of time working from home this year. We are beginning to feel more optimistic about the chances of taking flight again sometime in the not too distant future. As a column in Bloomberg said earlier this month, “The Odds of Catching Covid on a Flight Are Slim.”
Is It Safe to Fly?
It’s easy to see why the just the idea of boarding a plane during a pandemic would be enough to make most people nervous. The truth of the matter, however, is that planes actually pose a fairly low risk when it comes to catching Covid-19.
“Arnold Barnett, a professor of management science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has been trying to quantify the odds of catching Covid-19 from flying,” Bloomberg tells us. “He’s factored in a bunch of variables, including the odds of being seated near someone in the infectious stage of the disease, and the odds that the protection of masks (now required on most flights) will fail.”
Another factor – and a very important one – is the very air you breathe on a plane. University of Massachusetts biology professor Erin Bromage, whose work requires him to fly often, says, “that the air exchange system in planes is better than in hospitals, with the air in the cabin being completely replaced 30 times every hour.”
When you factor in all the variables, Barnett says there is approximately a 1/4300 chance of getting Covid-19 on a two-hour flight. “That is, about 1 in 4300 passengers will pick up the virus, on average. The odds of getting the virus are about half that, 1/7700, if airlines leave the middle seat empty. He’s posted his results as a not-yet-peer-reviewed preprint,” the Bloomberg column says.
There are obviously still risks, but as more data becomes available, we like to think that people will become less anxious about the possibility of getting on a plane – whether for work or pleasure.
And, as soon as it safe to do so, the consultants at ISM Spa, a boutique spa management company based in Asheville, TN, will once again be flying off to help clients and visit the day spas and hotels spa we manage across the country.