Should You Fly Yet?

By Kacey Ernst and Paloma Beamer

An Epidemiologist and an Exposure Scientist Walk You Through the Decision Process

We don’t know about you, but we’re ready to travel. And that typically means flying.

We have been thinking through this issue as moms and as an exposure scientist and infectious disease epidemiologist. While we’ve decided personally that we’re not going to fly right now, we will walk you through our thought process on what to consider and how to minimize your risks.

Why the Fear of Flying?

The primary concern with flying – or traveling by bus or train – is sitting within six feet of an infected person. Remember: Even asymptomatic people can transmit. Your risk of infection directly corresponds to your dose of exposure, which is determined by your duration of time exposed and the amount of virus-contaminated droplets in the air.

Fear of flying means something entirely different in the age of COVID-19. If you must fly, here are some things to consider.

This post originally appeared on The Conversation and was published May 7, 2020. This article is republished on with permission.