US Airlines Threaten To Ban Passengers Who Don’t Wear Masks

Filed Under: Travel

While most US airlines have been asking passengers to wear face masks for the past several weeks, it hasn’t actually been that widely enforced. That’s going to be changing

The face mask problem that US airlines have had

Around late April we saw most major US airlines (with the exception of Allegiant Air) start to make wearing face masks on planes mandatory. The problem has been that:

All of this creates serious issues:

  • Wearing a face mask isn’t just about protecting yourself, but it’s also about protecting others near you
  • Airlines have been messaging in a way that suggests face masks must be worn, but then refused to enforce it
  • This has caused anger among a lot of people who are wearing face masks, who aren’t happy that others near them aren’t wearing face masks, since that’s also endangering them

Because of all that, it seems we can soon expect face mask usage to actually be enforced…

There will be increased enforcement for face masks

Airlines for America, the trade group representing many US airlines, has announced that member airlines will begin “vigorously enforcing face covering policies.”

With this update, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines, will be implementing the following policies:

  1. Preflight Communications: Each airline will clearly articulate its individual face covering policy in communications with customers, which may require passengers to acknowledge the specific rules during the check-in process
  2. Onboard Announcements: Onboard the aircraft, crew members will announce specific details regarding the carrier’s face covering policy including the consequences passengers could face for violating the policy
  3. Consequences for Noncompliance: Each carrier will determine the appropriate consequences for passengers who are found to be in noncompliance of the airline’s face covering policy up to and including suspension of flying privileges on that airline

Airlines will start enforcing face mask policies

United Airlines’ updated policy

United Airlines was the first to announce an updated policy as a result of this restriction. As of June 18, 2020, any passenger not complying onboard a flight will be placed on an internal travel restriction list. Customers on the list will lose travel privileges on United for a duration of time to be determined pending a comprehensive incident review.

The only exceptions to this requirement are individuals who have a medical condition or a disability that prevents them from wearing a face covering, those who cannot put on or remove a face covering themselves, and small children.

How will this enforcement work in practice?

  • If a flight attendant notices or is informed of a customer onboard who is not wearing a face covering and that passenger does not fall within an exception, the flight attendant will proactively inform the customer that for the health and safety of everyone, face coverings are mandatory for all customers and crew on board
  • They will also offer to provide the customer with a mask if needed
  • If the customer continues to be non-compliant, flight attendants will do their best to de-escalate the situation, again inform the customer of United’s policy, and provide the passenger with an inflight mask policy reminder card
  • If a customer continues to not comply, the flight attendant will file a report of the incident, which will initiate a formal review process
  • Any final decision or actions regarding a customer’s future flight benefits will not occur onboard but instead take place after the flight has reached its destination and the security team has investigated the incident

United will start enforcing face mask rules

American Airlines’ updated policy

American Airlines has also announced plans to increase enforcement of the face mask policy as of June 16, 2020. As it’s explained:

Some passengers are exempt from the face covering requirement, such as young children and those with a disability or medical reason for why they cannot wear a face covering.


American will start enforcing face mask rules

Bottom line

Major US airlines claim that they will start actually enforcing the face mask policy going forward, which makes a lot of sense. People book flights expecting that those around them are wearing masks as well, so this is an area where empty threats can’t be made.

American and United are both threatening to ban passengers who don’t comply with this policy.

The one major potential challenge is that there are exclusions for those with a “medical reason” for why they can’t wear a mask. That’s reasonable, but the problem is that I fear this might be taken advantage of by anti-mask crowd.

Am I the only one who fears that those who currently refuse to wear masks will simply claim they have a medical condition? After all, the crew isn’t qualified to assess medical conditions, so there shouldn’t be any follow-up questions. To people who are in that camp — being a jerk isn’t a medical condition.

Are you happy to see US airlines starting to enforce face mask policies?

Comments
  1. Good. The fact that mask wearing has become a political issue is just plainly stupid. It is a CDC guideline to wear one, Fauci has recommended time and again to wear one, and it’s not a big deal. I am with the airlines on this one. You want to fly, wear a mask, or stay home. There is no need for additional “stupid” in this crisis. We have enough of that already.

  2. I was on AA445 from PHX to LAX this past Sunday, and the lead FA was pretty aggressive in applying the mask policy. She stopped several passengers both to correct misused masks (nose exposed) or to don a mask if not already wearing one.

    For the first minute or two after boarding, the guy seated next to me in First took off his mask to chat at length on the phone. She didn’t have to speak to him directly; once she started enforcing the policy, he got the message and put his back on.

    They passed out masks in a few cases where the passenger didn’t already have a bandana or something else they preferred to wear. I was happy to see it.

  3. I flew yesterday on AA. My CVG—CLT regional jet had over a dozen people bore without masks. The FA in the back did not wear her mask. This is my 7th flight. It is unfortunately very hit or miss with AA.

  4. @Luke, that’s great to hear they are enforcing it. Here in NYC, I see a lot of people wearing masks outside, but a good number of them are not wearing it correctly (nose is exposed.) Hopefully airlines are being clear that the mask has to cover both the mouth and the nose.

  5. I think the issue with (non-PPE) masks or face coverings is that they don’t protect you. They protect others.

    To wear one therefore is to be considerate to others. Most people can’t be bothered doing that. If it doesn’t protect them, they aren’t going to think of others, by and large. Certainly from what I’ve seen over here is people having an attitude of “well if no one else is wearing one, why should I?”

    I’ve seen some rather terrifying clips on Twitter if Americans refusing to wear masks because “they were born in a free country.”

  6. Shorter daytime flights should not pose much of a problem regarding enforcement, but my question relates to longer and overnight flights. Say a passenger falls asleep, and for whatever reason the mask slides off or he/she touches it during sleep. Will they walk around the cabin waking potential “sinners” up? If this is someone not in an aisle seat this could also disturb those sitting next to them. Add in the number of people who get grumpy when woken up and I could see quite a few nasty situations developing.

  7. I think the decision to ban future travel is good. It decreases the responsibility of the FA to enforce the policy and it denies the anti-mask jerk the attention they desire.

  8. Our regulator mandates wearing of masks, period. No exceptions. Masks may only be removed onboard to consume limited quantities of food/water/medication essential for well-being during the flight. Removal of the mask within the airport terminal is a criminal offense, mandated by executive instrument. Those who claim to have underlying medical conditions that prevent the wearing of a mask are to be referred to health service personnel on duty at the airport who will assess the situation and prescribe an alternate compliance method (eg. seat them at least 2 rows away from other passengers, etc..) if necessary. Passengers who remove masks in flight will be treated in accordance with disruptive passenger and bio-hazard containment protocols.

  9. There’s also going to be the issue of eating/drinking. Let’s assume that most people won’t chug their entire drink or wolf down a candy bar – are you expected to put a mask back on between bites/sips? What happens when your self righteous neighbor decides you’ve kept your mask off for too long?

  10. Can’t wait for the usual idiots to come in here and try to tell people why they shouldn’t use masks and everyone should travel as much as possible.

  11. @David indeed I was just thinking the same, I do enjoy the entertainment they provide though.

  12. Shorter daytime flights should not pose much of a problem regarding enforcement, but my question relates to longer and overnight flights. Say a passenger falls asleep, and for whatever reason the mask slides off or he/she touches it during sleep.
    – Wilhelm

    I connected at LAX to AA237 (overnight transcon to JFK). Everyone in First wore their mask except to eat. I wasn’t looking closely at everyone else as they slept, but I wore my mask to sleep, and I suspect everyone else did too.

    In general, my observation was that people who were flying were generally conscientious towards their fellow citizens. There were only a few that resisted, and from what I could tell, it was more due to the inconvenience rather than any outwardly malicious intent.

    On AA445 (PHX-LAX), there was this one “skateboarder bro”-type who insisted, “I swear I don’t have it!” He clearly had no experience wearing a surgical mask. The lead FA had to teach him the right way to wear it (pinch the wire over the nose to seal, etc). After she showed him, he wore it, if begrudgingly.

  13. Like I’ve been saying all the time.
    We have weak leadership here in America.

    @Sean M. opening remarks says it all
    “Our regulator mandates wearing of masks, period.”

    All that needs to be done is DOT and FAA mandate. Very simple yet not happening. Liberties at it’s finest.

  14. You know, it was so astonishing to me that people refused to wear mask in March just because they don’t trust China.
    Everything China was doing, US will do the opposite.
    My crystal ball told me that politics will be the main focus in future because of automation. Human beings no longer need to work to produce so they will spend more time arguing.

  15. If the airlines can incur the expense of blocking middle seats to achieve some physical distance between passengers, it’s not too much for passengers to do our part to stop the spread of the virus by wearing a mask.

    One of the reasons that I’ve been reluctant to fly is the reports that the mask rule isn’t being enforced.

  16. This is very needed. It is very very important that people wear masks. It along with frequent hand cleaning are the best ways that we can reduce the spread and flatten the curve.

    WEAR THE MASK. it might not be the most comfortable but it protects you and those around you.

  17. This is very needed. It is very very important that people wear masks. It along with frequent hand cleaning are the best ways that we can reduce the spread and flatten the curve.

    WEAR THE MASK. it might not be the most comfortable but it protects you and those around you!

  18. This will all fall apart with the first lawsuit. A person with a medical condition that is unable to wear a mask and is “banned” or punished in some way will have a field day. Imagine the press when an airlines punishes a passenger for having a medical condition….

  19. If you legit have a medical condition that prevents you from wearing a mask, it’s probably respiratory related. For you own safety, don’t fly.

  20. Took a flight LGA to Charlotte on American in first and the medical condition workaround was clearly being abused by one passenger next to me who looked clearly healthy and didn’t wear a a mask one second. Very disappointing.

  21. Good to see airlines taking this measure. Number of cases keep going up and more people are dying each day. Lot of countries managing to stop spread while We are getting a second wave. The more we do now the quicker we get back to “normal.”

  22. For everyone on here that is encouraging/trying to make wearing a mask political, please understand, YOU are PART of the problem…Regardless of which side of the issue you fall, if you are perpetuating the idea that one political side is correct then you are just as at fault as the side you are arguing against…

  23. @SEM I didn’t see anyone in the comments, at least on this article, encouraging or trying to make this into a political issue. Rather, people are pointing out that it already IS a political issue, which is just a fact. If Trump and other Republican leaders had come out, worn face masks in public appearances, and encouraged others to do it, it likely wouldn’t have become so polarized/political. But Trump is either too vain to wear a face mask, or must turn everything into a divisive wedge issue, or both, so here we are.

  24. There are legitimate reasons some can’t wear a mask. Some due to panic/anxiety issues, other due to medical, such as inability to draw enough air.

    I have mild. COPD, it IS harder to breathe with a mask. But with this underlying condition, it also makes me more vulnerable to the virus. So I wear the mask. If I get short of breath, I stop, relax, take a few deep breaths and go one.

    But I can already see the abuses that are going to come,like with “emotional support” animals that some are going to get a note from a “friendly” doctor as to why they dont have to wear them.

    And before anyone pulls the dont fly if you have issues, these people do have as much right to fly as others. I just hate to see the gaming of the system which will start soon.

  25. @Mo Who are you to tell someone else how to live their own life? Anyone choosing to fly is also accepting the risk they may be infected by others on the plane, and that is their own choice to make. Not yours.

  26. @Patti flying is not a right, it’s a privilege. Flying is not protected by the Bill of Rights.

    You probably shouldn’t be flying.

  27. Good.

    Shocked that the flight attendant union is so weak they didn’t force this 2 months ago for the safety of the staff

  28. @Jan

    Flying IS a privilege, one I’m entitled to by paying the price of a ticket.

    I dont what field your Bill of Rights comment came out of and what it has to do with anything, but it needs to go back there. How special you can determine who should and shouldn’t be flying.

    Let me say it, again, I wear a mask and gloves. And I’m already booked to fly in Sept.

  29. Dismayed to see everyone going along with the mask directive like sheep. It’s not “temporary”, just like the liquid restrictions were never “temporary” after 9/11. If everyone goes along with this mask nonsense (over a virus with a 99.8% survival rate), then we will never return to how things were before. The masks will become permanent.

  30. The next time someone without a mask tells me that they’re an American born in a free country, I’m going to whip it out and piss on their leg — cause hey, I’m also an American born in a free country.

  31. @jan

    They DO have as much right to fly as me and you. You can play the right vs privilege semantic game all day and night but the bottom line is they have the same right, privilege, whatever as anyone else

    AGAIN, there are people who have a legitimate psychological issue with wearing a mask. Does that inability negate their rights and privileges?

  32. I laugh at everyone wearing masks that are constantly touching their face and adjusting their mask. Especially down here where it is so hot right now in the summer. People think because they wear a homemade mask they cant get corona virus and touch their face every minute adjusting their mask that provides no protection. But sure go ahead and touch every surface out in public you will be fine because of that $10 artistic mask someone in your neighborhood made.

  33. Let’s just create two zones on the aircraft (separated by two empty rows) and let everyone decide which zone they want to travel in. This mask nonsense is getting crazy.

    I was on a Prague to Berlin train yesterday and I was happy to see that after three months of rigorous enforcement of mask in Czechia, people have had enough and pretty much everyone ignored the requirement (including some staff members). People wear it when walking around, but only ~5 percent had their masks on while at their seat.

    The mask-craze will go away. We already see it in locations that introduced mask requirement early in pandemic – at first there was a lot of public support (in central Europe, mask wearing was a grass root activity) but that diminished after couple of weeks. I suspect same will happen in the rest of the western world, it’s just few weeks behind us, as they introduced masks much later.

  34. @Steve_CC

    Exactly. Unlike surgeons who are trained extensively to never touch anything outside the surgical field once masked, people adjust their masks constantly, transferring germs from hands to face, face to hands. The virus is 125nm in diameter. A cloth mask provides no protection.

    What’s happening is a “new normal” is being imposed upon us, over a virus that is not as deadly as initially thought, while we purportedly wait for a vaccine which:

    1. May never come to fruition. An RNA vaccine has never been developed or tested in humans until now.
    2. If successfully developed, is likely to be rushed. Vaccines typically take 10+ years to develop. I wouldn’t trust a vaccine pushed to market in 12-18 months, but everyone will have to decide for him/herself.
    3. May not provide long-lasting protection, and may need to be repeated frequently, similar to the flu vaccine, which has not ended the ~0.5 million annual flu deaths worldwide each year.

    People’s rights and way of life are being curtailed, and they’re so afraid they can’t think clearly about what’s happening. It’s sad.

  35. This won’t work. No real teeth, too many ways for entitled idiots to abuse it.

    Welcome to Wave Two, folks. You can thank the Trumpist morons when we are in lockdown again all next year.

  36. 200+ years ago, we told the British (indirectly) “Give me liberty or give me death”.
    Seems like some people are making the same declaration to the virus when it comes to the mask debate.

  37. @ Lucky:

    Not sure where to put this, but since you announced your intention to fly again, could you do a
    MIA-LGA on AA and give us your takeof the new LGA Terminal B which opened 3 days ago ?

    You may want to kill 2 birds with one stone and also review the Admiral’s Club.

  38. Recently there were reports of a Missouri hair salon where two of the stylists were infected with Covid, but because they wore masks, none of their customers were infected (all were contact traced, and most were tested). Based on that, wearing a mask is very important and protects others.

    I support blocking flight privileges for those who don’t wear masks in flight. In addition to the airlines you list above, Jetblue’s CEO mentioned similar plans when he was interviewed on CNBC last week.

    However, I think what you will see is an increase in passengers claiming medical reasons prohibit them from wearing a mask. I think one airline (United I think) said that medical reasons for not wearing a mask have to be declared at the gate, not on the flight. I also think those passengers should all be placed together in the back of the plane.

  39. I do not think this discussion is about whether any of us (non experts) should make the medical decisions. My issue is, IF an airline has a policy, which they do, they should adhere to the policy. It creates a tense environment when some people are complying and others are not. I am ok with “buyer beware” and each of us assuming our own level of risk, but the airline should follow their own policy. My unfortunate experience with AA is that not only are they not adhering to their own policy (specifically American Eagle) but it is creating a hostile passenger to passenger environment.

  40. This will turn into the new therapy/comfort dog issue. “I’m not wearing a mask because of a medical issue. And no I’m not disclosing it because that violates my privacy rights!”

  41. Wearings masks prevent spread and save lives.
    If people opt out for any reason, whether they (claim to) have a medical condition that prevents them from wearing one, or personal reasons; they should be required to have a negative test within 72 hours of boarding. Don’t play the game if you can’t follow the rules.

  42. I would be happy to wear a face mask once the airlines fully open all lounges and dining rooms and resume normal meal and beverage service on all flights.

  43. @ Traveller
    I won’t call you any names, but your posts are absurd. And paranoid. And you don’t have a “right” to travel. With $ you merely have the ability to.

  44. @Mm

    What is absurd and paranoid about them? 9/11 ushered in an era of security theatre and enhanced surveillance which has not made us any safer, but has certainly increased hassle and monitoring. A similar shift is happening now.

    We have co-evolved with viruses and other pathogens for over 200,000 years. There will be others in the future. Are we going to abrogate all our freedoms and make our lives miserable every time a new pathogen presents itself?

    Notice how none of our elected officials ever talk about boosting immunity, staying healthy, etc. Instead, they want everyone staying at home, indoors, avoiding contact with others. Essentially lowering our immunity, weakening our health, and denying our very humanity and nature as social beings.

    We flattened the curve. Now it’s time to flatten the fear.

  45. You must wear shoes. You must wear a shirt. Neither of those are even health related and yet everyone complies. You and your luggage must be screened by TSA. You must be ticketed. You must show government approved ID. These are requirements to travel by air. Wearing a face covering during a pandemic is another.

    Until you all report back observing full adherence from crew and passengers alike, I am likely to stay grounded. This hit or miss enforcement is not good enough to get me onboard.

  46. @James S

    OK, 5 years later due to a purported plot of a similar vein, discovered using enhanced surveillance created in the wake of 9/11. Doesn’t change my point.

    I could add the federalization of air transport security, shoe removal, millimetre-wave body scanners in 2009-2010, rapidly expanded “no-fly lists” and the secrecy surrounding them, enhanced pat-downs, the list goes on. Of course, now you can provide your fingerprints and pay to have a more streamlined experience. Great, now you’re giving the government money to have the experience you used to have for free.

    Could you provide evidence that the usage of masks during the 1918 pandemic worked? In 1919, Wilfred Kellogg’s study for the California State Board of Health concluded that mask ordinances “applied forcibly to entire communities” did not decrease cases and deaths, as confirmed by comparisons of cities with widely divergent policies on masking. Kellogg found the evidence persuasive: “The case against the mask as a measure of compulsory application for the control of epidemics appears to be complete.” That 1919 study may be found here: https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/011933637

    In 1921, Warren Vaughn declared “the efficacy of face masks is still open to question.” The problem then, as now, was the way they were worn and constantly touched. Masks were used until they were filthy, worn in ways that offered little or no protection. Vaughn concluded: “It is safe to say that the face mask as used was a failure.” That study can be found here: https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/001583712

    In 1927, Edwin Jordan’s study published in JAMA as a series of articles later as a book determined that masks were effective when worn by patients already sick or by those directly exposed to victims, including nurses and physicians. Jordan’s ultimate conclusion: “The effect of mask wearing throughout the general community is not easy to determine.” That study may be found here: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/251741

    You really need to do better than citing one article from Wikipedia of all places.

  47. No one commits a mass shooting and then claims it’s ok because “FREEDOM”! Yet some people here think freedom is a good excuse for spreading contagion all around them.

  48. @Traveller
    The proof is all the countries who used masks (and had high compliance), on average, doing vastly better than the US. What’s terrible is so many Americans ARE compliant and tried to limit going out, and wore masks when they do, but idiots such as yourself had to ruin it for everybody else.

  49. All Dump voters, conspiracy nitwits, and the anti fact and anti science crowd need to be banned entry into any public and private spaces where they may be literally threatening the lives of otherwise sane individuals who have a healthy fear of literally drowning in their own blood. Put on a mask or be banned. Enough is enough. Can we please have an adult leader to control these extremely dangerous ignoramuses?

  50. @David

    How would you explain Sweden, which never did a lockdown and never required masks? They did ban large gatherings.

    I don’t understand the strategy here. You want to compel mask usage to do…what? To wait until a vaccine is available (not a guarantee, may not happen, could take years, etc)? To slow down the rate of infection (but not stop it)? The longer everyone is masked and hiding away, the longer it’s going to take to get back to normal, and the greater likelihood of poor outcomes due to weakened immunity, poor health, deterioration in people’s mental, social, physical well-being, etc.

    SARS-CoV-2−reactive CD4+ T cells were detected in ~40-60% of unexposed individuals, suggesting cross-reactive T cell recognition between circulating ‘common cold’ coronaviruses and SARS-CoV-2. Great study published on May 14, 2020 in scientific journal “Cell”. Check it out.

    The focus should be on improving our immunity and general health (especially avoiding insulin resistance and cardiovascular conditions, both of which are associated with poor outcomes in COVID-19). Then we can add precautions for the small populations more at risk, i.e. the immunocompromised and elderly. That doesn’t mean everyone needs to upend their way of life and freedom over this.

    Sources: “Cell” scientific journal mentioned above, and I work in a molecular lab.

  51. People who want to get around the rule can easily do it. All you have to do is “eat” or “drink” the entire flight long by popping a small piece of food in your mouth every few minutes. No one can say anything then. Because of that, anyone who doesn’t wear a mask just make a point should be written up as the policy states. However: I do believe that an exception should be made if you already have COVID and have the antibodies, in which case you’re at no risk of getting it again as of now (according to many).

  52. Bottom line…the information is out there if you want to find it. Look at all the available evidence and decide for yourself, and let others do the same. Respect the sovereignty of the individual.

    If you want to do due diligence, great. If you want to sit on your unhealthy rear on the couch, watching major media and swallowing everything they spoon-feed to you, well…that’s your prerogative.

    I’m not trying to push anyone to not wear a mask. But the evidence of their efficacy is rather elusive and I don’t want to live in a society where we all look and feel muzzled and people are shamed if they don’t comply. There are various reasons for not wearing a mask, from medical conditions to past psychological trauma (someone raped with a hand over their mouth, for instance).

    You may disagree, and that’s your right. But the snitching and social shaming over this is far more worrying than whether someone is wearing a mask or not.

  53. @ Liux

    You are trying to use a bargaining chip which you don’t have. This is a pandemic. The reason you are required to wear a mask is because it doesn’t really protect YOU. It protects the OTHERS and YOUR benefit is the OTHERS’ mask. I often disagree with many ridiculous airline “requirements” but not here. As to your equating that requirement with the condition you mention, I really do not see the reasoning.

  54. @ JoshR:

    True, you MOST LIKELY can’t get it but you still can infect others. Don’t you mind?

  55. Unfortunately this mask situation has come down to basically nothing more than a political debate at this point. It is also very much a placebo/we need to look like we are doing something demonstration, very similar to how doctors used to hand out antibiotics by the truckload to people with conditions like colds and flus for which antibiotics were completely and utterly useless since they are viral not bacterial infections. The masses have been worked into a frenzy and disagreement with their view is call for outrage.

    As someone who works in statistics and data analysis I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that partial datasets or data thrown out with incorrect context is very easy to manipulate into being “true” but also completely and utterly wrong in its conclusion. There are massive amounts of evidence that indicate that the response to this virus has been grossly overblown. The mortality rate has constantly been revised down and is now in line with the flu at less than .04% because the number of people who have been infected and recovered without incident is massively larger than originally believed. And by the way, that is the mortality for the flu even though we have tens of millions of people getting vaccinated for it every year.

    With a deviated septum and the congestion and restricted airflow this causes me, wearing a mask is just completely intolerable so I am not wearing one, end of discussion and will not go anywhere or do business with anyone that requires I wear one.

    By the same token if you are a business or property owner and want to require wearing masks then I am fine with that and also fine with people who won’t do business with somewhere that doesn’t require masks.

    It is the choice of each and every person or business/property owner to decide their stance on this issue and everyone who disagrees with the other viewpoint should just respect the other opinion and make their own choices and should do so without ridicule or name calling. You don’t like to be around people who don’t wear masks then don’t, but keep your righteous indignation to yourself. If you don’t want to be told you have to wear a mask then don’t go where they are being required, but keep your freedom and rights diatribe to yourself.

    Example: Costco is currently not getting my money but I harbor no ill will and will probably return later once they ease their restrictions. See how easy that is?

  56. Traveller, what’s to explain about Sweden? Near the highest casualty rate in Europe, and their chief health medical architect has even admitted they did the wrong thing with their liberal approach.

    Too bad about all those unnecessary victims and the hit to the economy eh.

  57. @JDS, it is very clear by now that masks protect you, not just others. Experiments show it as well as common sense. The myth that they don’t originates in the very poor WHO message early in the pandemic, which did not recommend the use of masks at all. Perhaps if everyone understood this point once and for all we would not see so much anti-mask behavior.

  58. @Mh

    No, Tegnell said more could have been done for vulnerable populations, e.g. nursing homes, but that the overall strategy has been effective.

    “We continue to believe the strategy is good but then there are always improvements one can make, especially if you look back over time,” he said.

    I suspect their strategy will pay off in the long term. We’ll see. The virus isn’t going away, despite the hysteria with wearing masks and sheltering in place, and we have no reason to expect a robust RNA vaccine in the near-term, and I would caution anyone thinking about receiving it anyway. We need to let the reasonably healthy live their lives, be exposed to the virus and other microbes, and take reasonable measures for the small population that is highly vulnerable. It’s a novel pathogen. Newsflash…people are going to die. Doesn’t mean it’s not sad, but that’s life. If I get it and happen to die (a rarity, but possible)…well, that’s life. I’m not going to cower in fear with a muzzle on my face and be terrified of every interpersonal interaction and every surface I touch. And I’m not going to lie on my deathbed blaming people who didn’t wear masks and socialized with their family and friends. What an exhausting and miserable way to live.

    I have no desire to live in a world in which we seek to mitigate every possible risk to zero. That’s not life.

  59. I love to read some of these posts, but substitute the word “seat belts” for “masks” in Traveller’s first post, or “pants” for “mask” in Wilhelm’s first post. Just like we wouldn’t fly or drive without a seatbelt, we should wear a mask right now. Just like I don’t worry about my pants falling down when I am asleep, I don’t worry about my mask.

    As for all the people who suddenly have “underlying conditions”- there are 1.1M doctors in the US, and 3.8M nurses- they still wear masks. I’m sure if you went into surgery and the doctor wasn’t wearing a mask, you’d flip out.

    I understand that its not as comfortable to wear a mask than not wear one, and you do need to remove it to eat. But this is something that we all need to get through, and the more people who wear masks, the shorter this period will be.

  60. @George: you missed my point. I was specifically speaking about those who sleep. If you toss & turn, or touch your face while asleep there’s a risk the mask get dislocated or fall off. As for your comparison to pants is just ridiculous- pants are fastened securely. Have you ever heard of someone losing their pants while asleep?

    I wasn’t attacking the wearing of masks, just highlighting there could be some very unpleasant situations.

  61. @George – I love some of the posts as well! A couple of my thoughts:

    First, we really have no “rights” as passengers. When you purchase an airline ticket, it comes with a COC that the airline can change at any time (which is stated in the COC that they can do). If you don’t like what the airline(s) is/are doing, don’t fly. I’m pretty sure there’s no malicious intent here, it’s that they, like every other individual / business are trying to navigate through COVID, which brings me to my second point…

    It’s amazing how many people are “experts” about COVID. The reality is it’s been in the public eye for six months. It will take years to determine the true effects. I can’t see how wearing a mask in public, social distancing, washing your hands, etc. are an assault on freedoms. Maybe talk to some in Europe who lived through WWII…what we’re experiencing is a minor inconvenience.

  62. The anti-mask passengers are the new emotional support animal passengers. They’ll whine and claim a nonexistent medical condition in order to pull a greatly inconsiderate stunt that may be harmful to people around them.

  63. Regardless of one’s opinion on the effectiveness of masks, if there is a policy it should be enforced. It’s not fair to the potentially vulnerable people who have no choice but to fly and have relied upon the “policy” that everyone would be wearing a mask. If the airlines aren’t going to enforce it, then they shouldn’t advertise it. By advertising this policy they are causing people to rely upon it who otherwise would not have flown.

  64. Yeah, masks are going to save the day.

    Is that why the CDC didn’t see a need to wear masks in, what was it, February through April?

    If it so important now, why wasn’t it then? Sounds to me like they are all shooting from the hip to see what does or doesn’t work and we are the guinea pigs.

    I still think Sweden has the right idea on this.

  65. Another idiotic post by Dick Buttkiss tying this issue to POTUS. Do us all a favor and please go away.

    This is the current flavor of the day and it will go away as soon as the first law suit is filed. It’s a personal choice. I choose to wear a mask and keep my immediate environment sanitized. I could give a rats ass if other people follow my lead. All of you haters need to stop acting like sanctimonious sheep!!!!

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