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Should wearing a mask in a public location (e.g. grocery store) during this pandemic be required? Can it be enforced? Should people be required to stay home? Should cities have curfews? Should the “rules” be written by the White House, individual state or city authorities? Are these decisions against your “rights?”
Tensions are running high right now as individuals determine the answers to these questions.
TO FLY OR NOT TO FLY?
In early March, a passenger flew from New York to Florida while awaiting the results of a coronavirus test. When his test results returned positive, the passenger proactively notified the JetBlue (the airline he flew), at which point the airline announced a lifetime ban for the passenger.
Last week, the Lansing State Journal reported another incident in which a woman attempted to board a commercial flight AFTER testing positive for COVID-19.
According to article, the woman had been visiting her family near Lansing, Michigan. She began to experience symptoms so she was tested for the virus. The results returned positive and the woman was advised of the risks, both, to herself and to others.
She explained to the officials at the Ingham County Health Department that she did not live in Lansing and that she had planned to fly home in the coming days.
The health department again advised her of the risks, both, to herself and to others of traveling and ordered her not to fly given the positive results.
During the course of the conversation it became clear that the woman did not heed the advice and planned on flying home.
It’s worth noting that it is protocol for health department officials to stay in contact with clients that test positive and ensure they’re taking precautions. Over the course of the next few days, their concerns were validated as it was clear she still planned to fly home.
The health department notified the Capital Region International Airport of the situation and the airport was able to partner with the airlines and determine that the client had in fact booked a flight.
In an effort to prevent her from flying, a cease-and-desist order was issued if she did not comply.
As expected, the woman showed up for her flight. Airport personnel were able to locate her before the security checkpoint, and convince her not to fly, at which point she left the premises.
The facts are that she tested positive for COVID-19 and without regard for anyone else in the airport or on her plane, she attempted to fly.
Personally, if there is one thing that I’ve learned over the last few weeks, it’s that the level is disregard in this country is frightening.
Do you find her actions selfish? When should you not fly? Should the JetBlue passenger have flown since he hadn’t received his results? Should he have contact JetBlue after he received his results to warn others? Should there be repercussions for passengers that knowingly fly with COVID-19? How would feel if she was on your flight? Did you see the names of the ~100,000 people on the front cover of the New York Times article?