• tlbsofware 12 days ago

    Ozone generators are a safety hazard to other passengers so I’m glad they are banning the use of those, the EPA states that ozone can:

    “ When inhaled, ozone can damage the lungs. Relatively low amounts can cause chest pain, coughing, shortness of breath and throat irritation. Ozone may also worsen chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma and compromise the ability of the body to fight respiratory infections.”


    • tyingq 12 days ago

      Do be aware that some passengers have oxygen generators that could be mistaken for an ozone generator.

      • Someone1234 12 days ago

        I agree they could be mistaken by another passenger not familiar with oxygen concentrators, which is a good argument for avoiding vigilantism in general.

        If you have concerns let the flight crew know quietly, and they can find out politely if the device is within policy (which oxygen concentrators of course are).

        • m463 12 days ago

          My friend had one, and it would generate oxygen, and simultaneously fill a portable tank for going out.

          I don't know the protocol for air travel - do you generate O2 with a device during your travel or carry an oxygen tank?

          I could imagine scenarios where a pressurized tank on an airline is bad, and also scenarios where a device would be bad too.

          I've also heard of people that had medical conditions and they just weren't allowed on the plane at all.

          • cameldrv 12 days ago

            Oxygen concentrators are allowed, but they have to be FAA approved, you have to have a prescription, and they have to be battery powered (you can't plug them into the seat power).

          • Wistar 12 days ago

            Most of the O2 concentrators I have seen are used with a nasal cannula. Don't know about ozone generators.

          • christkv 12 days ago

            I wonder if a uv-c light would be considered an ozone generator. Not that I ever would recommend people bring one onboard a plane.

            • wtvanhest 12 days ago

              How do you tell if your air cleaner that you are using generates ozone?

              • numpad0 12 days ago

                "Personal air purifiers / refreshers" are also forbidden so distinction there is probably not so important

                • wtvanhest 11 days ago

                  Oh, I should have clarified, I was wondering about in home purifiers

                • apsec112 12 days ago

                  They'll usually have a button marked "plasma" or "ionizer" that you can disable.

                • Alex3917 12 days ago

                  > Ozone generators are a safety hazard to other passengers so I’m glad they are banning the use of those

                  It sounds like they're banning people from bringing them on board, on just from using them. Also there are other types of ozone generators beyond just air the ones used in air filters. There are lots of folks who are mixing ozone with blood and injecting it back into themselves in an attempt to cure covid. Whatever the risks of doing this are, someone having the machine that does this isn't going to harm other people on a flight.

                  • JumpCrisscross 12 days ago

                    > It sounds like they're banning people from bringing them on board, on just from using them

                    Why do they need to bring it on board if they aren't going to use it? Given it's a safety risk if used and has no approved therapeutic use the rule seems fine.

                    > lots of folks who are mixing ozone with blood and injecting it back into themselves in an attempt to cure covid

                    Presumably this can wait until they land.

                    • oarsinsync 12 days ago

                      > Why do they need to bring it on board if they aren't going to use it?

                      No checked luggage? To use at the other side? To deliver to someone else?

                      Air travel is horrible enough already with the BS restrictions (eg water bottles). Let’s not encourage making it even worse. Airlines are already screwed enough right now without putting off the few people that are still travelling with even more restrictions and surcharges.

                      • lazyasciiart 12 days ago

                        > No checked luggage? To use at the other side? To deliver to someone else?

                        "No checked luggage" is a choice. I've checked luggage specifically and only to transport something I couldn't bring in the cabin. It's not unusual.

                        • tssva 12 days ago

                          "Airlines are already screwed enough right now without putting off the few people that are still travelling with even more restrictions and surcharges."

                          Evidently American Airlines would disagree with you since they are imposing this rule themselves.

                          • sassycassie 12 days ago

                            amen dude. its getting ridiculous

                          • mandelbrotwurst 12 days ago

                            U.S. airlines started charging extra years ago to NOT carry things on board.

                          • pjc50 12 days ago

                            Where's this nuttiness coming from? Ozone is harmful to cells, that's why it's used for water purification. This is just a fancy version of the bleach injection, isn't it.

                            • pjkundert 12 days ago

                              Mild oxidants are generally more harmful to to bacteria, viruses, etc., than to healthy cells. That's the basic theory.

                              That's also why you can purify water with a bleach (Chlorine Dioxide) tablet, and then drink the solution harmlessly. This isn't rocket science.

                              • pjc50 12 days ago

                                Toxicity threshold for chlorine dioxide appears to be 0.8mg/L, so not that harmless, and I can't find any safety limits for injection!

                                (sibling comment about dose making the poison is correct, yes)

                              • Alex3917 12 days ago

                                Everything is harmful to cells. The dosage makes the poison.

                                • m0zg 12 days ago

                                  FYI, here's what Trump meant by "inject disinfectant into the body": https://www.bloomberg.com/press-releases/2020-04-20/aytu-bio.... These folks inject UV light source into the body via the breathing tube. He never said "bleach" - that was made up by reporters.

                                  • slavak 12 days ago

                                    No, it objectively isn't. The context of Trump's comments was a presentation by Bill Bryan from the Department of Homeland security on how to fight COVID-19, in which he explicitly discussed that

                                    a) The virus dies quickest in the presence of direct sunlight. and b) Readily available household disinfectants are effective at killing the virus. He specifically mentions that bleach and isopropyl alcohol had been tested.

                                    This is the immediate context in which Trump's comments about putting light inside the body and injecting disinfectant were made. There is absolutely no doubt what he meant here. Stop trying to gaslight people.

                                    All of this is on video:


                                    • m0zg 12 days ago

                                      You're the one gaslighting people, poorly. It is illustrative that you choose to ignore what Trump said immediately prior to the "inject disinfectant into the body" phrase (which, BTW, is what Atyu does - they have a video on YT).

                                      Direct quote: "Suppose we hit the body with ultraviolet light, and you said, that hasn't been checked, but we're gonna test it, and I said suppose you can bring the light inside the body, which you can do, either through the skin or in some other way, and I think you said you're gonna test that, too". Then he proceeds to talk about "disinfectant, which knocks it out in a minute". Crucially, at no point has Trump ever suggested anything like "injecting bleach", yet thanks to CNN and gullible people like you half the country believes he did.

                                      I think realistically what happened is, Trump was bombarded with suggestions in his daily briefing, as usual, and used a poor choice of words to describe one of the suggestions. Contemporaneous evidence supports this: Atyu announced their work with Cedars Sinai a day or two before that press conference.

                                      But feel free to believe the CNN version. By the way, I have some excellent build-ready swampland in Florida I'd like to sell. Interested?

                                      • slavak 9 days ago

                                        > Then he proceeds to talk about "disinfectant, which knocks it out in a minute". Crucially, at no point has Trump ever suggested anything like "injecting bleach", yet thanks to CNN and gullible people like you half the country believes he did.

                                        Really? His direct quote is:

                                        "I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute. One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning? Because you see it gets in the lungs, and it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it would be interesting to check that."

                                        He literally asked about injecting disinfectant into the body, referencing and immediately following a briefing that talks about using household disinfectants like bleach and isopropyl alcohol against SARS-Cov-2. You're either being purposefully disingenuous, or completely failing at listening comprehension. Either way, you're clearly not changing your mind here. But maybe I can inform other people that may end up reading your nonsense.

                                • outworlder 12 days ago

                                  > there are lots of folks who are mixing ozone with blood and injecting it back into themselves in an attempt to cure covid


                                  Every day I lose more faith in humanity.

                              • wizzwizz4 12 days ago

                                The reason for this is safety.

                                If the cabin depressurises, a little oxygen mask pops down from the top. You have a few seconds to put this on your face before you're unconscious¹, and a few minutes after that for somebody else to put it on your face before you're dead. Try doing that while inside a tent.

                                (I'm don't know whether this conclusion is statistically valid, considering how few non-Boeing's have been depressurising v.s. the proportion of the population with COVID-19, but it feels intuitively right, and that's how these decisions have been made lately.)

                                ¹: read "not usefully conscious"; you might still be awake, but your brain won't be doing much thinking or hand-moving.

                                • deathgrips 12 days ago

                                  If the cabin depressurizes, the pilots immediately fly the plane down at a 45 degree angle to quickly move to an altitude with more hospitable air pressure. People who don't put on masks (and most people don't) regain consciousness after a couple minutes.

                                  The real safety hazard is anything that makes it harder to evacuate the plane, such as bulky clothing or eye-wear that make it harder to see in the dark or through smoke.

                                  • tyingq 12 days ago

                                    There's a transcript from a decompression event that shows what you're talking about here: https://fearoflanding.com/accidents/accident-reports/weve-lo...

                                    I particularly like the "He's doing it anyway" comment.

                                    I imagine there are situations where they can't descend though.

                                    • mcguire 12 days ago

                                      The magic words: "declaring an emergency".

                                      On the other hand, even at 3000-4000 feet per minute, it can take a while to get from 35,000 to 10,000 ft.

                                      • hanniabu 12 days ago

                                        I would think more than 10k would be sufficient considering the Everest base camp is around 18k feet, but of course the lower the better.

                                        • jcrawfordor 12 days ago

                                          The point where hypoxia can set in varies from person to person, esp. when accounting for people with respiratory disorders. 10,000 feet is often considered a rough line where the altitude is no longer safe for everyone (that is, particularly susceptible people may begin to show symptoms), but the FAA progressively requires pressurization or supplemental oxygen from 12,500 to 15,000 feet. Altitude sickness (different from hypoxia but sometimes also quite severe) will occur below 10k in some people if there has been a rapid change in altitude, but fortunately it is much more survivable than hypoxia.

                                      • qmarchi 12 days ago

                                        There are some regions, like the Tibetan Plateau where the average elevation is actually higher than 10k feet, meaning an nosedive could technically have you hit a mountain.

                                        • groby_b 12 days ago

                                          That would be why most airlines don't fly over the Tibetan Plateau :)

                                          If you really want nightmares about flying in that region, I recommend looking at the approach to Paro airport. 7.5k elevation, surrounded by 18k peaks, horrifying turbulences.

                                          • srean 12 days ago

                                            IIRC till a few years ago only 4 pilots had authorization to land there. I was more scared while landing in Boston for the first time. It seemed to me that the aircraft was landing on the water, was not expecting that.

                                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbLHah4XUwk (Paro landing)

                                            • prepend 12 days ago

                                              Lukla airport is really fun, it’s at 11k and mountains all around.

                                            • cardiffspaceman 12 days ago

                                              There are a few "av-geek" videos that cover operations of airlines in the vicinity of the Tibetan plateau, and they talk about how the pilots have to be qualified and trained for the fact that the plane is never at an altitude where people breathe easily. Even railroad operations require things like the availability of supplemental oxygen for passengers and crew.

                                              • kwillets 12 days ago

                                                Cuzco is one. I think it's higher than the pressurization altitude.

                                                • joshvm 12 days ago

                                                  This is also an issue for planes landing at the South Pole, where the plateau can have a pressure altitude of up to 12500ft. If you arrive in a Hercules (as opposed to a DC3/Basler which is unpressurised) they have to vent the cabin just before landing.

                                              • taloft 12 days ago

                                                They’re going to be descending whether atc gives them permission or not. Keep in mind, Southwest has TCAS and already knows of nearby aircraft to a near certainty. The only real goals are get to breathable air and don’t hit anything. Passengers have minutes before they run out of air.

                                              • K0balt 12 days ago

                                                It is true that you would max-rate descend to get to breathable altitudes, but FYI that will not be flying at a 45 degree angle lol.

                                                If you did try to fly an airliner down at a 45 degree angle, you would either have to do it with a falling-leaf stall after slowing to about 150kts (I doubt this is possible in an airliner?) or you would quickly break the speed of sound and the aircraft would disintegrate as the wings and stabilizers were ripped off. A max rate descent feels steep, but it's not that steep lol.

                                                • AWildC182 12 days ago

                                                  They have spoilers which do allow a fairly steep angle, combined with other techniques can get you down very quickly, though not quite 45 dergees IIRC.

                                                  Some transport aircraft like the C-17 can deploy thrust reverses in flight to achieve those attitudes. I'm told the people riding in back don't enjoy it though.

                                                  • Traubenfuchs 12 days ago

                                                    Watching two people fight over specialized facts is fascinating. We readers have no clue what‘s true.

                                                    • jcrawfordor 12 days ago

                                                      I think the biggest issue is that the relationship between pitch attitude (angle) and rate of ascent/descent in aircraft is tenuous at best. During landing, for example, it is typical to have a healthy descent rate with the nose slightly up from level. I don't think I've ever seen any procedure with a fixed pitch angle, it pretty much always depends on the gross weight anyway.

                                                      Emergency descent maneuvers in the C-172 and I believe many other small aircraft actually involve a 45 degree roll angle, and whatever pitch angle achieves a desired speed (e.g. 120 kias in the C-172). This produces a tight downward spiral, the spiral helps because it moves lift off the vertical axis which lets you descend more quickly at a fixed speed - otherwise you'll speed up until the wings fall off. I suspect the 45 degrees above may have come from confusion over which axis it was around. I'm not sure what the exact justification is for the choice of 45 degrees but 60 degrees roll angle is usually considered sort of the upper limit (beyond that is technically aerobatics) so 45 is pretty commonly considered the "steep" extreme.

                                                      It looks like the procedure is different for the big boys. A quick google shows that the emergency descent procedure for the 747 is thrust closed, speedbrakes at flight position, gear down, make 320 kias. Pitch angle that produces would depend on weight but it's not going to be 45. No spiraling involved, but then 747 seems to (unsurprisingly) have a lower max bank angle (really max load factor) than smaller planes.

                                                      The point is you wouldn't even really pay attention to the pitch attitude, you'd pay attention to airspeed. The answer to "what should the pitch be" is pretty much always "whatever results in the airspeed you want."

                                                      • iggldiggl 11 days ago

                                                        > During landing, for example, it is typical to have a healthy descent rate with the nose slightly up from level.

                                                        And of course the landing itself (for airliners at least, that is) will be with the main gear first and only then does the nose wheel come down as well.

                                                        Once you've internalised that, you can't help but notice that one style of pictograms typically used to designate the "Arrivals" section of an airport (e.g. https://www.alamy.com/airport-signs-departure-and-arrivals-a...) alarmingly looks rather like a crash landing than a regular landing :-)

                                                      • AWildC182 12 days ago

                                                        Fight might be a strong word...

                                                        I should at least provide a little source material though: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUUU-C-7o98 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gdn0465zE4o

                                                  • leoh 12 days ago

                                                    Interesting -- I wonder if depressurization masks could be used (and retrofitted if need be) during covid for safety

                                                    • cesarb 12 days ago

                                                      AFAIK, passenger oxygen masks on airplanes use a chemical oxygen generator, which only works for a few minutes before it's exhausted (the pilots use a different system with oxygen cylinders, and IIRC the rest of the crew has portable oxygen bottles).

                                                    • hkai 12 days ago

                                                      45 degree angle, really.

                                                    • tyingq 12 days ago

                                                      "You have a few seconds to put this on your face before you're unconscious"

                                                      Is that correct? People can obviously hold their breath for longer than that. Is it something like panic causing you not to hold your breath?

                                                      • bdonlan 12 days ago

                                                        When you hold your breath, oxygenated air remains in your lungs. This allows you to maintain consciousness for potentially a minute or two.

                                                        In a decompression event, the air is sucked out of your lungs. The air that remains has a low O2 partial pressure, and so oxygen can leak from your bloodstream into your lungs. As such the body's normal mechanisms for storing oxygen simply don't work.

                                                        • Buttons840 12 days ago

                                                          As I read your comment I suddenly decided to blow all the air I could from my lungs and see how long I could go without a breath. I lasted 10 seconds.

                                                          • gruez 12 days ago

                                                            It's probably worse than that. When you blow out all the air from your lungs, what's left is still at atmospheric pressure. In a decompression event the pressure drops very quickly unless you plug your nose or something. A sibling comment has more concrete numbers https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_of_useful_consciousness

                                                            • DuskStar 12 days ago

                                                              When learning to scuba dive, they caution you not to ever hold your breath - not when at a stable depth, not when descending, and most certainly not when ascending - because the pressure differential can cause serious injuries. (This goes to the point of "if you run out of air at the bottom and need to make an emergency ascent, hum for the entire trip up to make sure you're breathing out slowly")

                                                              Now, you have larger pressure differentials when scuba diving - every 10m of depth is an atmosphere of pressure - but the half atmosphere that you get from 10k vs 40k feet is probably still enough to cause some serious issues. (10k feet is ~0.69 atm, while 40k is ~0.19)

                                                            • tomp 12 days ago

                                                              I lasted 30s, and even then I was compelled to breathe in, without using any “useful consciousness”.

                                                              Male, 32 years, healthy, medium sporty.

                                                            • tedunangst 12 days ago

                                                              This doesn't really tell you much since the compulsion to breathe is caused by rising CO2 levels, not lack of oxygen. If you breathe out, the remaining air quickly saturates.

                                                              • Traubenfuchs 12 days ago

                                                                I lasted 20 and it gave me an intense headache that‘s still there after a minute. I would probably black out after 30/40.

                                                              • wumms 12 days ago

                                                                > In a decompression event, the air is sucked out of your lungs

                                                                Correction, sir. That's "blown out."

                                                              • braythwayt 12 days ago

                                                                I believe it's somewhat correct, based on some random diving training.

                                                                There is a thing where you deliberately hold your breath, which starts with taking a big lungful of air, which presumably is at normal pressure and contains 21-ish percent oxygen.

                                                                Even untrained individuals can hold their breath for a while like this.

                                                                There's another thing, which is what happens if the air you're trying to breathe either is at lower pressure, or has lower oxygen proportions. Either way, each breath has fewer oxygen molecules.

                                                                If you haven't prepared for this and try to continue breathing, you can quickly become short of breath, and then cognitive abilities become impaired, hampering your attempts to rectify the situation.

                                                                I wonder if the problem is that if cabin partially depressurizes by the time the masks drop, you may no longer be able to take a deep breath and hold it while taking your time putting on a mask.

                                                                I acknowledge that I do not have training in dealing with cabin depressurization. As luck would have it, my sister has worked for Air Canada for more than 30 years, I will ask her about it.


                                                                I see some other comments about the oxygen actually coming out of your blood into your lungs at low pressure, and the air coming out of your lungs because the cabin is lower pressure than your lungs.

                                                                Those make sense, and had I trained for summiting 8,000m peaks instead of tech diving, I would have known that!

                                                                • knaq 12 days ago

                                                                  It matches diving.

                                                                  Suppose you're 2000 feet down, breathing hydrox or hydreliox. It's mostly hydrogen, maybe some helium, and less than 1% oxygen. You suddenly ascend to the surface. Instead of changing gas mixture, you try to hold the gas in your lungs and maintain the pressure.

                                                                  You won't hold it in. As the pressure drops in your lungs, the dissolved gases in your blood will escape into your lungs. That drops the oxygen content in your blood.

                                                                • dragontamer 12 days ago

                                                                  Unconscious is either hyperbole or gross exaggeration.

                                                                  But you only have a few dozen seconds before you become an idiot incapable of helping yourself. You can survive and be conscious for minutes in this state, but its "game over", you're not going to be helping yourself put on the oxygen mask once the critical period is up.

                                                                  Given the tradeoffs of the situation (ie: your neighbor will be fine for minutes, although helpless), it makes far more sense to ensure the oxygen safety of yourself before helping other people.

                                                                  • outworlder 12 days ago

                                                                    > Unconscious is either hyperbole or gross exaggeration.

                                                                    No it isn't.

                                                                    > you can survive and be conscious for minutes in this state

                                                                    No you can't.

                                                                    You are not going to remain conscious for more than a few seconds at 35000 or 40000 feet. You could potentially be between 15000 to 20000 feet but there's a reason oxygen supplementation is required above 10k feet in unpressurized cabins.

                                                                    • dragontamer 12 days ago


                                                                      > It is the period of time from the interruption of the oxygen supply or exposure to an oxygen-poor environment to the time when useful function is lost, and the individual is no longer capable of taking proper corrective and protective action.

                                                                      > It is not the time to total unconsciousness

                                                                      35,000 feet is 30-seconds to 1-minute of total useful consciousness, half that for rapid decompression situations.

                                                                      I stand by my estimate for "Dozens of seconds before you're an idiot". Most people will remain conscious after this time is up: they just will have become such idiots that its unlikely they will ever be able to fix their Hypoxia condition. (Slurred speech, unable to dexterously control your limbs, etc. etc. You're conscious, but no longer capable of putting on a mask even if it is dangling in front of you)

                                                                      Wikipedia takes the table from an FAA document: https://www.faa.gov/pilots/training/airman_education/media/A...

                                                                      There's pretty much no reason to measure "time to unconsciousness", because you're incapable of helping yourself long before you're unconscious.

                                                                      • slavak 12 days ago

                                                                        There's also this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_IqWal_EmBg) famous recording of a Learjet 25 crew suffering hypoxia at 32,000 feet. I think it demonstrates quite well that you're _not_ going to lost consciousness within a few seconds at that altitude, although the danger is not to be understated.

                                                                  • mvgoogler 12 days ago

                                                                    Unconscious might be overstating it, but there is a concept called "Time of Useful Consciousness" - which is basically the time frame where you are still able to function.

                                                                    At 40,000 feet, time of useful consciousness is 15-20 seconds.

                                                                    See https://expertaviator.com/2012/04/19/oxygen-requirements-tim...

                                                                    Basically the partial pressure of oxygen is low enough at altitude that the oxygen is driven out of your blood instead of in.

                                                                    There are some breathing techniques that can offset that somewhat, but only if you are prepared and trained, which is unlikely in a sudden decompression event.

                                                                    • mcguire 12 days ago

                                                                      Air pressure vs. altitude: https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/air-altitude-pressure-d_4...

                                                                      If I remember correctly, commercial aircraft are pressurized at about 8,000 ft. 25,000 ft is 5.45 psi, resulting in about 5.5 psi overpressure if you are depressurized. You might have a hard time, and you can injure your lungs doing that.

                                                                      The time until you pass out will depend on your oxygenation situation before the loss of pressure, general health and fitness, activity level (panicking would be a bad idea), and a bunch of other things.

                                                                      • kempbellt 12 days ago

                                                                        Breathe out completely then stop your lungs and see how long until you get a little dizzy/can't stand it.

                                                                        Depressurization means oxygen is quickly escaping, but that doesn't mean that people will rationally take a giant breath of air and hold it. I imagine most people continue breathing normally, or more rapidly due to increased stress. Not realizing that they are sucking in less and less oxygen, and begin to lose consciousness.

                                                                        • alibarber 12 days ago

                                                                          You have no breath to hold in. It will literally have been sucked from your lungs.

                                                                          • wizzwizz4 12 days ago

                                                                            Or your lungs might explode / rupture / tear. (I know that happens to divers who hold their breath, but 1 atm → ~0 atm might not be enough of a pressure difference to make that happen.)

                                                                          • pmoriarty 12 days ago

                                                                            Watch this video[1] of pilot training in an FAA altitude chamber to see the effects of oxygen deprivation.

                                                                            [1] - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSrGfElyfVE

                                                                          • jonas21 12 days ago

                                                                            Not to mention that trying to evacuate from an aircraft while in a tent or climbing over someone else's tent is probably not ideal.

                                                                            • foobarian 12 days ago

                                                                              BS. I can hold my breath for over 1 minute even without hyperventilating beforehand.

                                                                              • sokoloff 12 days ago

                                                                                Your ability to hold your breath near sea-level does not invalidate the well-studied time-of-useful-consciousness effects from a rapid decompression in aviation.


                                                                                Most commercial flights are operating in the 30,000-39,000 range.

                                                                                • Scramblejams 12 days ago

                                                                                  Worth noting that the quoted TUCs were for individuals who were healthy, rested, and expecting the depressurization.

                                                                                  FlightSafety International's training materials indicate that TUC could be cut in half if the decompression is explosive.

                                                                                • haswell 12 days ago

                                                                                  This personal anecdote doesn't really add to this conversation in a constructive way.

                                                                                  But, for sake of argument, it assumes a few things:

                                                                                  1) That your lungs are healthy enough to hold your breath for >= 1 minute (not all are)

                                                                                  2) You actually have the opportunity to breath in a lungful of oxygen-rich air (depending on the situation/timing, this might not be the case)

                                                                                  3) You have your wits about you while a very stressful situation unfolds around you (let's argue that you, personally, are cool and collected under pressure - this; however, is not universally true for all other passengers)

                                                                                  • braythwayt 12 days ago

                                                                                    This comment is a master class in civil argumentation, and informative to boot. Thank you.

                                                                                  • psidebot 12 days ago

                                                                                    You can't hold your breath in a low pressure environment. Also the low partial pressure of oxygen causes it to diffuse out of your blood instead of in. Even people who can hold their breath for a couple minutes under normal circumstances will have severe hypoxia impairment in less than a minute above 30K feet. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_of_useful_consciousness

                                                                                    • alibarber 12 days ago

                                                                                      I think the issue with rapid decompression is that you probably wouldn’t have any breath to hold in. And if you did your lungs would probably explode.

                                                                                      • thirtyseven 12 days ago

                                                                                        Hope you remember to hold your breath moments before an unexpected depressurization.

                                                                                        • smcameron 12 days ago

                                                                                          Smarter Every Day made a video about this in which he undergoes hypoxia training: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUfF2MTnqAw

                                                                                          • cptskippy 12 days ago

                                                                                            Most people start to panic after 10-15 seconds and feel immense discomfort and pain around 30.

                                                                                            • Cerium 12 days ago

                                                                                              Which lines up great with the linked time of useful consciousness chart: 15 to 30 seconds.

                                                                                            • wizzwizz4 12 days ago

                                                                                              Can you hold your breath breathed out for that long? That's what happens in practice when the cabin depressurises.

                                                                                              • dguest 12 days ago

                                                                                                I always assumed it was worse than this: when you breath out your lungs still contain a slightly lowered oxygen concentration at atmospheric pressure, so the partial pressure of O2 is still quite high. In a vacuum this drops to zero, meaning that your lungs become an oxygen sink.

                                                                                                So not only are you unable to get more oxygen, your lungs are actively sucking the remaining oxygen out of your blood.

                                                                                                Edit: as was pointed out in this comment a level up on this thread https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24495970

                                                                                                • Swizec 12 days ago

                                                                                                  Try it. You can go about 30seconds in a calm situation where you know what to expect before the panic overwhelms you.

                                                                                                  With a sudden event, you’d have about 15 seconds because there’s a lot to panic about.

                                                                                                  Edit: just tried. 25s panic started, 30s my chest was trying to inhale, 36s I had to let myself breathe. This was at my desk while calm and in control.

                                                                                                  On a plane I’d probably panic sooner and might be able to go a full minute before actually passing out.

                                                                                                  Edit 2: I did use to freedive as a kid and am in very good shape (45 resting heart rate) so maybe that helps

                                                                                                  • outworlder 12 days ago

                                                                                                    36 seconds is actually not very good for someone that's calm, in a good shape, and not moving around much at sea level.

                                                                                                    On the subject at hand, the best freediver in the planet would still have zero chance in a low pressure environment.

                                                                                                • Retric 12 days ago

                                                                                                  Your lungs operate based on partial pressure of each gas. So, effectively they operate in reverse in a low pressure environment.

                                                                                                  Also, at 1ATM you have 14.7 lb/square inch in your lungs, at 30,000 feet that drops to 4.3 psi making trying to hold your breath dangerous on it’s own.

                                                                                                  • glennpratt 12 days ago

                                                                                                    Your desire to breath is caused by the urge to expel CO2. At sea level you have a large reserve of oxygen.

                                                                                                    It is a huge gamble that you would or could hold your breath at the opportune moment.

                                                                                                    With a lack of oxygen in the air, you will quickly and painlessly blackout and then die.


                                                                                                    • z3t4 12 days ago

                                                                                                      The problem is that you probably won't notice the lack of oxygen. And after 1 minute you would not have enough mental capacity to put the mask on. There are some funny hypoxia videos: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24495939

                                                                                                      • xboxnolifes 12 days ago

                                                                                                        Would only work if you manage to breath out during depressurization and manage to not instinctively take a breath in the low oxygen environment.

                                                                                                        • mumblemumble 12 days ago

                                                                                                          Supposedly holding your breath is not advisable, and can actually make things worse.

                                                                                                          • mrfusion 12 days ago

                                                                                                            Is there an issue of not being able to hold your breath in low pressure?

                                                                                                            • alibarber 12 days ago

                                                                                                              You must not. One of the most important rules of SCUBA diving is to never hold your breath. A breath of air at high pressure (deeper) expands quickly at lower pressure (shallower), which could cause you some problems (a ruptured lung).

                                                                                                        • johnnyfaehell 12 days ago

                                                                                                          To be fair, this seems reasonable. There has to be a line that is drawn. Having everyone wearing full body pods isn't feasible.

                                                                                                          If you honestly feel like you need a full body pod, maybe you should seek a different mode of transport.

                                                                                                          • hadlock 12 days ago

                                                                                                            There's a bunch of eager grandparents looking forward to seeing their first grandchild born, as well as loved ones going to funerals etc. These people trend towards being over 55 and a cross country solo road trip for a widowed grandmother is not always an option for them, and covid isn't going to stop them from getting on a plane if possible.

                                                                                                            • bostonpete 12 days ago

                                                                                                              Most air travel is for a good reason, and most of it is avoidable in the current environment. There are other ways to see a grandchild or pay respects to the deceased. It sucks, but we're all in the same boat

                                                                                                              • sunkenvicar 12 days ago

                                                                                                                Ew. I hope you get nowhere near political power.

                                                                                                              • lazyasciiart 12 days ago

                                                                                                                A grandparent who wants to visit a newborn is the epitome of "neither of you should travel". It's like people don't even consider the option of actually adjusting their expectations based on changed world conditions. Easy for me to say, of course, since I live far enough away from my family that I've already become used to missing funerals and weddings and babies, and now I couldn't go home if I wanted to.

                                                                                                                • zobzu 12 days ago

                                                                                                                  I've a parent that died just before COVID started and I'm not allowed to go there (travel ban).

                                                                                                                  While I disagree with the risk of COVID, I would agree that if the risk was so great I should make a choice between minimum safety and my convenience of being able to mourn properly. Having a person that died or whatever shouldn't suddenly mean I'm the victim of the day and everyone else should bend over to make my day better. If anything, that wouldn't even scale.

                                                                                                                  That said it's moot because I personally have neither option heh.

                                                                                                                  • easytiger 12 days ago

                                                                                                                    > and covid isn't going to stop them from getting on a plane if possible.

                                                                                                                    Then get on the plane in a shirt and trousers. Literally no need for this stuff

                                                                                                                  • Hnaomyiph 12 days ago

                                                                                                                    Not to mention the egress issues large safety equipment might cause. I can’t imagine an emergency deplane where everyone is effectively in inflatable sumo suits.

                                                                                                                    • mrob 12 days ago

                                                                                                                      This is a reasonable position, assuming you're also in favor of banning obese people from flights.

                                                                                                                      • WilTimSon 12 days ago

                                                                                                                        There's a difference between people's own weight which they can't easily control or change and excessive personal protection which can be swapped for a mask and a bottle of hand sanitizer.

                                                                                                                        I don't see the reason for banning these outright though, maybe just choose a section of the cabin where people wearing these can be grouped. It's convenient for everyone and doesn't pose any extra risks for the rest of the passengers.

                                                                                                                        • thinkharderdev 12 days ago

                                                                                                                          I think the concern with the pods is different from large body mass. The pod gets tossed (presumably) in an emergency situation so it can end up somewhere that is blocking someone else from safely evacuating.

                                                                                                                          It would be less like an obese person than a normal weight person wearing a fat suit which they discard and throw in the aisle if they have to emergency deplane.

                                                                                                                      • jefftk 12 days ago

                                                                                                                        > Having everyone wearing full body pods isn't feasible.

                                                                                                                        How is someone wearing a full body pod in a window seat (as pictured in the article) causing problems for others?

                                                                                                                        • vinay427 12 days ago

                                                                                                                          Part of the reason is included in the statement: "Advise them that these types of PPE are safety concerns, especially tents / pods which can slow access to critical safety procedures, including emergency evacuations and use of oxygen masks"

                                                                                                                          Note that in-flight crew are generally tasked with getting everyone evacuated, so making their job more difficult endangers more than just the pod-wearer.

                                                                                                                          • gambiting 12 days ago

                                                                                                                            If the cabin suddenly depressurizes, good luck grabbing an oxygen mask through that thing.

                                                                                                                          • alkonaut 12 days ago

                                                                                                                            Evacuation doesn't work as smoothly, for one. But more importantly: if healthcare workers people can work inches from ICU patients on ventilators and HFNC's that spray virus particles far and wide, and use only masks and googles/shields, then I think a person in an airplane seat will be fine using the same PPE.

                                                                                                                            Is there anything that says this kind of "tent" is significantly safer than normal PPE? If not, why use them? This feels like something bought from an infomercial or something.

                                                                                                                            And most importantly: if you go on a flight, you are at risk of exposure to the virus. Your time in the airplane seat is probably the safest bit of the whole journey, and you aren't going to wear the tent in all the other situations on your journey like check in, boarding,...

                                                                                                                            • marshray 12 days ago

                                                                                                                              > if healthcare workers people can work inches from ICU patients on ventilators and HFNC's that spray virus particles far and wide, and use only masks and googles/shields

                                                                                                                              Healthcare workers do, in fact, become infected with COVID-19 at unacceptable rates.

                                                                                                                              • alkonaut 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                The number of infections per hour of exposure is still quite low, and likely very much acceptable for an individual for the travel scenario. The infection risk on a plane is tiny compared to an ICU.

                                                                                                                            • nharada 12 days ago

                                                                                                                              I'm guessing it's a safety thing? Having a bunch of people in bubble suits would make it really hard to evacuate the plane.

                                                                                                                              • ragnese 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                Wouldn't this be a simple case of measuring the probability of needing to evacuate the plane quickly vs. probability of catching covid-19 and dying?

                                                                                                                                Honestly, right now, for an elderly person, the covid risk is probably higher.

                                                                                                                                • thinkharderdev 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                  Theoretically you could, but in practice I don't know that we can reliably determine either of those probabilities with any accuracy. For instance, COVID risk is highly dependent (even for elderly people) on the presence of comorbidities. Are you going to ask everyone on the flight for their medical history?

                                                                                                                                  • ragnese 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                    I understand, but surely someone with an actual stats background could do a basic calculation on number of recent plane crashes vs. some estimated probability of N people out of 100 on a plane having COVID * the overall mortality rate, etc.

                                                                                                                                  • ketamine__ 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                    Isolating at home is a good way to stay safe if vulnerable.

                                                                                                                                    • OJFord 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                      ..from both eventualities!

                                                                                                                                    • tedunangst 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                      And what is the marginal benefit of going full pod vs everyone simply wearing a mask?

                                                                                                                                      • 9HZZRfNlpR 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                        Mask is marginal as well with very weak scientific evidence yet people wear it and even have to.

                                                                                                                                      • alibarber 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                        Yes but I would be frightfully annoyed if my own evacuation from a burning plane was impeded by someone’s unproven attempts at trying to lower their COVID risk.

                                                                                                                                        • wizzwizz4 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                          Conditional probability is a bit too advanced for the people making these decisions at the moment.

                                                                                                                                          (That's not to say that they're incapable of taking it into account; I'm sure most of them would be able to understand and use the concepts. They just don't.)

                                                                                                                                        • OJFord 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                          Isn't it a slippery slope though?

                                                                                                                                          Obesity and wheelchairs and people on the way to Magaluf who've spent the morning in the airport Wetherspoons also make it harder to evacuate.

                                                                                                                                          • OJFord 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                            (This is HN, so I fully expect an airport buff to point out that 'spoons is a British chain, and no British airport that flies to Magaluf has a Wetherspoons, except for one month in 2014 when a code change coincided with the grand opening of the Lands End airport Wetherspoons, or something - in fact I encourage it.)

                                                                                                                                            • atlasunshrugged 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                              I love that all the names of these places sound to me (as an American) like they could be mythical places out of Game of Thrones or something. Magaluf and Wetherspoons at Lands End? Amazing

                                                                                                                                              • OJFord 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                                Ha, well I'm sorry if it's a partial disappointment, but Magaluf is a Spanish holiday destination for, stereotypically, drunk-before-they-get-there British yobs; and Wetherspoon's (aka 'spoons') is a large (down-market) pub chain (proprietor J D Wetherspoon).

                                                                                                                                                Land's End is pretty GoT-y though - that's the most Westerly place in England (possibly GB? Probably a Scottish island is further West.) though I'm not sure if the meaning was ever literal, or if it was named after knowing that there did in fact lie other lands out there.

                                                                                                                                        • Valgrim 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                          It's a safety issue: "These types of PPE are safety concerns, especially tents / pods which can slow access to critical safety procedures, including emergency evacuations and use of oxygen masks"

                                                                                                                                          If there is a loss of oxygen, you may only have a few seconds to react before losing consciousness, and also to avoid brain damage.

                                                                                                                                          • jessriedel 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                            But there's not even an attempt to compare risk quantitatively. Cabin depressurization events are extremely rare, and deaths from people who don't manage to put on the mask (which will exist on every plane) are rarer still. This is a known, negligible risk, while covid is an real and still difficult to bound risk. Passengers should be allowed to make that decision themselves.

                                                                                                                                            (And regarding blocking the way for others: as long as it's easier to get by them than to get by some of the very large people who are allowed to fly, that should be OK too.)

                                                                                                                                            • colejohnson66 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                              Cabin depressurization is extremely rare, but that doesn’t stop the mandatory safety briefing every flight does while taxiing

                                                                                                                                          • ISL 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                            If everyone needs to evacuate the aircraft in the event of a fire, moving down the aisle wearing a tent, without the use of hands, is going to be less-efficient.

                                                                                                                                            If someone plugs up the emergency exit, someone else stays stuck inside the plane.

                                                                                                                                            • jjk166 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                              If there's cabin decompression and people need to put on oxygen masks quickly to avoid passing out, that tent is going to be a significant hindrance. While it probably won't kill anyone other than him, that's still a major liability for the airline. Just like not wearing your seatbelt is unlikely to harm anyone else but the airlines can still require it, the airlines can force people to limit things which would interfere with their own safety while in the airline's care.

                                                                                                                                              • tempestn 12 days ago


                                                                                                                                                > these types of PPE are safety concerns, especially tents / pods which can slow access to critical safety procedures, including emergency evacuations and use of oxygen masks

                                                                                                                                                Yet even after quoting that message from the airline, the author recommends they instead sell those items themselves, without addressing the safety issue. I agree that the airline's position here is reasonable. That said, I also wouldn't be taking any non-essential flights.

                                                                                                                                                • alibarber 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                                  Because recent news items on plane evacuations, when the thing has literally been on fire, have reported that people will delay to collect their carry on luggage despite it being strongly and explicitly forbidden. Therefore expecting Mr Tent to patiently wait by the window for everyone else to leave first seems like a bit of a stretch.

                                                                                                                                              • lokedhs 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                                The US seems to be incredibly polarised. On one hand you have people claiming that COVID is a hoax and refuse to wear masks or anything like that. On the other hand you see people saying they haven't left their house in 6 months and if they do, they wear three layers of latex gloves, an N95 mask with a surgical mask on top and refuse to touch door handles with anything but a 1 metre long stick.

                                                                                                                                                There seems to be a prevalent "if you're not with us you're against us" attitude that seeps through the entire society.

                                                                                                                                                The idea that there may be a middle road somewhere seems to have been completely lost. This is something I noticed in several different areas, and COVID is just one of them. The most obvious example is the political system of course.

                                                                                                                                                • ardy42 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                                  > Personal face / body tents

                                                                                                                                                  > Personal face / body pods

                                                                                                                                                  Are they talking about these things?


                                                                                                                                                  • blackearl 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                                    These things are bizarre. I can't imagine wearing one out in public since it doesn't actually seem to be a medical device. It's more like an over complicated umbrella/raincoat. I'm shocked this isn't an image from The Onion

                                                                                                                                                    • fxtentacle 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                                      It was actually designed as a sit-in umbrella for soccer games. For that purpose, it seems to make sense, despite looking a bit outlandish.

                                                                                                                                                    • tyingq 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                                      Yes...there's a picture in the article. Same item.

                                                                                                                                                    • CodeWriter23 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                                      If someone wanta to sit on the window and take the body pod risk on themselves, and possibly have a similarly-equipped family member or travel partner adjacent, that’s their business IMO.

                                                                                                                                                      Sitting on the aisle where they may impede the escape of another passenger who is a stranger, not acceptable. But that may even be misinformed. Obese people on the aisle present a formidable obstacle as well.

                                                                                                                                                      • thinkharderdev 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                                        I think the issue would be if you had a plane full of people in body pods, in an emergency deplane scenario all of the pods become obstacles that will end up in random places around the cabin so even if someone is in an aisle seat, they may not be in an aisle seat still if the plane skids off the runway during takeoff and everyone is tossed around a bit.

                                                                                                                                                        • abruzzi 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                                          The issues is if the tent obstructs the cabin staff from providing assistance. Simply saying that "it is on the individual" isn't going to stop the airline from getting, and possible losing, a lawsuit by the family when the passenger dies or suffer hypoxic brain damage, and the cabin staff says "we skipped (or delayed) offering him assistance because he was wearing a tent that would have significantly impeded our ability to provide assistance to other passengers."

                                                                                                                                                          • ci5er 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                                            Well, yes.

                                                                                                                                                            As since obesity is (a bit) skewed by race, depending on the age group, you'd be looking at disparate impact lawsuits.

                                                                                                                                                            Whereas PPE is purely individual choice. I would expect a fair amount of judicial respect for the former, but maybe not the latter.

                                                                                                                                                            • renewiltord 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                                              Sure, but you're going to stay put until I exit the plane. If the plane's on fire, don't get in the narrow ass aisle and start pinballing your way to the front like a drunk in a fat suit.

                                                                                                                                                              • asah 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                um no. The airline is then accepting liability - consider lawsuits from the person's next of kin.

                                                                                                                                                              • numpad0 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                This is interesting as not anyone can wear masks for duration of a flight.

                                                                                                                                                                Just couple weeks ago there was an incident in my country, where a domestic flight had to emergency land to kick out a person on the ground of cabin disturbances, who was also not wearing a mask.

                                                                                                                                                                Story goes as follows: the person refused masks for claimed medical conditions, while pointing out that the mask policies at this point are voluntary basis. Airline crew accepted that and the plane took off, but then the person didn't like voices from other passengers around(?) and started harassing crews to order them to make an apology for the person(??) to the point the plane landed and person was forced out. Damages are estimated at $100k ranges, flight was delayed by couple hours, and the person in question is still standing boldly on media interviews in refusing masks, "defending rights", and demanding apologies. In short I think the person was legitimately bit autistic aside from being a complete jerk.

                                                                                                                                                                But clearly the pain of facial masks vary person to person, so be it developmental issues or skin conditions or ear or facial shape issues the masks could be beyond their tolerances. I wonder what will be the best course forward...

                                                                                                                                                                • ghthor 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                  Don't fucking mandate wearing masks by law and tell all your citizens to grow the fuck up about it. Wear real protection if you need to protect yourself, don't force everyone to wear masks to create a security theater.

                                                                                                                                                                  • javagram 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                    Masks are not a security theater, TSA is an example of security theater.

                                                                                                                                                                    For the small minority of people who are psychologically unable to wear a mask or have read so much online material that they have become violently against them, they can simply use a car to drive to their destination while the vast majority of the traveling public simply follows the rules.

                                                                                                                                                                • jrochkind1 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                  > Our Clean Commitment was launched to keep every gate area, jetbridge and aircraft clean

                                                                                                                                                                  > We’ve begun using new breakthrough SurfaceWise2 spraying solution

                                                                                                                                                                  > We require everyone to wear an approved mask or face covering to reduce the risk of virus transmission

                                                                                                                                                                  > We also offer extra wipes (where available) for customers to clean the area around them

                                                                                                                                                                  I think the current science is that there is very little evidence of significant risk of transmission from surfaces. (3 of those 4 points).

                                                                                                                                                                  Yet we are still obsessed with surface hygiene. I guess because it's something we can do... but if we spent all the money being spent on surface cleaning on things that actually are more likely to reduce transmission (like, say, ventilation; or even on research to learn more), we'd reduce transmission more.

                                                                                                                                                                  Those things they are banning they probably have to ban for good reasons of safety etc. But surface hygiene is no substitute.

                                                                                                                                                                  • jjk166 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                    Keeping things clean costs pennies and even if the reduction in the odds of transmitting covid aren't very high, it certainly helps with lots of other diseases, and for the vast majority of us avoiding the common cold or the flu is just as valuable as avoiding covid. A new ventilation system for a plane is many orders of magnitude more expensive and the amount of benefit it would provide is still questionable.

                                                                                                                                                                    Reallocating such a measly sum to other areas is very unlikely to make a measurable difference. Infinitesimal costs can be justified by even very minor benefit.

                                                                                                                                                                    • zobzu 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                      There is such a thing as minimum wage. Flipping burgers, serving coffee or using a wipe all cost the same minimum wage. And that adds up fast...

                                                                                                                                                                      • jjk166 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                        How long does it take a team to wipe down a plane? 6 people 20 minutes maybe? That's $14.50 at federal minimum wage. There are 16 million flights per year when there isn't a pandemic reducing air travel, over 6 months that would be about 8 million. That would be 115 Million in labor for the worst case scenario max. There are about 30,000 airliners in the world, so the ventilation systems would have to cost $3800 or less to be cheaper than minimum wage labor. Realistically, such a ventilation system for an airliner is probably going to be more like $50,000; which would mean the units wouldn't break even until 2026.

                                                                                                                                                                        • jrochkind1 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                          By saying "break even" you are assuming that the ventilation system and the wiping down are equally effective -- so the question is which is cheaper?

                                                                                                                                                                          That is not the case. It depends on their effectiveness. If wiping down reduces risk 4% but better ventilation reduces risk 70%, the calculation of "breaking even" is very different. We don't know these exact numbers for covid, but as best as we can tell the risk reduction of this kind of surface cleaning is pretty minimal.

                                                                                                                                                                          It's hygiene theater.

                                                                                                                                                                          Hiring someone to pray for health on the plane would be cheaper than actual effective measures too -- hey you could probably hire just one person nationally to pray for health on ALL planes, a bargain! 'at what point will actual effective measures "break even" with hiring someone to pray' is a ridiculous question.

                                                                                                                                                                          • jjk166 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                            Fine, by that metric, the ventillation would have to be 12 times more effective than wiping down to have the same cost/benefit ratio. So if the wiping is 8.4% or more effective than it will always be the cheaper alternative; and even if wiping is less effective than that, odds are the ventilation system is going to be far less than 100% effective.

                                                                                                                                                                            And again, wiping surfaces does more than fight covid. The flu, the common cold, and countless more diseases are very effectively countered by washing down surfaces. If you make federal minimum wage and you miss work for 2 days because of the flu, that's $120 in lost earnings. The average person flying probably makes significantly more than that. Even if wiping down your seat only reduces the odds of getting the flu by 0.15% you're still coming out ahead at minimum wage; if you make $100k/yr it need only be 0.02% effective.

                                                                                                                                                                            Also it's worth noting that contact with contaminated surfaces is still believed to be a major means of transmission of the disease. It is airborne transmission of covid which is still being debated though there seems to be mounting evidence in support of it as an additional transmission pathway.

                                                                                                                                                                      • Caligatio 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                        NYC is spending $500M/year to clean rail and buses in an effort to combat COVID (https://www.politico.com/states/new-york/albany/story/2020/0...). It's not nearly as cheap as you would think.

                                                                                                                                                                        • oh_sigh 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                          Keep in mind that whatever the MTA does, you could probably do equivalently in a sane, rational world for 1/10th the price.

                                                                                                                                                                          • jjk166 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                            8 million people live in NYC, and between them and visitors from the surrounding metropolitan area a comparable number of people utilize the public transit system regularly. $500M/yr is 17 cents per person per day. I can think of less useful things I would pay 17 cents for.

                                                                                                                                                                        • joveian 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                          I think you should not make such a statement without a citation. With a quick search I could not find any research that supports that claim and the CDC is still recommending surface transmission prevention measures (at the top of the list even).

                                                                                                                                                                          I suspect you are confusing surface transmission potentially being the cause of a relatively small number of infections with it not being a significant risk.

                                                                                                                                                                          • jrochkind1 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                            How could it be a significant risk if it is the cause of very very few infections? I don't understand what you mean by this.

                                                                                                                                                                            > In May, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidelines to clarify that while COVID-19 spreads easily among speakers and sneezers in close encounters, touching a surface “isn’t thought to be the main way the virus spreads.” Other scientists have reached a more forceful conclusion. “Surface transmission of COVID-19 is not justified at all by the science,” Emanuel Goldman, a microbiology professor at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, told me. He also emphasized the primacy of airborne person-to-person transmission.

                                                                                                                                                                            (july 27) https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/07/scourge-hy...

                                                                                                                                                                            "Hygiene theater", like "security theater", is focused on appearances rather than actual calculated risk.

                                                                                                                                                                            • joveian 9 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                              The question is how few cases. I would agree at some point extremely few cases would mean not a significant risk, but because single cases can potentially case the virus to be spread widely before they are noticed even fairly small numbers of cases could have a significant impact. Many potential surface exposures would overlap with potential airborne exposure and most places with many cases don't have sufficient contact tracing to really have any idea how a large portion of the cases are occuring.

                                                                                                                                                                              I don't even disagree that much with you, Goldman, or the Atlantic article. Surface disinfection giving a false sense of security does seem like a major issue to me (and surface coatings and a number of other more extreme measures seem like a bad idea to me). However, I think you, the Atlantic author, and Goldman (unless misquoted, it seems he makes a different argument here than his Lancet article) are being unreasonably certain about it not mattering at all. It seems like the author could only find two people, both from Rutgers, willing to publicly support that argument. It seems like a pure ego thing to be so certain based on so little evidence and potentially quite harmful if not correct.

                                                                                                                                                                          • ibejoeb 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                            >I think the current science is that there is very little evidence of significant risk of transmission from surfaces.

                                                                                                                                                                            We don't hear about fomites anymore because it's awfully hard to encourage mask use when you tell people that the mask itself is a risk.

                                                                                                                                                                            • teruakohatu 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                              In New Zealand we have had at least one confirmed case of a isolation facility worker catching it in an empty elevator.

                                                                                                                                                                              Everyone entering the country goes into an isolation facility (repurposed hotel) covid or no covid.

                                                                                                                                                                          • tyingq 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                            A front view of one of these "body tents": https://iknowthepilot.imgix.net/LocationImages/man-in-body-p...

                                                                                                                                                                          • NicolasGorden 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                            The title is misleading to the point of being click bait.

                                                                                                                                                                            No one is getting banned from wearing medically approved PPE.

                                                                                                                                                                            They are banning people who use 'body tents' (which take up way more space on an aircraft than just your body) and people who are trying to change the air around them (which is shared by other people, and therefore cannot be considered Personal, per the definition of PPE)

                                                                                                                                                                            A more appropriate title would be: Airlines Ban Personal Tents and Air-Polluting Devises Now Popularly Marketed as Pseudoscientific Antiviral Protection

                                                                                                                                                                            Of course phrasing it as such would remove the news worthy element and make it seem like the reasonable move it is.

                                                                                                                                                                            • fxtentacle 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                              Fully agree. I flew to Asia to visit relatives a few times and I always hated it if people spray their Eucalyptus oil into the air, because it seems to attack my throat. Plus I'm not sure what it would help with/against?

                                                                                                                                                                              In general, anything that potentially degrades the air quality for other passengers and does not have any provable benefit should be prohibited. Ozone is an obvious candidate, given that it will most likely make Covid spread more, not less.

                                                                                                                                                                            • aaron695 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                              > Advise them that these types of PPE are safety concerns, especially tents / pods which can slow access to critical safety procedures, including emergency evacuations and use of oxygen masks

                                                                                                                                                                              Chance of crash ~0

                                                                                                                                                                              Chance of death from disease, orders of magnitude more. Chance of death to family not on the flight of disease, even more orders of magnitude more.

                                                                                                                                                                              Risk to airlines being sued for a crash ~ same with or without people tripping

                                                                                                                                                                              Risk to airlines from regulators ~ a lot

                                                                                                                                                                              • christkv 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                Literally pod-people https://utwpods.com

                                                                                                                                                                                • threatofrain 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm sure there's a solution that fits within the constraints of a carry-on option.

                                                                                                                                                                                  • hartator 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                    Such an interesting time!

                                                                                                                                                                                    • easytiger 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                      A guy in my building was flying back to china, dressed in full airtight hazmat suit with respirator. It's a fucking mental illness

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Someone1234 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                        That would be permissible by this policy.

                                                                                                                                                                                        As far as "mental illness," I'd prefer people go a little overboard than the opposite. If for no other reason than I am safer near someone in an airtight hazmat suit + respirator, whereas I am less safe near someone without PPE.

                                                                                                                                                                                        While I think the balance should be "reasonableness," they aren't hurting anyone else or even themselves. So live and let live.

                                                                                                                                                                                        • easytiger 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                          You think people should be let on planes dressed as follows


                                                                                                                                                                                          • TillE 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                            It's absolutely insane to be flying during a global pandemic unless it's some kind of life-or-death emergency.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Mandating everyone wear a full hazmat suit would be a far, far more reasonable policy than shrugging and letting people wear mostly-useless cloth masks. This is not a normal time and people have to stop acting like it is.

                                                                                                                                                                                            • easytiger 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                              That is not even close to being reasonable.

                                                                                                                                                                                            • mindslight 12 days ago


                                                                                                                                                                                        • kevin_thibedeau 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                          Are emotional support peacocks still allowed?

                                                                                                                                                                                          • fortran77 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                            Since they allow CPAP machines to be used in-flight and these are known to aersolize and spread viral particle far and wide, I won't feel comfortable flying until I can wear a full-face mask with N-95 filters.

                                                                                                                                                                                            I've written a letter (I had to Fed-Ex it to get an answer) to United (my usual airline) and they tell me they have to allow CPAP in flight "because of ADA."

                                                                                                                                                                                            I hope they don't restrict the use of full-face masks.


                                                                                                                                                                                            • Someone1234 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                              > I won't feel comfortable flying until I can wear a full-face mask with N-95 filters.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Which is permitted by every airline including United and AA. Where did you get the impression that isn't the case?

                                                                                                                                                                                              • zobzu 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                I wouldnt be surprised if it gets banned. In case of cabin decompression the full face masks can be quite hard to remove and you may actually die.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Now, that's very unlikely to happen, but apparently that's more likely than catching COVID or something. (Really, it's just insurance stuff I assume)

                                                                                                                                                                                          • ivanstame 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                            Until when you are going to be stupid and believe this made up situation, it's OK guys, it's not our first time to have a pandemic, why make it such a fuss when it's not, you are acting foolish with this COVID shit...? 1 million deaths by corona, and that is questionable, but because of this made up situation many more millions will suffer and die because you guys decided you are fucking scared and submit like little bitches to the governments... your freedom is taken from you like candy from kids...it's sad to watch this.

                                                                                                                                                                                            • andrewnicolalde 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                              How's the weather in St. Petersburg?

                                                                                                                                                                                              • dang 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                Comments like this are not allowed on HN regardless of how provocative another comment was or how strongly you disagree. No more of this, please.


                                                                                                                                                                                                • ivanstame 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Think of it like this. 1 million deaths maybe fake but who cares, right? :D and 7 bil. people. That is 0.0142%

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Let's say there is a 0.0142% of chance to rain everyday. I guess we should take an umbrella with us all the time till the rest of our lives?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • ivanstame 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                    here is one little bitch :D