General Question

marmoset's avatar

A loved one has to fly cross-country soon in the U.S. and she doesn't have supplies beyond the plain blue paper masks. What masks or other supplies might I send?

Asked by marmoset (1307points) October 28th, 2020

(I’m worried and seeking help with the question I’m asking – please don’t derail this if you’re a mask denier or covid denier.) I have a new N95 mask and some good new cloth masks that at least for me give a much better seal than the blue paper ones. I wish I had more time but I need to mail whatever I’m mailing tomorrow. She’s in her early 60s. Any other things I can encourage her to do? I know driving herself to the airport matters and I’ll advocate for this despite the cost of the long-term parking (cost is a factor, in fact she’s flying to save money over driving cross-country as she’d otherwise have to do here).

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6 Answers

janbb's avatar

Better cloth masks, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes.

JLeslie's avatar

N95 or KN95 masks, will protect her more. Make sure she is allowed to wear an N95. She might need to put a paper mask over it.

Alcohol wipes. You can get them in a purse size package. She can wipe off the plastic bag I think they put the drinks and snack before opening it to be extra safe.

I read an article recently that air travel has seemed to be fairly safe. Very little covid traced back to flights.

SmashTheState's avatar

What you need is a respirator. They have an activated charcoal filter which is 100% effective as long as the mask is able to make a tight seal on the face. It’s what I use because I have asthma and diabetes and am recovering from a bilateral pulmonary embolism; if I get COVID, it will kill me stone dead. The problem with a respirator is it only filters incoming air, not outgoing air, which means it doesn’t protect others, only you. You’ll have to check whether the airline will allow the use of a respirator instead of a mask.

Incidentally, when they wear out you can refill the charcoal reservoirs in a respirator with charcoal pellets for aquarium filters. It’s much easier to find, and cheaper than the acticated charcoal powder intended for food and pharmaceutical use.

I bought my respirator for $15 on eBay, so they’re not expensive.

dabbler's avatar

I would at least add a face shield along with a mask for two-way protection.
I use one of these with a mask on NYC subways:

RocketGuy's avatar

My wife and daughter used N95 masks and hand sanitizer for a trip to Boston last Aug. They got through fine. No one was using face shields on the plane. The middle seats were kept empty, though.

@JLeslie is right – airplanes are not too bad because the air flows from the ceiling down to the floor, so breaths from people don’t generally flow to other people before getting sucked out. Pilots are also allowed to mix in more fresh air these days and recirculate less, even though it increases fuel burn. A little perk from airline management.

JLoon's avatar

Extra masks for sure, along with items everyone else has mentioned.

Good luck

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