Laguardia International Airport (LGA) - Photo: Timothy Vogel | FlickrCC

LaGuardia International Airport (LGA) – Photo: Timothy Vogel | FlickrCC

Two things unite all of us on the AirlineReporter team: (1) we all LOVE flying, and (2) we all have other day jobs. I started writing for this website a few years ago as a medical student in California. And once I graduated I moved to New York City to start residency … just in time for COVID to hit. Yikes.

The reality in COVID-hit cities has been covered plenty in the news so I don’t need to describe it here. Except to confirm from firsthand experience that — despite hospitals’/doctors’/nurses’ best efforts — it was as horrific and chaotic as you heard. A lot of people got really sick. A lot of people died. And a lot of people who got better have complications that will affect them for the rest of their lives.

It’s hard for anyone to set a passion or hobby aside. Even with everything I’ve seen, I still miss flying like crazy. I’m guessing it’s the same way for many of you. And even during peak pandemic there may be rare reasons when you absolutely have to fly. If you do, please do so safely.

But for those of you who are able to pause plans for avoidable travel, know that you’re making a huge difference. Air travel can help pandemics leapfrog around the world. And despite airlines’ admirable efforts to keep things clean, the inside of a compact fuselage is an extremely high-risk space to catch a virus like COVID-19.

I live under the approach to runway 13 at LaGuardia and it’s sad to see fewer planes in the sky than I used to. But I also see far fewer COVID cases in the hospital than a few months ago. And while social distancing and masks are responsible for the lion’s share of that change, people reducing their avoidable air travel helped.

So here’s a quick but heartfelt thank you for doing what you can to keep yourselves, your loved ones, and your communities safe. As a nation we’ll need to help the aviation industry stay afloat during this tough time. But take it from me: right now, staying on the ground whenever you can — even as an AvGeek — is 100% the right call.

SENIOR CORRESPONDENT - NEW YORK, NY. Manu got his private pilot license in high school, setting the tone for his interest in all things aviation. He earned his frequent flyer credentials working as a journalist, and is now a medical resident in New York City. He enjoys writing about air travel from a millennial's perspective.

http://www.airlinereporter.com
See Ya, 747-400 – AirlineReporter COVID Fleet Retirement Series
3 Comments
ghward01

I totally concure with your message. I might also add I’m sad to see you (as an AvGeek) in this paradoxical situation, as less airplanes overhead also translates into decreases in covid cases and possible deaths (but thankfully decreased trauma for you intrepid souls manning the front lines). Continue to stay encouraged. We are all sincerely grateful for what you are doing.

JL Johnson

Thank you for the post, Manu. This topic has been on my mind as I’ve noticed fellow AvGeeks chomping at the bit to take advantage of the sales and looking for excuses to explain away the selfish behavior. I love the airlines and my friends. But I love our communities, families and the idea of being pandemic free more. We need folks to do the right thing for the greater good.

GlueBall

It’s best to live, work and play at a nice place where you don’t have to fly away from.

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