What’s the opposite of social distancing during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic? How about this:
Yeah, that photo may not be the most re-assuring thing to see if you are wondering how safe it is to fly right now or in the near future.
The photo was apparently from a Newark, NJ, to San Francisco, CA, flight. Unless this was a Salvador Dalí-esque distorted surrealism picture, those people do not look at least six feet apart from each other. Assuming that Denzel Washington is six feet tall, you couldn’t quite fit a horizontal Denzel between the seats. And, as I have indicated before for Forbes, social distancing means staying at least one Denzel from other people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A fairly packed flight doesn’t quite offer you that possibility, because sitting on the wing is not an option and there’s only so much time that you can spend on the toilet.
Guess what else? Ethan Weiss, MD, who tweeted the photo, is a cardiologist and an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. He like others on the flight was returning from New York City after spending time volunteering to take care of patients infected with the COVID-19 coronavirus, according to an ABC7 news report. In a follow-up tweet, Weiss highlighted a previous United Airlines announcement that “we’re automatically blocking middle seats to give you enough space on board”:
Blocking middle seats with what? Another person?
As the ABC7 news report relayed, United subsequently issued the following statement: