While hundreds of articles have been written about how passengers are at risk during a flight, the ones who are more at risk than the rest is the crew themselves who man the flights.
According to a World Economic Forum/Visual Capitalist report, transportation workers have the highest Covid-19 risk score. What it means is those flight attendants who usher you into the aircraft and are ready to serve the passengers all throughout the flight are the ones who should actually be more worried than anyone else about contracting the virus.
Even though passengers have to show vaccine certificates and mandatorily undergo tests before boarding, the flight attendants, according to various surveys, fear that they could be the carriers of the virus and have battled depression and have been furloughed for no fault of theirs.
That they bravely carry out their duties and sometimes beyond the call of duty, is a clear indication of the crucial role they have played for their respective airlines and for the passengers. While airlines mandate that seats between two passengers should be left empty as per the Covid regulations, the norms to keep the flight attendants safe are, at best, hazy. According to the article in National Geographic authored by Johanna Read, flight attendants have limited authority to enforce the rules and struggle with inconsistent direction from higher-ups.
The article says that flight attendants run the risk of contracting the virus whenever passengers remove their masks to eat or drink. Or those who refuse to wear their masks.
There have been cases where anti-maskers have indulged in verbal abuse of flight attendants. This has resulted in airlines banning their anti-maskers from flying but flight attendants say that it has never been easy for them to tackle passengers who are bent upon flouting the rules and find different ways to do so. (Source: National Geographic).
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