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Bad news for us in the industry

Rumours & News Reporting Points that may affect our jobs or lives as professional pilots. Also, items that may be of interest to professional pilots.

Bad news for us in the industry

Old 7th Feb 2021, 12:12
  #61 (permalink)  
 
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To all of us aviators it must be self evident that the Wuh Flu didn't arrive in Europe on a springless donkey cart but aboard airplanes.

Irrespective of masks, gloves, goggles, face shields, sanitizers, hepa filters, cabin fogging - Aviation remains as the ultimate global superspreader. How else could the new mutant UK strain wind up in USA? How else could the new South African Covid strain wind up in the European Union?

Let's face it: Until the global community has been vaccinated and has a grip on the proliferation of the Covid virus, international air travel must be suspended.
Cargo crews must remain under escort and in isolation at out stations. It's practical reality.
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Old 7th Feb 2021, 14:42
  #62 (permalink)  
 
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Physician and a pilot here... when you have test positivity rates of 10-15% as has been the case recently in much of the USA and Europe, it is simple math, statistics and epidemiology that would allow you to assume that you are carrying quite a few passengers who are carrying the virus on EVERY flight. Over time, this will be mitigated by an increasing percentage of the population that has relative immunity, either via vaccination or by natural immunity following an infection.
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Old 7th Feb 2021, 15:46
  #63 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by GlueBall View Post
To all of us aviators it must be self evident that the Wuh Flu didn't arrive in Europe on a springless donkey cart but aboard airplanes.
This refers to the role aviation played in spreading the virus

Originally Posted by GlueBall View Post
Irrespective of masks, gloves, goggles, face shields, sanitizers, hepa filters, cabin fogging...
and this refers to the risk of catching the virus while actually aboard an aircraft.

You are quite correct Glueball, the aviation industry seems to be only interested in the risk of catching the infection during a flight and sees the risk in terms of a tiny percentage, while the international community are mainly concerned about the role aviation plays in spreading the virus. I think the aviation industry may be looking at the problem through the wrong end of the telescope.
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Old 7th Feb 2021, 16:19
  #64 (permalink)  
 
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Yes, to the extent that the original proposition, even if it was true (it isn't) - that HEPA filters fail to safeguard against spreading on-board infection - is largely irrelevant in the overall scheme of things.

While this thread has drifted - usefully - in a couple of directions, it's based on a misconception. The "bad news for the industry" is nothing to do with what goes on aboard the aircraft.
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Old 7th Feb 2021, 20:41
  #65 (permalink)  
 
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GlueBall

I think that you might have an unrealistic expectation on what these vaccines can and cannot do.
The current lot of vaccines.
DON'T prevent contraction of the virus.
DON'T prevent person to person spread.
But they DO lesson the severity of a virus infection. However considering that 80% of sub 60 year olds have either light or no symptoms, I do ask myself what it is we accomplish by vaccinating this demographic.
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Old 7th Feb 2021, 20:50
  #66 (permalink)  
 
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Some specialists already admit that we might be barking up the wrong tree with the assumption that population-wide, vaccine-induced herd immunity is the only worthwhile end game. The focus should be on protecting the vulnerable groups instead. As soon as they have been vaccinated, you have the remaining lot who aren't at a particularly high risk of getting seriously ill, overflowing the hospitals and dying. And keeping everyone locked up (now, for the sake of what/whom?) suddenly becomes a whole lot harder to justify.
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Old 7th Feb 2021, 23:56
  #67 (permalink)  
 
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lear999wa

You post a lot of things as fact that are just not known and will eventually be known and probably proven incorrect. And a complete misconception of what vaccines do! You are correct in that vaccines do not prevent an individual from encountering the virus, or prevent the virus from entering your nose. But they are very effective at preventing the virus from successfully setting up camp, from establishing a beachhead. That prevents illness, that prevents a significant viral load, and with no viral load, there is very little likelihood of transmission to others.

Just about every other vaccine in history has prevented transmission of the disease to others. And early studies out of Israel would seem to indicate that this is the case with the vaccines used in Israel, primarily the Pfizer vaccine.
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Old 8th Feb 2021, 08:47
  #68 (permalink)  
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But the younger ones spreadthe infection. They don't seem to realize that they can kill their mums and dads.
That is exactly the problem. Look at the videos of the street parties in the US during super bowl last night to illustrate this, seems like teenagers do not want to wear masks feeling kind of immune when they are among each other.
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Old 8th Feb 2021, 08:59
  #69 (permalink)  
 
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Loose : re your post 61 : I am in with your "two" friends. Although I do wear a mask, if forced, because I can't be bothered with the agro or chance of a fine . That;s three then but I can assure you, less vocal are , literally, thousands of others. You know of two, now three ; I know of at least 142.. Look at a wider picture and instead of declaring that you "jus don't understand", I glean from your other posts that you probably will.
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Old 8th Feb 2021, 12:30
  #70 (permalink)  
 
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The young don't think they are immune, they simply don't feel threatened by it. For them it's just a nasty cold and life goes on. Being young they are ignorant of the wider implications as, through their selfish "I'm alright Jack" attitude, they spread the virus among the elderly in their families and friends' families. The selfishness of today's younger society is beyond belief.
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Old 8th Feb 2021, 23:02
  #71 (permalink)  
 
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According to multiple media, the "vaccine bubble" between Israel and Greece has been officially agreed upon by officials of both governments and is due to come into fruition about Passover time. Maybe that's a preview of the near future, after all?
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Old 9th Feb 2021, 12:10
  #72 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by GlueBall View Post
To all of us aviators it must be self evident that the Wuh Flu didn't arrive in Europe on a springless donkey cart but aboard airplanes.

Irrespective of masks, gloves, goggles, face shields, sanitizers, hepa filters, cabin fogging - Aviation remains as the ultimate global superspreader. How else could the new mutant UK strain wind up in USA? How else could the new South African Covid strain wind up in the European Union?

Let's face it: Until the global community has been vaccinated and has a grip on the proliferation of the Covid virus, international air travel must be suspended.
Cargo crews must remain under escort and in isolation at out stations. It's practical reality.
I completely disagree with your doomssay scenario.

As others have pointed out: infection on board an aeroplane is one question, viral spreading around the world by bringing infected people from one country to another by means of traveling is another question.

The infection onboard an aeroplane problem is negligable. If there were significant infections onboard aeroplanes, we would know by now.

The problem of viral spread through the world by travel is also not a factor anymore. The virus is already everywhere, in all the populations, except some isolated countries on islands or under draconian political systems. May be (we will never know) we could have controlled worldwide spread one year ago with draconian travel restrictions, but we didn't. This ship has left the port and won't come back.

Now we have a virus that is basically everywhere, and we have to learn to live with it.

What does living with it mean? It means we get it under control in such a way that it becomes a sickness like other sicknesses, with reasonable deaht rates and severe cases to not overflow our health systems. Covid becomes then a health risk which is a normal individual life risk as any other sickness people die from every year.

How do we get it under control in this way? By vaccinating, especially the risk populations (>65y old and/or medical preconditions). Once these groups are vaccinated, severe cases and mortality will collapse, and Covid has become one out of many health risks. Once a country has reached that status, it can open its borders to anyone, without any restrictions, no testing and no quarantine anymore neccessary. People bringing the virus from other countries won't create surges in severe and mortal cases anymore. In parallel we can continue to vaccinate other parts of the population, to even increase control of the virus.

Subsequently, we have to study how the virus evolves, and probably adapt the vaccines, and it might be necessary, that the risk population gets a regular re-vaccination, like with the flu vaccine.

So in sum: no need to continue crippling one of the most important industries for global peace, mutual understanding between races, nations and economical development.
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Old 9th Feb 2021, 13:28
  #73 (permalink)  
 
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I disagree with your certainty 1201alarm that the risk of onboard infection is negligible. I refer again to a paper from the journal of travel medicine published back in September 2020, https://academic.oup.com/jtm/article...aaa178/5910636

I quote:
Four well-documented flights (Table 1) describe mass transmission events. Flights A and C present sophisticated proof from whole genome sequencing and provide essentially indisputable evidence of in-flight transmission to 11 and 2 secondary cases, respectively.

There have been plenty of other reported incidents. But this scientific paper presents the facts pretty well. It makes clear why it is difficult to track these events for example because of transmission between people not obviously infected and the need to eliminate transmission which occurred elsewhere, for example in transit or in quarantine hotels. The conclusions I took from this are that risk is related to length of flight, proximity to infected people and not wearing masks.

The risk onboard does however pale into insignificance compared to the spread in the wider population from individuals who fly in and then spread Covid into the community. New variants are a particular issue and the more people that are infected, the more opportunity there is for even more new variants to develop.

The BBC site today has a review of transmission in quarantine hotels and points to some amazing examples from Australia. The largest outbreak was traced back to such an incident with a security guard who was just unlucky enough to be in a corridor near rooms with infected people who had flown in. This one incident apparently accounted for over 90% of Australia's 29,000 cases and 909 deaths to date.
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Old 9th Feb 2021, 14:28
  #74 (permalink)  
 
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Seems like Hancock effectively just shut down almost all international travel for some time to come as far as the UK is concerned: "until we are sure of the vaccine efficacy against ALL variants of the virus, not just the current variants in the UK, [quarantine / hotel quarantine] restrictions will remain in place."

Just like its not possible to prove a piece of software is totally bug free, it will never be possible to assure a vaccine will protect against ALL variants - there will always be another variant / mutation just around the corner that the vaccine hasn't been tested / proven against.
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Old 9th Feb 2021, 15:47
  #75 (permalink)  
 
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PilotLZ

If you actually run the numbers on that strategy it doesn't look so good though.

Using UK figures (self-interest herby declared) the vulnerable number around 10million, (8.7 over 70 + >2 clinically extremely vulnerable, self-interest herby declared on the latter), there will be some overlap so call it 10 (the priority groups being vaccinated also include few million health and care workers etc.). NHS reckons 10% infection fatality rate for this group, which seems about right (most of the deaths so far with lower infection rate than the 20% population overall due to shielding etc.). Lets assume we don't care about anyone else or about long term damage to survivors (possibly more prevalent in younger groups).

Assume if we let it rip through everyone else we end up with around 80% exposed - Bergamo reached 70% 1st wave before a lockdown, Manaus got to over 60% but then had a second wave on top of that.
Also assume a "back to normal" means the vulnerable will see the same attack rate as population as a whole. Note: Newer variants, including the UK one, might well go higher.

Assume (optimistically) no new variants with vaccine-escape mutations (remember the bigger pool of virus/hosts the more likely mutations are).

Assume (optimistically again) no reinfections, or that reinfections are lighter and add no further mortality risk (already known to be false but we don't know in how many people).

Assume (optimistically) we can vaccinate 100% of the vulnerable 10m, none of them has health problems that prevent it, none of them has weird conspiracy beliefs about Bill G or religious beliefs that it makes you gay or whatever.

Assume vaccine efficacy is 90% (ball park for Pfizer, optimistic for Oxford/AZ), thus reducing IFR for the vulnerable group down to 1%.

Expected deaths: 10m * 0.8 * (1 - 0.9) * 0.1 = 80k further deaths. If vaccine efficacy is actually 75% (roughly Oxford stated) then it is 200k.

Bearing in mind that the NHS has struggled at various points to cope (and with a lot of collateral damage still to come from cancelled non-covid treatment) with around 110k deaths over a year, looks to me like you would still need other spread-control measures (i.e. lockdowns) to flatten the curve and avoid overrunning health care (if you overrun those death rates go up further). And if the optimistic assumptions don't hold....

OR we can view the vaccines, and vaccination of as many people as possible, as one more tool to control the spread of the disease alongside the tools we have (like lockdown). We can either use the tools to "flatten the curve" (haven't done a good job at that in UK so far, but maybe vaccines will make it more controllable), OR we can use them to keep cases going down, targeting zero. Now, targeting zero sounds good to me, a declining epidemic means a declining death rate for a start, but a declining case rate means declining pressure on the health service which means people might be able to get treatment for non-covid conditions again (final declaration of self-interest...).

I think best hope for travel and aviation industry is if enough countries / areas in the world get to low-and-declining or near-zero to establish air corridors around a significant portion of the world. The holiday/leisure market will return, maybe even with a big demand bounce, holidays mostly just haven't been happening, holiday money hasn't been spent. Business travel I'm not so sure - business (in other sectors at least ) has carried on and been forced to find other ways to work, some of that change may well be permanent.
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Old 10th Feb 2021, 08:29
  #76 (permalink)  
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@ infrequentflyer789 :
I think best hope for travel and aviation industry is if enough countries / areas in the world get to low-and-declining or near-zero to establish air corridors around a significant portion of the world. The holiday/leisure market will return, maybe even with a big demand bounce, holidays mostly just haven't been happening, holiday money hasn't been spent. Business travel I'm not so sure - business (in other sectors at least ) has carried on and been forced to find other ways to work, some of that change may well be permanent.
I am in a working group with reps from ATC ANSPs and airlines discussing the future of the infrastructure and how to cope when it will rebound and how to finance it. Your analysis is not too far from what we hear at the moment however one major element is missing : predictability .
Corridors between safe countries that can be closed with 24h notice if cases are detected , like in Australia , or in the Canaries to take 2 recent examples does not help much tourism to restart. For business we see the same for trade shows, conference, which were always a major revenue for business travel, being cancelled on relatively short notice .The latest news we hear about variants combined with the possible need of multiple regular vaccine boosters (that do not exist yet) to counter them is not creating a serene atmosphere to plan a Sumer schedule. . Fear at the moment is that 2021 might be worse than 2020 for aviation and that we are in this for a very long time.
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