Prayer #112: For Possible Ban of the Use of Middle Seats on Airplanes During the COVID Outbreak
A research paper written by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) statistician Arnold Barnett suggests that banning the use of the middle seats on airplanes would significantly reduce the chance of contracting COVID-19. Barnett has received several presidential awards over the last several decades for his statistical work on safety.
According to Barnett's statistical study, there is about a 1 in 4,300 chance of getting the COVID-19 virus while on a full flight. By banning the middle seat use, that goes down to approximately 1 in 7,770. The study assumes the use of masks and does "not consider the possibility of infection during boarding and leaving the plane, from contagious passengers who walk down the aisle to the lavatory, or within the lavatory itself." Barnett did conclude that "it is not clear that the risk of getting infected during a flight is any higher than the risk associated with everyday activities during the pandemic."
Many, but not all, airlines have been banning the use of the middle seats all through most of the Coronavirus crisis. American and United, however, have started booking middle seats this month. Delta and Southwest plan to continue to ban middle seats until September.
Pray today for God's protection from the COVID-19 virus for those who fly on airplanes. Pray for safety for passengers, flight attendants, and pilots. Pray too for wisdom for each of the commercial airlines as to whether to enforce a ban on the middle seats.
Ps. 32:7: "You are a hiding place for me; You preserve me in trouble; You surround me with shouts of deliverance."