Former Air Carrier Owner, founder of Safe State Project, says: “U.S Airlines and America on Thin Ice with COVID-19.”
Short of living on a giant petri dish, you’d be hard pressed to find a more ideal environment for the spread of germs than a pressurized airline cabin that hauls thousands of passengers each day. Knowing that the COVID-19 Coronavirus is highly contagious under normal circumstances, it may be virtually impossible for it NOT to spread on an airplane if one or more people have that virus.
Currently, the novel coronavirus is exhibiting a low mortality rate, but we now hear it may have mutated into a second strain. We have no idea if this could be worse than the first, but the airline executives are scrambling with 3 main challenges. Calm public fears of flying. Mitigate risk by improving sanitation efforts and boarding procedures that can help with social distancing. And finally, continue to make a profit and avoid the worst-case scenario.
And what is the worst-case scenario? Higher death tolls. Rapid spread. More unknowns. These are the game changers: A deadly pandemic would shut the airlines and the airports down. Any significant changes to the death rate, spread, or unknowns, creates an unfixable problem. The airlines become a health hazard. They elevate community spread. Business model fails.
Higher death rates with rapid community spread will not only shut down the airlines, it will shut down all modes of public transportation. The cascading effect of one sinister mutation that makes the next COVID-19 strain worse is very plausible, and if it happens now, the American people will be forced to quarantine in place. Given the worst-case scenario, not only will our transportation industries fail, but the supply chains fail, and the American people will fail too.
While the airlines scramble to mitigate risk, there’s only so much they can do. Worst-case – no options. Airplanes grounded. But what about our basic survival? What about our families? What about the ability for America to recover? We all know this risk is unmitigated and the American people can’t survive a sudden national lockdown. No reserves. No supply chains. Reliant on government alone.
Someday, sooner or later, we may have to lockdown the nation. We might have to stay in our homes to avoid mass contamination and spread. Whether a deadly pandemic, biowarfare, EMP, solar flare, or cyber warfare, our supply chains can get knocked out quickly and we need community reserves on hand. Stockpiling in response to panic is irresponsible and reckless. Sound, preventive measures that prepare us for the worst-case gives us hope for tomorrow, and strength for today.
Our expert guest is Don Trumbull. He’s a former air carrier owner who understands painfully well the dark challenges our U.S airlines face. In 2001, after September 11th, he went from the scheduled airlines to building an on-demand airline that serviced worldwide travel on executive jets. In 2008, he developed defensive measures to secure emergency air travel in the grid-down environment. Today, he is well aware of the difficulties we face as a result of covid-19 and our overconfidence on U.S supply chains. His countermeasure platform is called the Safe State Project. Built for the loss of our critical infrastructures, the rudimentary safeguard of statewide community food reserves is precisely what America needs to weather the storm of a deadly pandemic. Mass quarantine in-place may be coming. Relying on government alone won’t work.
- Building Public Confidence
- Modeling risk scenarios. Weighing bottom dollar.
- Developing mitigation plans and hoping it doesn’t get worse
- Very close to running out of room. Only so much can be done.
Dicey question. Things are changing quickly, and I don’t want to spark concern. But a few things should be discussed openly.
Social distancing. We know covid-19 is considered transmittable at 6 feet. Original SARS was 2 feet. Commercial airlines have no social distancing built into the business plan, and they’re only profitable when the passenger cabin is full.
With SARS, Air China Flight 112 gives us a good example. In a flight from Hong Kong to Beijing, it was discovered that one (1) passenger in a middle row had SARS. 8 days later, 20 passengers and 2 Flight Attendants got infected. 5 died.
Most difficult vulnerability: Surface contamination along with coughing and sneezing.
They say Covid-19 may remain on surfaces for several days. Airlines make money when they’re efficient. Fast turnarounds. They usually hire 3rd party cabin cleaners and they can only clean so much. No FAA regulations on cleaning/sanitizing, so we’re at the mercy of the last cleaning crew who are always in a rush.
Additionally, the air is moving. Think of the overhead air vents. Throw a feather up and see what happens. The CDC says… pick a window seat. As long as you’re 2 rows away from any potentially infected individual, and as long as your flight is less than 8 hours, you should be okay. I’m not a biological expert, but we need to apply some commonsense. How do we know which passengers are infected? What about boarding and deplaning? What about 6 feet? What about the restroom?
America relies on air travel, and without it our economy would suffer immensely. As it stands now, and if you’re healthy, covid-19 should not prevent you from flying. If things get worse, then all bets are off. Passenger service will shut down. Unfixable.
Use commonsense. For those with health problems or the elderly, perhaps unnecessary air travel should be avoided. If you’re healthy, different story. You might get a cold, flu, or maybe even the coronavirus, but you’ll live. Viruses are everywhere, but we’re not dropping like flies yet. It’s part of normal life, for now.
Best defense: Wash/sanitize your hands. Don’t touch your face. Clean/disinfect your seat area.
Overhead air vent: Blow air away from you, not on you.
Window seat is best.
Do your best to maintain “social distance”, even though it is impossible at times.
I think most Americans can see the PROBLEM. Fatally unprepared at the backend. Relying on HOPE alone. America and all modern-day nations – same boat. Goes for all worst-case scenario threats. EMP, Solar flare, cyber warfare, global pandemics, biological warfare. They can all get us to the same catastrophic place.
- Mass panic
- Food run/food shortage/empty shelves. Same for emergency supplies.
- Lost work force/isolation/failed supply chains
- For the Global pandemic threat: National Self-quarantine. But not enough food and supply reserves to accommodate our local communities in the worst-case scenario (statewide lockdown/mass self-quarantine).
- Risk Models suggest that with a 25% reduction in workforce, 49% reduction in food supply. Anything higher than 25% reduction, cascading effect will shut food distribution down, and induce severe gaps in electrical, water, waste, and other infrastructures.
- We’re seeing shortages now – and covid-19 appears very tame to what a Spanish Flu (or worse) could do.
- Other threats (technology strippers/EMP/CME) = same thing. No backup infrastructures. We lose our food, water, and cars. No communication. Stranded on foot/isolated/starve.
- So, catastrophic threats are REAL. Covid-19 confirms how easy they can happen/how vulnerable we are. We might be lucky this time, but maybe not? Overconfidence and status quo will kill us all. Solution required. Only one way.
SOLUTION: Two-Pronged Approach.
While our government agencies mitigate the front end (initial isolation, quarantine the sick, slow the spread, develop vaccine), we need Responsible defense at the backend.
For deadly pandemics: Communities, towns, and states need an emergency backup infrastructure of food/supplies. For EMP/Solar flare, and all threats that can destroy our infrastructures, we need a bit more, but we can go step by step. Our first bite at the apple is emergency food reserves. We need it now. First step.
The SAFE STATE Project is promoting the standardized countermeasure that can defend us from supply chain failure. But we need Trump. To Make America Safe Again, this is what he needs to do. We’ve been at it for years, but only Trump can break the wall. He can bypass the SWAMP. He can defend the people and empower the states.
A Safe State would defend its populace from loss of supply chain, communication, and transportation. Emergency reserves, the protection of local supply chains for local populace, no panic. Strong and ready.
I live in Idaho. Idaho and all rural states can enact this very easily. Low cost/high return. Other states with high-density populations would have a harder time. Regardless of the challenges, if some states can do it, and others can’t, this should not preclude those states that can from becoming Safe. The more Safe States we have, the better the odds of America and the people recovering.
Political divide. Corruption. Greed. Stalemate. Limbo.
Hope alone is foolish. If we relied on hope over preventative measures – airplanes would crash. All safety-sensitive operations require responsible defense/mitigation. It is instinctual, and we all know this. But here we are.
Community preparedness would change our risk to manageable. SAFE STATES. Survivable. Recoverable. Without a defense, hope is all we’ve got. So, Again, we need
Trump to change the equation.
Imagine if he said, “… Folks, we’ve done a great job at managing this sudden virus. It came out of the blue, and we’re going to make it through this. Disruptions yes, but no massive death tolls, and it looks like we’re getting lucky this time. But it could get worse, and what about next time. Bad things happen, and I want America to be well prepared for the worst-case scenario. America first. No reliance on China. We make our pharmaceuticals here. We make our communities and our states SAFE. We need backup infrastructures of food, water, communication, and transportation. It’s a dangerous world. We need to be ready. Front end and back end.”
Sooner or later, this message is coming. The political gain will be historical. Our Freedom requires it. The people are ready now.