Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Europe (
-   -   Face Masks (

ddena Oct 26th, 2009 10:51 AM

Face Masks
If you are flying today, would you wear a face mask?
I'm thinking of H1N1 and how people in the states are dying.

immimi Oct 26th, 2009 11:08 AM

No - On Oct. 11th flew from Turkey through London to the West
Coast. Not only did it not enter my mind to wear a face mask,
no one else was either.

Sometimes a staycation is the best choice!

maitaitom Oct 26th, 2009 11:21 AM

"If you are flying today, would you wear a face mask?"

Only if they had one for the San Diego Chargers!


alihutch Oct 26th, 2009 11:45 AM

H1N1 is mostly transmitted through germs on the hands etc. So no I wouldn't wear a mask!

RedStater Oct 26th, 2009 11:45 AM

I think that perhaps wearing a mask of any sort might excite the attention of the security forces. Imagine walking into a bank with one of those...

grandmere Oct 26th, 2009 12:42 PM

Just got back last evening from two weeks in Paris and Alsace and saw no masks anywhere.

A little kid across the aisle on the plane had a fever and coughed a lot; stay tuned. :-)

Christina Oct 26th, 2009 01:21 PM

no, I wouldn't because they don't work that well, anyway, for that reason. Actually, it never occurred to me and I will be flying for Thanksgiving and sure hope I don't catch something. I'll have to take some of that gel stuff. I'm not in a high risk group so know I won't be able to get a shot by then.

zoecat Oct 26th, 2009 01:43 PM

I would not. My understanding is that a mask will not help combat H1N1. Lots of hand washing is recommended.

Ackislander Oct 27th, 2009 04:14 AM

Got back from Paris Sunday night. You see plenty of strange outfits in Paris, but no masks!

caroline_edinburgh Oct 27th, 2009 04:58 AM

The only people dying are people with underlying health problems and pregnant women. If you don't fit into either of those categories there's no need to worry. And anyway, since more people are dying in the US, wouldn't it make more sense to wear one there ? :-)

BigRuss Oct 27th, 2009 06:39 AM

That is ridiculous. "People are dying" is just a stupid statement devoid of meaning. H1N1 has killed fractions of a percentage point of the number of people who have died from the ordinary non-porcine influenza and the simple fact is that if you are flying TO Europe, you're flying away from the swine flu concentrations in the SW United States.

alihutch Oct 27th, 2009 06:50 AM

"The only people dying are people with underlying health problems and pregnant women. "

Actually not entirely true.....3/4 of UK deaths are those with underlying health issues or who are pregnant...

however still wouldn't wear a mask.....

Christina Oct 27th, 2009 08:52 AM

It's definitely not true, some teens in my state have died from it and they had absolutely no underlying health conditions. I've also read articles about some perfectly healthy adults who almost died from it, they were in the ICU for a while and they had no underlying conditions.

The fact is, flu is not some trivial thing people shouldn't care about. It is a bad illness and can be potentially fatal. Sure, it can be mild and is not fatal for most people, but a lot of people underestimate the severity of flu.

janisj Oct 27th, 2009 09:02 AM

What I posted on your other thread:

>>>janisj on Oct 26, 09 at 09:43 PM

A mask really doesn't help the wearer avoid catching a bug -- it helps others not catch a bug from the mask wearer.

The media and various Gov't officials have really amped up this concern. Regular seasonal flu is more dangerous than H1N1. But it doesn't have the "sexy" name 'swine flu' that sounds so ominous.

Lots of people will get "swine flue", but far fewer will die of its complications than die from just 'normal' flu every year.

We had a huge headline in a local paper about a young child who died from H1N1 a week or so ago and they had a big meeting at her school. Angry, almost hysterical, parents. Well, last year in this general area there were several flu caused deaths - and not one was swine flu. And not one rated a news story.<<<

Paul1950 Oct 27th, 2009 09:17 AM

Report last week for the USA--on average there would be about 7 flu deaths in the USA from September to mid-October. This year there are around 850, largely due to swine flu. So the odds are low that any one of us will die from the flu this year, but there appears to be a real possiblity that many more might die this year than the 36,000 or so in an average year in the USA.

nancicita Oct 27th, 2009 09:28 AM

caroline_edinburgh on Oct 27, 09 at 08:58 AM

>>The only people dying are people with underlying health problems and pregnant women. If you don't fit into either of those categories there's no need to worry. And anyway, since more people are dying in the US, wouldn't it make more sense to wear one there ?

I disagree. It's not true that the ONLY people who die from H1N1 have underlying health problems. An infectious disease is a risk to anyone who is alive. Worrying about it is another discussion. Also, it does not make sense to wear a mask in the U.S. just because "more people are dying [there]."

Use your brain! Think in proportions! (More people in U.S., so of course, more people at risk, thus, more get sick from H1N1)

Paul1950 Oct 27th, 2009 09:28 AM

US Centers for Disease Control Information:

How does 2009 H1N1 virus spread?
Spread of 2009 H1N1 virus is thought to occur in the same way that seasonal flu spreads. Flu viruses are spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing by people with influenza. Sometimes people may become infected by touching something – such as a surface or object – with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.

cambe Oct 27th, 2009 09:52 AM

My nephew has just returned from Oz and had a long layover in Singapore. He said approx. half the people in the airport were wearing face masks!!!

I have flown 4 times in Europe since the virus was identified and I have never seen anyone wearing a mask. I do get a cold each time I return from a holiday but that's been happening for years.

Here in the UK, I am almost certain all deaths have been from people with underlying health problems, pregnant women and young children. I also read that young people are more at risk than the elderly.

BigRuss Oct 27th, 2009 10:57 AM

Cambe: that observation means nothing. Asians commonly wear face masks if they are sick -- this is a cultural phenomenon regarded as courtesy that someone with a cold/cough should follow and not a swine-flu influenced occurrence. We were in Japan last year before anyone outside the field of virology ever heard of H1N1 and saw people with masks on every day.

This is from the CDC's own website, Fluview, and doesn't even attempt to determine how many deaths are related to swine flu so saying "the increase in deaths is largely due to swine flu" is bunk:

From August 30 – October 17, 2009, 8,204 laboratory-confirmed influenza associated hospitalizations, 411 laboratory-confirmed influenza associated deaths, 21,823 pneumonia and influenza syndrome-based hospitalizations, and 2,416 pneumonia and influenza syndrome-based deaths, were reported to CDC. CDC will continue to use its traditional surveillance systems to track the progress of the 2009-10 influenza season.

And the number of 7 deaths from September to mid-October for flu that Paul cites is also bunk. The CDC estimates that approximately 36,000 Americans die each year from flu or flu-related illnesses -- that's 98+ per day, not 7 in the course of six weeks. See here:

elina Oct 27th, 2009 12:12 PM

True, Asians wear face masks. At home (big cities like Bangkok) often because of pollution, I don´t know why on planes. Last may I had an inter-European flight with lots of Asian people in the plane. They all wore masks, not a single European did.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:53 PM.