With the Power of Corona Comes the Responsibilities of Airlines


Caleb Pearce-Huffman

You’ve been wearing masks for a large portion of this year. Masks have been required in a range of locations from grocery stores to local gas stations. One place that did not strictly require masks during coronavirus’ peak is the Dallas airport. I remember a specific text conversation between my grandmother and I, after my flight through Dallas, where I stated that “no one even cared” that people were not wearing masks. Usually I’m quite careless towards anything and everything but this definitely gave me a disappointed, negative mindset.

The topic of wearing masks has been controversial since  Corona’s rise in the United States around February. We know that our president is impartial to certain ideas involving this virus. I recently read in an article titled “Airline Face Mask Policies Are Getting Stricter” that most airlines lobbied for regulations in airports that require masks but were directly ignored by the executive branch of the federal government. I find this quite irritating because the simple act of wearing a mask can do so much for ourselves and others around us. The author Jessica Plunkett stated that this put regulation into the hands of the airlines, which seems like a childish play by the government. In my experience, the airlines didn’t have the power to control such a policy. My flight from Dallas in June showed me just how careless our citizens were, and still are, of facial coverings. Finally, around July, Southwest put on their big girl undies. They began to refuse the transport of uncovered passengers. This brings me to my most recent flight towards the end of July where no one was without a mask through the entire airport. Good on you Southwest.

The childish acts of our government left many people unsafe and unprotected. The efforts of the airlines were left ignored and the policies were applied far too late into the run of Corona. While the damage has been done, at least now we can board a plane feeling safe.