Cincinnati Enquirer / Randy Tucker / May 6, 2020
HEBRON, Ky. — Judy Ryerson is 79 and knows she's among those most vulnerable to the ravages of COVID-19 because of her age.
Still, the Cincinnati resident checked her fears at the gate when she boarded a Delta Air Lines flight to Atlanta late last month to visit her sick daughter.
Despite feeling anxious and a sense of impending danger, Ryerson said she "had no other choice'' but to take her seat with a handful of other passengers.
"It's my daughter. She's sick. I had to see her no matter what,'' Ryerson said Saturday upon her return to the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in Hebron, Ky.
Ryerson wore a surgical mask and disposable gloves on her flights to and from Atlanta. But she still worried about infection because she was surrounded by other passengers who wore no protection at all.
"All I could think of is: what if someone starts coughing? There's nowhere to go,'' she lamented.
Airlines are now taking steps to allay such fears by requiring passengers to wear facial coverings and providing masks for those passengers who don't bring their own.
Delta began requiring passengers to wear masks on Monday, joining Southwest, United, American, Frontier and most other major airlines.
Most airlines have also eliminated middle-seat bookings and have begun boarding passengers by no more than ten at a time to promote social distancing.
The measures are designed to make passengers feel more comfortable about flying in the midst of the pandemic, which has decimated the demand for air travel.
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