It’s a standard instruction during safety demonstrations on airplanes: “In the event of a sudden loss in cabin pressure, an oxygen mask will drop down in front of you. Put your mask on before helping others.”
But why is that? Wouldn’t it make more sense to help those who are most vulnerable?
The answer has to do with the way our bodies react to a lack of oxygen.
When cabin pressure drops, the oxygen level in the blood decreases. This can cause people to feel lightheaded and disoriented. In some cases, it can even lead to loss of consciousness. By putting on their masks first, passengers can ensure that they can help others effectively.
Recently, the U.S. government has decided to no longer require air passengers to wear face masks on board airplanes. This decision comes as a surprise to many, given the recent surge in COVID-19 cases. As a result, many people are now wondering whether it is safe to fly.
There’s been a lot of debate recently about whether or not passengers should be required to wear masks on planes. Some people argue that the risk of contracting the virus on a plane is low and that the mask mandate is an unnecessary inconvenience. Others believe that mandating masks is an essential step in protecting public health. I fall into the latter camp.
I am very concerned about this decision.
And although we are now more than two years into the pandemic, the reality is that we are still very much in the midst of it. Unless we all collectively do our part to reduce the spread of COVID, “living with COVID” will become the new norm. However, what does “living with COVID mean?” I have listed just a few examples of this, as there are many more.
Living with COVID means increased suffering by marginalized people.
COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on vulnerable and marginalized communities. These groups have been hit hardest by the pandemic, both in terms of health outcomes and economic security.
Minorities, people with disabilities, low-income earners, and unhoused individuals are more likely to contract the virus and experience severe symptoms. This is often due to underlying health conditions, limited access to health care, and exposure to crowded living conditions.
Furthermore, these groups are more likely to work in essential jobs that put them at risk of exposure or in sectors most affected by the economic downturn. As a result, they are more likely to lose their jobs or experience reduced hours and income.
Living with COVID means that it’s OK for children under 5 to remain vulnerable.
As the COVID pandemic continues, scientists and researchers are still trying to understand its impact on different groups.
One group that has been largely protected is children under the age of five because they have not been able to be vaccinated yet and therefore remain vulnerable to the virus.
However, living with COVID means that this is OK. This is because the benefits of having children vaccinated outweigh the risks of them contracting the virus.
Vaccinating children will help protect them from other diseases and illnesses, and it will also help to boost their immune systems. In addition, vaccinating children will help protect those who are unable to be vaccinated, such as pregnant women and older adults. Therefore, living with COVID means it’s OK to risk our future, our children, and possible long-term and devastating consequences of COVID.
Living with COVID means that you are OK with the collapse of the health care system as you know it.
COVID-19 has changed our lives in countless ways, and one of the most significant changes has been our health care system.
Hospitals are overwhelmed, doctors and nurses are working around the clock, and patients are being turned away.
This is the new reality of living with COVID, and it means that we have to be OK with the collapse of the health care system as we know it.
But, of course, this is not an easy thing to accept. We all want to believe that our hospitals are invincible and that our doctors and nurses are superheroes. The truth is that COVID is putting an immense strain on our health care system, and it will not recover anytime soon. We need to be realistic about what our health care system can handle. Experienced health care providers are leading in droves, and the exodus has only begun.
If you are OK with your cardiac bypass surgery being performed by a fresh graduate trained during the pandemic — well, live with COVID. If you want your baby delivered by the gastroenterologist — well, live with COVID.
Do you remember how easy it was to do homeschooling with your kids, as schools were online? Yeah … about that. The past two years have been rough, right?
So, if you have the misfortune of being on a plane where the plane is experiencing significant turbulence, please be OK with the following:
“In the event of a sudden loss in cabin pressure, an oxygen mask will not drop in front of you, as it is your personal choice to bring your mask, and we don’t want to impinge on your freedoms.
This is your captain speaking: We are in for a rough ride.
Tomi Mitchell, a family physician and founder of Dr. Tomi Mitchell Holistic Wellness Strategies, is not only a distinguished international keynote speaker but also a passionate advocate for mental health and physician’s well-being, hosting her podcast, The Mental Health & Wellness Show. With over a decade of experience in presenting, public speaking, and training, she excels in creating meaningful connections with her audience. Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn and book a discovery call.
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