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Arizona scientist on the pros and cons of flying this holiday season

By Lauren Gilger
Published: Wednesday, October 14, 2020 - 12:37pm
Updated: Wednesday, November 24, 2021 - 6:14pm

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inside an airplane
Sky Schaudt/KJZZ
A flight Southwest attendant prepares a plane for passengers to board in 2019.

This year may feel like the year that will never end, but believe it or not, the holiday season is approaching. The holiday season — which is supposed to be filled with feasts and fun and, most importantly, family at its core.

For many people, that typically means hopping on a too-expensive flight home or picking up loved ones at the airport. This year continues to be anything but typical, though, and that’s not likely to change before the Thanksgiving stuffing starts flying off the shelves.

Should you or your guests fly? Should you take that likely much-needed vacation or push it to the equally uncertain future? Is air travel really that risky?

To find out, The Show spoke with Paloma Beamer, associate professor in the College of Public Health at the University of Arizona. She’s an exposure scientist, who studies how people are exposed to disease — and designs ways for people to avoid it. She recently co-wrote a piece that sought to answer these questions and more.

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