FlyerTalk Forums - View Single Post - KLM to make face masks compulsory for all passengers from 11 May 2020
Old May 12, 2020, 12:23 pm
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Originally Posted by Rambol
I am honestly quite surprised by all the negative reactions in this thread to this decision.

How many people here have actually flown while wearing a mask? I flew from Australia to Europe in March while wearing a mask and it wasn't too bad. The only (major) downside was that my ears started to hurt after about 8 hours of wearing the mask. I don't think lots of people are taking trips this long right now. And if they are, there are ways to prevent painfull ears.

One other argument against masks (at least in the Netherlands, made by the RIVM) is that people wearing masks will not keep their distance. The negative effect of not keeping distance would be bigger than the positive from wearing a mask (Source (Dutch)). However, when flying it is impossible to keep your distance anyway, so this argument doesn't make sense to me.

In my opinion the downsides of wearing masks are so small that they definitely outweigh the possible downsides. So unless anyone has some strong evidence that wearing a mask increases the risk of transmitting the virus, I applaud this move by KLM and ask myself why they did not do this earlier.
The British Medical Journal listed some reasons why mask wearing may be self-defeating ( I tend to agree; there is no way I could wear a mask for an extended time, for many of the reasons listed in the link. Habits need to change (washing hands, covering mouth, actually taking cough medicine/cough drops--amazed how I see <60% of people in an airport bathroom wash their hands or even attempt to hide a cough); habits must change for there to be an improvement as opposed to just wearing a mask with questionable benefits outside of a clinical setting (see CDC/WHO recommendations).
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