“We’re Definitely Spreading It”: Flight Attendants Fear They Are Losing The Fight Against The Coronavirus
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Among the first American workers to raise the alarm about a potential COVID-19 pandemic were flight attendants.
In late January, as the virus spread outside the Chinese province of Hubei, airline crews staffing international flights to Asia began expressing concerns, asking for disinfection supplies and permission to self-quarantine if they thought they had been exposed. "We were begging to be allowed to wear masks," one flight attendant for a major U.S. airline tells TIME.
Two months later, as flight crews remain on the front lines of the fight against the virus, they fear airlines' failure to heed their concerns has turned them into a dangerous part of the problem.
In interviews and emails with TIME, more than a dozen flight attendants describe a continuing shortage of basic protection and a confounding lack of guidance over how to do their jobs without spreading the disease.
Their gravest concern: that after weeks of working without proper supplies, they have been exposed to thousands of cases and in turn become primary transmitters...
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