A new CDC study shows blocking middle seats on airplanes could reduce your risk of being exposed to covid by over 50%. Using a computer model to simulate how aerosols disperse on airplanes, researchers found when middle seats were vacant, covid exposure decreased anywhere from 23 to 57%.

However, the study comes with two important caveats. First, the study does not consider the use of masks which have to be used on a plane and second, it focused on exposure to, not the transmission of, Covid-19. The study comes as most major airlines have stopped blocking middle seats; a practice implemented at the start of the pandemic.
Delta is the last holdout and will end this practice by May 1st. Now, airlines are fighting back against the study, saying they have implemented many different measures to prevent virus spread on planes including face mask requirements, preflight health checks, enhanced disinfection protocols, and hospital-grade ventilation systems.

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