Flight Attendants In China Told To Wear Diapers

We’ve seen flight attendants wear all kinds of PPE to keep themselves (and others) safe when traveling. However, using diapers as PPE is a new one for me…

In this post:

CAAC recommends diapers for crews

Bloomberg reports on how the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has published an updated 38-page list of guidelines for airlines, intended to stop the spread of coronavirus. This is the sixth edition of the guidance issued.

The CAAC is recommending that on charter flights to high-risk countries, flight attendants wear disposable diapers so that they can avoid using the lavatories, since that’s the area of the plane where you have the highest risk of infection.

High-risk countries are defined as those with infections exceeding 500 per million people. I would guess that’s based on average weekly cases, in which case the US more than qualifies (we’re at 600+ cases per million in the past week).

The section on personal protective equipment recommends that flight attendants wear medical protective masks, double-layer disposable medical rubber gloves, goggles, disposable caps, disposable protective clothing, and disposable shoe covers.

Now, in fairness, these are just recommendations — crews are only required to wear masks and goggles, while the diapers are optional, at least on the CAAC level (individual airlines can also set stricter policies, of course).

The CAAC also recommends that airlines divide cabins into four zones, including the clean area, the buffer zone, the passenger sitting area, and the quarantine area, which each section separated by disposable curtains. It’s recommended that the last three rows of planes should be designated as emergency quarantine areas.

And here I was thinking that this is extreme PPE…

Wow, diapers…

I understand that China has coronavirus under control, and that takes hard work and discipline. But… diapers? I just have a lot of logistical questions.

You already get a waft of just about everyone’s odor as they walk by you on a plane, since there’s not exactly a lot of space between aisles and seats. It’s one of the few places where you’re forced to be that close to a stranger’s nether-regions (well, at least involuntarily… I’m not judging).

Am I the only one who finds it absolutely horrifying that a flight attendant would be using disposable diapers on an ultra long haul flight, without the ability to change them (after all, the whole point is to avoid visiting the lavatory altogether)? I feel like at that point maybe a blanket flight ban is a better option?

Now, in fairness, it’s important to emphasize that these are merely recommendations from the CAAC, and this applies to charter flights. At the same time, the CAAC is the aviation authority, and many airlines in China are government owned (directly or indirectly), so you’d think some airlines would follow recommendations.

This wouldn’t be fun on a long haul flight

Bottom line

The CAAC is recommending that flight attendants on charter flights to high risk destinations wear disposable diapers to avoid using lavatories.

On the one hand, lavatories are the highest risk part of the plane, due to the lack of air circulation. On the other hand, diapers.

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