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Joe Winner

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(Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

If you’ve been reluctant to step aboard a plane since the pandemic began, you might be interested in this new study. Conducted by the US Department of Defense in conjunction with United Airlines, researchers found that a passenger would be “extremely unlikely” to catch COVID-19 while flying. However, there are a few asterisks.

Everyone has to wear a mask throughout the entire flight. Any “aerosolized pathogens” released by an infected person would be filtered out by the plane’s filtration system within six minutes, which is 15 times faster than a home air filtering system.

But missing from the study is what happens when people on the plane are talking, or removing the mask to eat.