Flight Attendants Question if CDC’s Quarantine Change Was Due to the Demands of Corporate America

Tyler Olson / shutterstock.com
Tyler Olson / shutterstock.com

Flight attendants have it hard these days. They’re dealing with people who may not want to wear masks, who may have asymptomatic COVID, and much more. For them, quarantine was a way to make sure that they were kept safe.

Now, if the CDC changed the quarantine from 10 days down to five because that’s what the science proves needs to be done, fine. However, many flight attendants are beginning to question if that is actually the case.

See, Corporate America has also been demanding that the quarantine be cut in half. After all, there are staffing shortages – and the airlines can’t fly unless there’s plenty of staff. If the CDC would make a change, some of those shortages could be eliminated.

So, it’s easy to see how flight attendants could be upset. Did the CDC follow the science or were they bought out by Corporate America?

“We said we wanted to hear from medical professionals on the best guidance for quarantine, not from corporate America advocating for a shortened period due to staffing shortages.” This is the official comment from Sara Nelson, the President of Flight Attendants-CWA International.

The quarantine change has a lot of people confused. With the sudden drop in days, it leaves many wondering if COVID is no longer a threat. Is it possible that this is just the start of more lenient rules? What next? Is it possible that the CDC will tell the FAA that there’s no longer a need for masks, too?

In addition to reducing the days from 10 to five, there’s also no need to test. This means that after a person has spent five days in quarantine, they can re-enter society and go about their lives without getting a negative COVID test. It seems quite the drastic change from where the CDC was sitting just a few weeks ago.

Nelson said that the CDC provided a medical explanation about the decision to drop the quarantine requirements. However, she says that it’s “less than reassuring” since it just happens to align with the number of days that Corporate America has been pushing for.

Keep in mind, the airlines were actually pushing for a shortened quarantine timeframe, not because of the science but because they weren’t making enough money. Specifically, the airline industry said that the 10-day timeframe would “exacerbate personnel shortages and create significant disruptions to our workforce operations.

Forget about keeping people safe. Nahh, we need you back to work ASAP.

And we’ve already seen what the Omicron variant and the 10-day quarantine period have done throughout the holiday season. Hundreds of flights were canceled every day because there were staffing shortages.

Nicholas Calio, the CEO and President of Airlines for America sent a letter to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky to say that they are prepared to partner to make “scientifically sound policy decisions.” They offered to collect any data necessary to help monitor the guideline modifications. Basically, it was a plea that they’d do whatever the CDC wanted as long as they would modify the guidelines.

Wish granted. The CDC has updated its guidance and it is merely a coincidence that it matches what everyone else has been begging for. If pockets were lined with cash, well, that’s just part of being in Corporate America, isn’t it?

As for the flight attendants, they have reason to worry. Let’s hope it means that the science has steered everyone into realizing that the Omicron variant isn’t more than the common cold and that the pandemic’s end is near. Hey, we can hope, right?