• Morgan Fagg

Plane Crazy Pandemic

I'm going to dive right in here and say that Coronavirus isn't that dangerous.

I was talking to some teenage students about sports and two extreme sports mentioned in an exercise included Mountain Biking and Skydiving, and I tried explaining to them that Parachuting is surprisingly safe considering how dangerous it is.

The thought occurred to me that Skydiving is actually the opposite of Coronavirus.

Skydiving is the safest dangerous thing you could do, in my opinion, because people don't take unnessary risks stepping out of a plane.

I got to try Skydiving one time in Clonbullogue in County Offaly and fell in love with the sport.

I did a tandem jump with an instructor who had decades of experience under his harness. I felt completely safe with the instructor and their equipment and one of the things I learnt that day was that driving to the airfield was the most dangerous part of the jump.

One of their former instructors with over 7,000 jumps under his belt had apparently died in Thailand the year before but in a car crash. Skydiving is incredibly safe because people take it seriously and I was told about the introduction of AAD device that opens parachutes at a predetermined height.

The introduction of such devices has already saved thousands of lives worldwide as a chute can open even if someone has passed out or had a heart attack.

Coronavirus on the other hand can be defeated by washing your hands, wearing a mask and socially distancing. The danger just isn't there yet over a million people have died as we have mishandled this pandemic and downplayed the seriousness of getting it wrong.

There is no reserve parachute for the elderly here and we can't trust the likes of Boris Johnson or Donald Trump to pack your chute either.

People have fallen hard and some have had to admit that they messed up. Former New York Governor and Trump Campaign advisor, Chris Christie contracted Coronavirus and quickly admitted that he didn't wear masks enough and he underestimated the dangers of being in and around the White House.

I did the parachute jump in 2009 for Acquired Brain Injury Ireland and people have to realise that it is car accidents and even minor trips and injuries that lead to life-changing difficulties for some people and not something as dangerous as jumping out of a plane.

I personally know two people involved in two very different crashes. One crashed a plane and walked away and the other crashed a bike into a tree and didn't and has spent the last 15 years in a wheelchair.

I think Coronavirus is the underestimated threat that has crippled economies whereas an over-reaction could have given us another Y2k Millenium Bug. You know the computer bug we worked on and actually worried about.

The Millenium Bug never effected us as we prepared and invested in precautionary measures but twenty years to the very day. Coronavirus became the Millenium Bug we feared as the virus made news on New Year's Day 2019, yet we continued to ignore the risk of it into mid March.

There is no soft landing with Coronavurs and most of us haven't even been on a plane all year.

From jumping out of a Pilatus Porter PC6 plane in 2009 to being too scared to get on a plane in July, we really need to take control of this virus and not crash and burn as we fly around on autopilot ignoring all the warning signs.

Why am I afraid to fly in 2020 when I think Skydiving is safer than driving?

Whether in your car or skydiving, strap-in, check your gauges and don't drink alcohol, watch the signs and watch your height, watch out for others and listen to any important instructions.

It really shouldn't be a leap of faith to ask people to take the pandemic seriously, should it?

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