While most of us know well enough to wipe down the seat, seat belt, and tray table (a whopping 2,155 bacterial colony-forming units per square inch tend to reside on that last one), what we might fail to do is look up.
If you’re planning to use your air vent, you should definitely be wiping it down before switching it on. According to some data, it actually has more bacterial colony-forming units than even the lavatory flush button. Yikes! And since ventilation is likely on many of our minds lately, there’s good reason you’d be reaching for it.
We should say airplanes are, in fact, pretty well ventilated—and turning on your own air vent will probably only help keep air moving, since fresh air is pumped in pretty regularly. That, in combination with masks, hand washing, and social distancing where possible are our best practices for keeping ourselves safe from illness.*