A doctor and NBC contributor who recently contracted COVID-19 is speaking out about how he believes he caught the virus — through his eyes on a crowded flight. Dr. Joseph Fair is in critical condition, but is speaking out from his hospital bed about the ordeal.
"I was probably getting about 25% of the air I was trying to take in," Fair said. "Very anxiety-provoking feeling."
His last TV appearance was April 24. A week later, he boarded a crowded plane to New Orleans.
"They had us packed in like sardines," he said. He came down with the virus days later and was then hospitalized.
In an interview on "The Today Show," Fair explained his theory behind how he caught the virus even while wearing a mask and gloves.
"You know, that's one of the three known routes of getting this infection that we don't pay a lot of attention to. We tend to focus on the nose and mouth because that's the most common route. Droplets landing on your eyes are just as infectious," he said.
But public health expert Professor Anthony Fantella said it may not practical for the general public to wear face shields or goggles.
"There are already shortages of masks and gloves," he told Inside Edition. "Now if you add a face mask or goggles to that list, I don't think we can handle that."
The main way COVID-19 spreads is from "through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes," according to the Centers for Disease Control. The droplets can then land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. The CDC also notes that "the virus does not spread easily in other ways."