As we move towards the last few months of 2020, it seems that the communities have started to shape their lives around the outbreak. Initially, worldwide lock down forced most workers to shift their work to home due to travel restrictions. All except essential workers were not allowed to go outside and interact with other people. Thus, nearly everyone has been working from home for the past six months within their home’s confines. It was the best solution to avoid further spread, but it did not prove effective when it came to productivity. After all, it is nearly not as thrilling to present a pitch on Zoom as in an actual conference hall. The creativity and productivity
of workers were hampered due to cabin fever. However, as governments start to initiate the gradual restart of their economies, people can finally go outside. As schools and offices are reopening in the US, more people will be using public transit. Although the change is refreshing, the pandemic is still very much here, and we must ensure safety for ourselves and others. The News Engine has made a list of safety measures you should use to travel safely through public transits during a pandemic.
Safe Travel on Public Transit during Pandemic
Before you jump on the bus in a desperate attempt to escape the isolation, consider your destination’s safety. Everybody knows at this point that the virus has hit the US the most. We must weigh the pros and cons of the travel. The destination is the most important to consider. If you are going to a very public place, you are at a higher risk of exposing yourself. Whereas, if your destination has to do with very few people daily, it is safer. You can also check the hot zones and news to check if your destination or surrounding areas have reported a high number of cases.
Low Risk, High Reward
This risk is that of the mode you select for transport. As you decide to head out, consider which mode of transportation will be the least risky. Will you have to wait indoors or outdoors? Waiting indoors with others closer to you will be more risky than waiting outdoors as you can stay at a greater distance from others. Time to travel is also essential to keep in mind. The more time it will take for you to travel, the higher the risk will be. It is also highly advisable to avoid peak times; it will be much safer to travel in emptier spaces. Your goal is to minimize the risk; your reward is your & your loved ones’ health.
These are the basics. Before you leave your house, clean your hands thoroughly, wear a face mask, and wear gloves if available. For further protection, keep a sanitizer in your bag and a few extra face masks. If you feel any conditions related to the virus i.e., such as fever, cough, or headaches, don’t leave the house.
Fresh Air, Fresh Mind (Literally)
This advice is also preferable in general. If you are travelling via bus, use that window seat! The more ventilation you have around you, the better it is to ensure safety. Be mindful of vacancies next to a window and open it up when you sit next to it. It is not possible to do on a subway trip, though. Fresh air will be conducive to avoiding the shared breathing air within the bus.
Know the Rules
As the government is reopening businesses and schools, a set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) have been issued for safe conduct. Get these SOPs from the internet. Please make sure you follow them with great responsibility. It will not only be safer for you but also others around you.
When we go outside, it is very easy to come into contact with all kinds of surfaces. First of all, try to wear a pair of hand gloves when you go outside. If that is not an option, train your mind to avoid any form of contact in public. The most common contact surfaces include poles at terminals, touch screens, and payment sources. Use digital methods of payments where you don’t need to come into contact while paying for tickets. In case you accidentally touch a surface, that sanitizer in your bag will come handy.
Don’t Snack in Public
Yes, many of us don’t have much time to do breakfast at home. But these are not the times when you can eat that bagel on the subway or on the train. Eating in these public places can easily contaminate your food and put you at risk of catching the disease. So, start getting up an hour early and make your breakfast in the safety of your home.
Skip the Chat
We all get bored sometimes on our way to the office or back. A quick chat with your fellow rider is an excellent remedy for it. Sadly, doing so right now would put you in more harm than good. The virus is most commonly transferred through droplets produced by our bodies. If you speak to someone, saliva droplets from either party can be released and reach the other. Therefore, we encourage you to stay quiet during travel for now.
Once you reach your destination using public transit, it is highly possible that you came into contact with the virus. You can easily be a carrier even if you haven’t been inflicted with it. Thus, to ensure maximum safety of yourself and for those you will come into contact with from this point, wash your hands properly. Wash your face as well.
These essential tips will make your travel safer as you go through public transit. Humans are capable of adapting to changing environments. We never totally stop going about our lives; we just find new ways. This is just one of those situations in the history of our existence. Don’t just live through it, survive and evolve through it!