How safe is it to travel by public transport?
A paper in the Massachusetts University of Technology recently argued that New York’s subways fuelled the epidemic in the city. While there is no conclusive data, common sense says that public transport is a high-risk zone – more so in populated countries such as ours.
As the world grapples with the ongoing pandemic, we have to redefine what it means to protect ourselves while going about our daily lives. This may include using public transport. So, be informed, be safe.
We know that AC areas are more dangerous as infected droplets circulate in closed spaces. However, contact-time too is critical in viral transmission. If your travel time is less than 20 minutes, it may not be time enough for significant inhalation of viral particles.
The riskiest aspect is hand contact with common surfaces, particularly handgrip rings. While handles and other surfaces may be long or wide enough to minimise risk of touching infected surfaces, in handgrips the surface area of contact is common.
Must-read guide to ensure safety
- Try to minimise trips, especially longer trips. Travel when you know there will be less of a crowd – even if that requires you to spend half hour more at office. Use monthly passes or e-tickets to minimise contact.
- Carry a disinfectant spray with you and spray the surfaces around you that you are likely to touch on your trip. The spray also comes in use to sanitise your table and other surfaces you’re likely to come into contact with in office. Dr. Rhazes’ Germ Kill Spray Foam can be used on surfaces and kills 99.9% bacteria, fungi and viruses. Enriched with aloe vera, it can also be used as a hand sanitizer.
- Wear your mask throughout the trip and ensure that it fits snugly covering your mouth and nose. The fit-and-seal tested N99 or N100 respirator masks can filter 99-100% of the virus. But significantly more important than the type of mask is its proper and consistent use.