COVID-19: How Can a Person Be Safe When Using Public Transportation?
The coronavirus pandemic has changed people’s routines. As many places went into lockdown during the early months of the global health crisis, the operations of establishments and public transportation also became limited. With more cities now reopening, authorities and governments are encouraging the public to follow health protocols and to practice extra caution, especially when traveling. Public and occupational health expert Captain Martin Lloyd Sanders shares some safety tips for people who will go back to using public transportation.
Wear a mask
Public health and safety experts advise the public to choose masks made of high-quality materials that will provide them with the best protection, especially when going to public places. Medical-grade, cotton quilting fabric, neoprene, and nano-fiber masks are some of the suitable material that can protect a person for hours when they go out. However, more than the material, people should also be aware of the right way to wear their masks. Capt. Martin Lloyd Sanders, Ph.D. says that a good mask should cover the mouth and the nose, while still allowing a person to breathe and speak comfortably.
Avoid touching surfaces
As much as possible, one should avoid touching surfaces such as handles, windows, poles, and turnstiles that might have been contaminated by other passengers. But if it cannot be helped, cleaning the hands with hand sanitizer or with rubbing alcohol is a quick way to prevent the virus from spreading. Public health and safety experts like Martin Lloyd Sanders, Ph.D. suggest using disinfectant wipes or spray, which are also proven ways to protect oneself when using public transport.
Observe physical distancing
Public transport systems and ride-sharing services should only take in a limited number of passengers to prevent crowding. Vacating the middle seat, letting passengers sit on alternating rows, and ensuring a six-feet distance when in line or while standing inside trains or buses are effective ways to limit the spread of COVID-19. When out in public, Martin Lloyd Sanders, Ph.D. reminds individuals to protect their space, especially when in an enclosed space with many people.
Many buses and trains are opening their windows for better air circulation. Those who will be going back to ride-sharing services should also open the car windows to prevent airborne particles from staying in an enclosed space. This simple method of improving the circulation of air is also suitable for facilities that don’t have advanced HVAC technologies to filter potentially harmful particles.
Captain Martin Lloyd Sanders, Ph.D., has rendered over 10 years of service in occupational safety and health. He shares that while there’s still so much to learn about COVID-19, these basic health protocols have already been proven to lessen the rate of infection in public areas.