Corona is currently ubiquitous and yet there is potential to be infected with it. In Italy, many infections started in a hospital, where doctors, nurses, patients and visitors can transfer this from room to room. There was a cruise ship off the coast of Japan with the number of passengers in a small town in a small and confined space. This had to share common rooms, which spread the infection from person to person. And in Germany it was precisely the carnival celebrations with many people that led to the transmission of the Corona Virus. Other cases report coaches and trains, although here too there is a risk of infection.
So how can you protect yourself from Corona on public transport now? Is this even possible? What protective equipment is required for this? What precautions should you take? I would like to answer this and many other questions with this blog post. Note that the recommendations mentioned do not only apply to corona, but also protect against other viruses and bacteria. Even in times of influenza and co, it is advisable to follow these recommendations (if not so rigorously).
Corona viruses and viruses
A lot is already known about viruses: They love cool temperatures and high humidity. Many germs also need a nutrient medium to survive. This also depends on the surface structure of the germs and the surface structure of the contaminated area. The lifespan of corona viruses, the transmission media as well as information on disinfection and the right hand washing can be found in the Virus and Bacteria blog article.
Public transport risk for bacteria, viruses and corona
Trains, S-Bahn trains, buses in local public transport, long-distance transport, as well as coaches, trams, underground trains, but also ships (cruise ships), gondolas and the like have a certain risk of being infected with viruses and bacteria. Public transportation is at increased risk of catching a virus or bacterium. The reasons for this are diverse:
- Crowds of people in confined spaces
- A multitude of different people every day
- Inadequate cleaning (thorough cleaning would take at least an hour per vehicle)
The Austrian Ministry of Social Affairs also points out the danger of handrails in public transport. In addition to the handholds, handholds, seats, ticket machines, change and push buttons are among the danger zones. You should not touch them if possible (or only with your finger joint, gloves, etc.). In any case, disinfect your hands after every journey by public transport and do not drive your face in the way. If you attacked personal items (tickets, smartphones, etc.) while driving, disinfect these items as well.
This is how you can protect yourself from Corona in public transport
The best protection against corona, viruses and bacteria is of course not to use or use public transport. Many of us sometimes have the opportunity to switch to bicycles or go on foot in the spring season. If possible, do your shopping trips, leisure activities as well as trips to and from work by foot, bike, skateboard, scooter or private car. This is the safest option not to get infected in public transport.
If possible, sit as far back as possible. There is the least risk of people coughing (as they cough forward). The droplets are basically distributed forward – but can be distributed backwards by the air conditioning. Try turning off the air conditioner or not getting into the direct draft of air conditioners. Air conditioners are generally considered to be bacteria spinners and weaken the immune system.
Try to touch as little as possible on public transportation. The viruses can persist on handles, grab bars, door openers, ticket machines, change, seats and the like for up to 9 days. Try door openers and ticket machines with your finger joint or a glove if possible. The best way to touch handrails or grab handles is with a glove. If you use seats, be sure to wash and disinfect your clothes.
Use standing room or seats further away from people if possible. The emptier the public transport, the safer the situation is not to be infected by the people currently present. Since public transport is usually cleaned at night, you should drive early in the morning. These trips are often not crowded and no masses have yet used the means of transport. Also try to drive outside of rush hours in the afternoon. Also watch your fellow human beings for pathological behavior: This can be a cold, cough, hoarseness or fever. All of this can be observed. If you have the feeling of discovering such people on public transport, getting off and driving with the next means of transport is often the safest option.
In addition, you should avoid all public areas of public transport (toilet facilities) and the comfort of those (trays). This will also help you avoid your risk.
Summary of tips against Corona in public transportation
- Disinfect your hands as well as your smartphone and other used personal items after getting out
- Try to operate and receive hold buttons, door knobs, ticket machines, change and the like with your finger joint or a glove
- If necessary, sit in the back of the public transport
- If there are free spaces, don’t sit down next to other people and keep distance from passengers
- Turn off the air conditioner and / or do not sit in air currents
- If you feel that other people have a fever, they are not feeling well, or passengers are coughing, leave the public transport at the next stop
- Avoid public transport wherever possible
- Avoid grab handles and grab bars without touching gloves
- Don’t run your fingers in your face while driving with public transport
- Avoid using board trays, fold-out tables and other items
You can find further resources on viruses and bacteria on the overview page about health and under the keywords Virus, bacteria and corona. Find out more about how to wash your hands properly and how to store them in critical situations (such as blackouts).