In an age where being anywhere near someone could expose you — and the people you love — to a deadly, highly infectious disease, there’s probably no such thing as being too safe.
That is unless you’re using that rationale to avoid mass transit.
Although New York City remains in the final phase of reopening, the migration back to our trains and buses has not been anywhere near as dramatic as it should have been. And we get it — both involve sharing small, interior spaces for longer periods of time. How could that not be a breeding ground to spread the coronavirus?
Except it really isn’t, at least according to extensive data collected in both Asia and Europe. Epidemiologists have not been able to link any significant spread of the virus simply from taking the bus.
In fact, according to Scientific American, driving your car might actually make the pandemic worse — not in terms of spreading it, but in how our neighbors might fight the disease that can become COVID-19.
Subways produce 76 percent less carbon emissions every mile than a car with a single passenger. All that extra exhaust pollutes the air we breathe, conditions that are simply perfect to exacerbate a disease that doesn’t need any encouragement.
If you wear a mask and do your best to maintain social distance, your level of danger is not much different than if you were driving in your own car, according to the publication. And because the virus is not commonly spread by contaminated surfaces, that’s something else you don’t have to worry about as much — although you should avoid touching surfaces and then touching your face without first washing or sanitizing your hands.
Even better, at least as of this past week, riding a bus remains free.
Sure, even a small risk is still a risk. But we take many acceptable risks in our lives with little thought of consequences. For example, every time you get behind the wheel of a car, your chance of ending up in a car accident is far greater than your chance of being injured in a train or bus accident.
Mask up, keep your distance, and help the environment. Leave your car at home, and let the subways or the buses help you safely get to where you’re going.