Using Public Transport during Covid-19

Recently businesses have received a big boost following the review of curfew hours.

Even so, we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic with cases steadily rising each day and for many of us, the idea of travelling on public transport again is as scary as another pandemic. Yet, we find ourselves having to go to work so as to meet our basic needs and for most of us using public transport is sometimes unavoidable. Face masks, washing of hands and social distancing are still obligatory for safety reasons, but such measures might not stop us from feeling anxious or fearful about the potential implications of returning to public transport.

photo c/o pinterest

Here, I share a few insights on how to manage any worries and uneasiness you might have about getting back on the public transport.

1.Slowly ease yourself back into it - allow yourself time to get used to this next adjustment phase

The shift from normalcy to a lock down is undeniably huge. Being outside again with increased noise levels and seeing a lot more people can easily make you feel uneasy. Do not feel the need to quickly adjust, most of us are slowly building towards the return of normal life. If you are feeling extremely anxious, consider commuting through a hired taxi or Uber.

2. Don't hesitate to wait if the station is looking too busy

If you can, make journeys during less peak times to avoid crowds. If you must leave home or go back home during peak hours, be sure to stick to the safety measures such as wearing a mask and sanitizing your hands as often as you can. Be aware of the surfaces you touch. Be careful not to touch your face. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow when coughing or sneezing. Where possible, stick to social distancing rules; if the bus or train looks too busy and you’re feeling worried, take 10 minutes if possible and wait for the next one.

photo c/ o getty images

3. Find coping techniques that work for you

As you commute, try to detach from your surroundings by listening to music, audio books or a podcast. If that’s not for you, something physical to distract your mind such a video game on your phone, a Rubik’s cube or something to keep your hands and brain busy, will again allow for something to keep you anxious about groups of people in one place.

4. Completing your journey

Avoid crowding at the exit door and allow others to alight one at a time. Also avoid congregating at the bus stations for any reason. If you have to make a phone call or speak with someone you met on the bus, find a less crowded space. Once you get home, remember to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.

-- Shelmith Maina

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