One of the worst things about the 9-to-5 slog is the parts of your life before you get to the office and after you leave at the end of the day. Millions of people around the world are in the same boat. Trudging out of their houses half asleep, sometimes even before the sun has come out. They walk onto the bus, train, subway, tram or even ferry. They sit in silence trying to take their mind off the day ahead and stare into the distance or at their mobile device. It’s a terrible existence but one that is made a little worse by one, or maybe a million more things: germs
Germs live everywhere, and public transport is one of the easiest places for germs to get into your body and attack your immune system. So, what do we know about germs and what kind you will find on public transport around the world?
Based on a bacteria sample on the subway in New York, one study found that 32 percent of bacteria found on the subway was related to the gastrointestinal tract, 29 percent the skin and another 20 percent from the genital area due to people not washing their hands after using the toilet. While 48 percent of the bacteria was unknown so there was no way of knowing whether it could harm us or not.
Viruses can stay active on different surfaces such as arm rests, handles etc for several hours so flu viruses and a cold can be caught easily on different modes of transports. Released when people sneeze or cough, these tiny droplets travel through the air, so when in close proximity they are easily transmitted from person to person.
So how can we avoid catching anything unwanted on the subway? For the more extreme, go for a full body suit to completely cover yourself but for the rest of us, masks over your mouth can help, while after getting off the subway or bus, make sure to wash your hands as soon as possible.
Next time you’re on the bus, keep in mind that 80 percent of bacteria is transferred by hands and around 70 percent of people don’t wash their hands after using the bathroom. You won’t be safe whatever mode you use either, taxis are found to be just as bad too. The only solution is to bring anti-bacterial wipes along with you everywhere you go, or stay at home all day.