Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Ebola and You: A Commuter's Survival Guide

Ebola's here! Ebola's here! And I'm sure you're wondering how the heck you can avoid catching this dreadful virus. The short answer is "good luck with that." It's highly contagious, and here in New York we spend a lot of time in tight spaces. Mayor Bill de Blasio has ensured us that we should not panic, but that's about as comforting to me as former Vice President Dan Quayle telling us that it's perfectly safe to eat genetically modified foods.

So, I'm ignoring the warnings and following my own avoidance methods. After all, exactly one person has fallen victim to this heinous virus, approximately 1500 miles away, in a country of 300,000,000 people. So I'm not taking any chances. I've come up with ten train behavior suggestions to avoid catching Ebola. I call it, "Ebola and You: A Commuter's Survival Guide."

As a collateral impact, many of these efforts will result in a more pleasant commute. Everyone wins!

1. Stop talking. Some people spit as they speak. Ebola travels in saliva droplets (I haven't yet confirmed this, because I just made it up). If you don't cell phone-blather on the train, not only will you help contain Ebola, you'll make things more pleasant for everyone around you. Promise.

2. Sneeze into a rag. When you sneeze, you expel droplets. Ebola travels in droplets. Cover your nose and mouth. Put the rag back in your pocket. This isn't complicated.

3. Cough into a rag. See #2. Substitute "cough" for "sneeze." You can reach out to me if this direction is not clear or if you have any questions. But I know you get it. Please don't make me do a drawing.

4. Personal Space! When we're standing in the vestibule because the seats are all taken, there is no reason, unless the train is ridiculously crowded, to stand within my personal space. Move! Or I'll cough on you. Maybe I have Ebola, maybe not. Do you want to take that chance?

5. Don't ask to borrow my phone. Facial grease is an Ebola transmitter! I know this because it's technically a fluid. A gross fluid, but a fluid. Charge your phone before you leave the office. I can't take the chance of Ebola covered hands touching it.

6. If your neighbor appears to have a fever, consider relocating. This also applies to a neighbor who appears to be vomiting.

7. If you need to use the lav, just hold it in. This has nothing to do with Ebola, really. The lavs are gross on the train. Wait until you get home.

8. If you come upon a petri dish resting on a seat, move on. It is rare for Ebola to travel without a host organism, but you can't take enough precautions. If a seat is taken by a petri dish, DO NOT ask it to remove its bag from the adjacent seat. Move on.

9. If you see someone in a HAZMAT suit reading "Herbal Ebola Remedies," move on. Enough said. Herbal remedies are often controversial. We don't need controversy on our commute.

10. Forget the commute. Stay home. You don't want to catch anything, so stay where it's safe. I suggest drawing the shades, shutting off the lights, and spending the day scrubbing the house. Snuggle up with your 17 cats.

If you need me, I'll be trying on HAZMAT suits at "Ebola 'n' Things" at the mall.

Happy and safe commuting, and may you encounter uncommon sense.
Share your commuting stories on the Facebook TTIV site, on Twitter, using hashtag #TTIV, or via email.
Sign up for the blog mailing list by entering your email address in the "Follow By E-Mail" box.
Twitter: @davidrtrainguy
email: thetrain.invain.829@gmail.com

Tell a friend!

SHARE! Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email This Pin This Share on Google Plus Share on Tumblr SHARE!