The Rising Risk of Public Transit
As the temperature across Ontario is cooling down, the risks associated with COVID-19 are increasing. The colder weather means that the public is more inclined to stay indoors. While this is great for individuals who have ideal living arrangements, this is risky for most. As winter approaches, it is inevitable that crowd sizes indoors will grow.
This is especially dangerous for those who take public transportation. While the warm weather encouraged more individuals to walk outside with fresh air, this appeal will soon be gone. People commuting to work and school who do not have access to their own vehicle are at a large disadvantage. Ride share apps are pricey and transportation like busses, the subway, etc. will become very crowded.
On top of that issue, influenza is a continuous threat during the colder months. Catching the flu is now an additional hazard. “As the weather cools down, this means the coronavirus may actually stay in the air longer,” said Colin Furness, an infection control epidemiologist and assistant professor at the University of Toronto. As the virus leaves your body, the cold air helps preserve it and keep it alive longer, Furness explained. Another reason the spread of the coronavirus could be worse in cold temperature is that our mucous membrane dries out in cold weather, making it much harder for the nose to filter pathogens, Furness said. When airways dry out, it allows the virus to have easier access to the body.
Proper air filtration is a great preventative measure. Unfortunately, in crowded spaces such as the TTC subway (platform and individual train cars), this is lacking. There is always an increased risk when air circulation is lacking.
While there are still many risks and worries surrounding COVID-19 during the colder months, having your own vehicle does provide ease. Your own car would provide you an additional level of social distancing as you would be continually avoiding unnecessary crowding. Of course, there are also numerous benefits to having your own vehicle opposed to the use of public transportation such as convenience, reliability, privacy and individual safety.
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