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Covid Traveling: Mask to Sanitiser, How to Commute Safely with Co-passengers during Pandemic

Representative Image.

Representative Image.

However, there are still ways in which the riders can ensure safety for themselves.

Commuting is crawling its way back to normalcy after the intensive lockdown in India. Vehicles have started to ply as workplaces, market areas, shopping complexes and cinemas have begun opening. Many office-goers have to share cabs with people outside their families. Naturally, there is a fear of catching infections because of the tight space inside a car. However, there are still ways in which the riders can ensure safety for themselves.

Wear a Mask

A no-brainer. Wearing a mask is obviously the safest option for all travellers inside a car to reduce the risk of infection. The commuters must ensure that the driver is also abiding by the same.

Gloves (Not recommended)

One might think that gloves will provide additional safety and prevent contact with Covid-19. That is far from the truth. World health organisation (WHO) states that COVID-19 virus is known to survive on surfaces of objects. A tweet from WHO warns that one can “still pick up COVID-19 contamination on rubber gloves.” Possibly, the advisory applies to non-rubber gloves as well.

Sanitise

The driver and the passengers must keep a bottle of sprayable sanitisers to disinfect the air inside the car before each journey. Following this routine will reduce the chances of catching Covid-19 as the car environment becomes sterile.

Keep the Right Windows Open

Air circulation inside cars is a complex issue. Keeping all windows open is ideal as it allows proper ventilation. However, this might not be possible during the winter. HuffPost UK notes that as per the latest research, published in the journal Science Advances, knowledge of the airflow inside tight car spaces is the key to prevent the spread of infections.

The authors of this research, namely, Varghese Mathai, Asimanshu Das, Jeffrey A. Bailey and Kenneth Breuer, found through simulations, that in a four-door passenger car, it is best to keep the windows opposite to the driver and the passenger’s side, open.

For Indian cars with right-hand-drive, the passenger must be seated on the left corner, in the back. The strong air currents entering the vehicle will help prevent the spread of infection. “To our surprise, the simulations showed an air current that acts like a barrier between the driver and the passenger,” observes Mathai, as noted by HuffPost.

Keeping these factors in mind might help in ensuring a safe car ride for unrelated people.

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