As more and more businesses are allowed to reopen, an increased number of people have to venture out of their homes to get to their offices once again. Offices are doing their part by making it compulsory for employees to record their temperatures and using sanitizers whenever they enter the premises.

Our topic today is how we can reduce our risk of getting Covid-19 as we commute to and from work.

Safest option – travel solo

This option though not the most practical, is the safest, to reduce your risk of getting infected by the Covid-19 virus.

Commuting to work on foot while observing social distancing, biking or driving your own vehicles are suggested options.

Though walking is not very practical in sweaty tropical Malaysia, and with social distancing and the mandatory use of facial masks in public places, this option is probably best left to evening strolls.

Consider biking to work if you live close by if there are good bicycle lanes in your area and safe parking lots for your bicycle. An additional benefit of biking is that you will reduce your carbon footprint and help save the environment.

If you have the opportunity to drive your own vehicle, try not to car pool for now.

However, if carpooling is done based on necessity or a practical basis, ensure all your passengers use a face mask, as this is now mandatory; unless you and your passengers are willing to part ways with RM1,000 to settle your summons.

Make an effort to sanitize your car on a daily basis if you do car pool, ensuring that all surfaces that are touched like door handles, windows and power window buttons, are thoroughly wiped down with disinfectant.

Discard all used tissues or other items such as food or drink containers left in the car by your passengers. Do not let the items pile up in the car only to be discarded during the usual weekend car wash.

You can try to leave the windows down a little, to allow fresh air to circulate in the car.

An important point to share here is not to keep any alcohol-based sanitizers such as wet wipes, liquid forms or in aerosol cans in your car, as there is a very high risk of alcohol-based and aerosol-based products quickly overheating and igniting or even exploding, when you leave your car in an exposed parking lot during midday heat, even if the items are kept away in the glove compartment of your car.

What if you have to take public transportation?

While travelling solo is the best way to reduce the risk of Covid-19 infection, many people have to depend on public transportation for their daily commute to and from work.

As previously enforced laws allowing public transportation like busses and trains to operate at half or less than half their passenger capacity have now been lifted, it is important to follow some simple steps as below to reduce your risk of infection.

Use cashless methods for payment, e.g., your Touch&Go card or download an e-wallet app on your mobile phone, to reduce contact with cash.

If the train is full and you have to use a hand grip while standing, use a wet wipe or hand sanitizer to disinfect your hands when you arrive at your destination.

While getting on or alighting from trains, avoid touching the doors.

Allow those alighting to move away safely, before you go in. Don’t go charging in to grab the first vacant seat or a standing spot, as commonly practiced in the past.

Do practice physical distancing, which may be difficult during peak hours. Consider travelling during off-peak hours to avoid the masses. Here is where you may try discussing staggered work hours with your boss.

Most trains and busses have floor markers for the public to stand on, which members of the public should follow.

Use a face shield together with a facial mask if possible. This will give you additional protection and a bit of assurance.

These are just a few suggestions on how you may reduce your risk of getting infected by the Covid-19 virus. We would like to remind our valued readers again that information provided in our health articles should not be taken as medical advice.

Have a good weekend!

By Aaron
8th August 19:50 2020

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