Jan. 29, 2020 By Kristen Torres
The MTA announced yesterday that it is taking all appropriate precautions to prevent the potential spread of coronavirus in the city.
The agency said that while there have been no confirmed cases of the virus in New York, it stands ready to make sure that its employees and its 8 million daily customers–across the NYC Transit, Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road– are kept safe.
The MTA said that it is assessing contingency plans and materials used in the past to address health conditions should the Centers for Disease Control recommend further action by transportation networks. The MTA said it is working closely with state and federal health officials.
“We take this issue very seriously, and are following the CDC’s lead while we further monitor the situation and evaluate contingency plans,” said Patrick Warren, Chief Safety Officer of the MTA. “In the meantime, we encourage everyone to take the standard precautions they would during any flu season.”
MTA officials are urging their employees get flu shots. Additionally, they are advising customers to take additional precautions–such as washing their hands, avoiding contact with sick people, and covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue. The agency is also asking customers to stay home if sick.
The coronavirus first appeared in China last year, and the United States saw its first case of the virus on Jan. 21, according to the CDC.
The CDC said individuals who are experiencing symptoms and may have traveled to areas of concern, or have been in contact with someone who has traveled to those areas, should get checked out by a healthcare provider.
Why not distributing or selling chemical masks at the stations.
as long as it’s the norm for people standing to directly face people who are sitting, and hack all over them, there is not a lot of hope that this pandemic won’t take off in our subways.
One of my local supermarkets (Key Food) has dispensers with pop-up hand sanitizer wet napkins (for cleaning hands/shopping cart handles, etc.).
Perhaps the MTA could do something similar,
and not just as a temporary measure. Heck even disposable gloves might be a good idea (have you EVER seen MTA employees clean subway poles and handrails?). And if course there is technology available to sanitize the confined air of subway cars – if the people’s health were a real priority.
Unfortunately the MTA’s suggestion that passengers “stay home when sick” is not an option for many in our sick society; a sick society with screwed-up priorities, where all too often the hardest-working people have no paid sick leave or , even worse, are fired for taking time off. This as their fat cat employers get even fatter off their labor. Did someone say maternity leave? Forgattaboutit!
Well this is what happens when unions are beaten down, busted, and lose their power as a counter-balancing force on the side of workers –both blue-collar and white-collar workers and everyone in between.
Take a look at many areas of Europe where workers have free or low-cost health care & prescriptions , much more time off, maternity leave for both parents, and better benefits and training opportunities. Then come back to the good old US of A and let the fat cats & politicians tell you it can’t be done here, in the richest country in the world, where 90% of the wealth is skimmed & scammed by the one percent, while fake-populist Trump gives them ever bigger tax cuts. Oh well, that’s what con-men do. And we fall for it. Again and again. Until we don’t.