We know that COVID-19 spreads most easily in indoor settings or when you’re in close proximity to someone who is infected, and being in a car with someone who’s infected would kind of fit into that criteria as well.
When it comes to getting sick with the virus, you might be thinking about this, and we have too. Brian Shea asked, “What’s the risk if I take a taxi or a shared car?” We asked the experts: Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse, a pediatric infectious diseases physician at the Mayo Clinic; and Dr. Irfan N. Hafiz, infectious disease physician and Northwest Region chief medical officer at Northwestern Medicine. Their take: Contracting COVID-19 from riding in or driving a ride-share is medium-risk. But compared to subway and bus, people touched fewer passengers when taking a taxi or shared car. So the probability of infection would be lower. In conclusion, a taxi or shared car is a good choice for a short trip.
In order to make us all go out safer, here we’ll list some advisable procedures to take a taxi or shared car:
- Put on a surgical mask carefully.
- For women, try to tie the hair in case of rubbing eyes when hair flowing into eyes.
- Always carry sanitizers or alcohol wipes.
- Try to go to the toilet in advance to stop unnecessary troubles on the way.
- Try to make the routine clear with the driver.
Boarding the car
- If there is no wound on the skin surface, gloves are not necessary when opening the door. If you are afraid, you can use a tissue to open the door and make sure to discard any tissues used immediately.
- Put the luggage in the appropriate place.
In the car
- Don’t remove the mask. Open the window to let the fresh air in.
- Try not to eat food in the car.
- Cover the nose and mouth with a tissue when sneezing or coughing.
- Try not to touch the objects in the car and try not to talk with others to reduce the risk of droplets infection.
After getting off
- Wash hands with sanitizers once you get off the taxi.
- Sterilize the carry-on items.
Besides the above procedures, maybe you still have many doubts. Next, we will give answers to related questions around them:
Q: If a virus carrier had taken this car ever, would it be a risk for the following passenger to be infected?
A: It’s hard to say actually. Under this circumstance, the risk would be lower if the following passengers can wear a mask and keep washing their hands.
Q: If the driver helps to open the door, would it increase the risk of being infected?
A: It’s possible. If the driver didn’t wash hands after sneezing or coughing, then toughing may cause transmission.
Q: Should the passenger wear gloves all the way?
A: It is not advisable to wear gloves except there is no wound on the skin surface. The skin is a good barrier to prevent us from infection even though we touch the objects with the virus directly.
Recent reports show the amount of confirmed cases is still increasing, everyone should have strong awareness to prevent the virus. There has not been any evidence of COVID-19 disappearing with a higher temperature of summer. As COVID-19 has already spread to countries with higher temperatures, such as Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, and nearly all African countries. Let’s take care of each protective detail until there is an effective vaccine.