Can riding Muni make you sick, or does it protect you?
It almost doesn’t matter whether you ride every day or just from time to time: Muni isn’t the cleanest place in the world. And the question then, for germophobes and non-germophobes alike, becomes: Is the risk of contagious diseases on public transit higher, the same, or lower than it is in other public places.
Buried somewhat in an article on the topic by the Public Transport page on About.com, Christopher MacKechnie has this tidbit:
The risk appeared to be more focused on occasional transit users, with regular riders being somewhat less susceptible to falling ill. One theory is that regular riders may develop protective antibodies against the kind of infections likely to be found on public transit.
It’s a nice thought, and one that I more or less believe applies to everyday life, not just on public transit.
I stumbled upon the post thanks to Driver Doug. On Facebook, a few of Doug’s friends agree with me:
- I ride Muni to get my flu shot.
- Doctor’s orders: ride Muni one hour a day and take two aspirin and some lozenges.
That made me curious: Have you ever been sick and blamed Muni? If so, do you ride more or less daily, or do you dabble in it?
Photo by Tantek Çelik
If THIS doesn’t make you become a OCD/germaphobe. I don’t know what will! 😑
Hmmm… I just returned from visiting my doctor for the 4th lot of blood tests after being chronically sick with some unknown illness which hit me the day after I spent an entire week schlepping around San Francisco on MUNI for 8 hours a day. Coincidence much? 😉
I think my last cold was the result of riding muni lol / seems the poles are always sticky and at least once a week I see someone picking their nose/I’m not a germaphobe but I use hand sanitizer often when using muni / try not to touch my face (how you catch viruses)
I’m not a daily rider. One evening I got on BART, saw an empty seat and sat down next to some regular looking guy dressed office casual. I then looked more closely at him and he had snot running down his face, licking it off his lips, trying to keep up with the flow that was reaching his chin. I reached in my purse, gave him my pack of Kleenex, and told him to do everyone a favor and stay home tomorrow, before I got out of my seat and chose to stand away from him.