By Hortensia Daniels-
Stratford’s Central line was today was today packed with passengers incapable of observing social distancing early in the morning at 7.02 pm.
Train carriages were so packed that passengers were at the edge of the doors. The overwhelming numbers were indistinguishable from pre-Covid times, leaving the opportunity for transmission to be high.
Virtually everybody was masked up, but there were a full people without masks talking in the tube as Londoners made their way to the city for work.
Scientists say masks protects others from contracting the virus, but does not protect passenger from contracting the virus. when people speak and release pathogens in the air.
The central line this morning was packed but with not very much conversation going on the sixth and seventh carriage. Most of the few people having discussions in the train were masked up, although we found three people in two carriages holding a conversation without masks.
No objections were made to the conversations, or the fact they had no masks on. If the individuals with masks had the virus, they would spread it to all those within their vicinity, irrespective of the fact they had masks on.
The masks do not make them immune to contracting the virus from people without masks who are communicating and releasing pathogens from their mouths which could be infected.
Masked passengers generally mind their own business during their train ride to work, avoiding confrontation at all costs. Passengers stand very close to one another, many holding the supporting rope handles touched by millions of other passengers the previous day. It is the same way passengers who use public transport touch the same rope handle without gloves.
The platform was also filled with waiting passengers, most holding aloft newspapers covering the pandemic and its effect on the world. Carriages were relatively quiet , and those talking stood out because of the general silence in the carriages. The details of their conversation was clear to hear, much depended on how much notice other passengers were given to them.
Some spoke about the challenges at their place of work in relation to contracted work and furlough payments for those off work. Others spoke about their worries arising from living with relatives with underlying issues.
Sharon Anderton, 32,a receptionist, told The Eye Of Media.Com: ” I feel safe travelling on the tube, but worry sometimes when I hear someone cough or sneeze. I know we all cough or sneeze in the winter months, but when Covid is around, you don’t want anybody coughing near you, especially if they don’t have a mask”
Another passenger, Carl Mansion, builder, said: ” I just concentrate on getting work and noticed that most people are masked up, so I don’t worry much. I had no problems today, but there are times when I have had people close to me talking without masks. I have children to worry about, so I have no choice but to confront anybody around me without a mask who is talking. I simply won’t have it”.
There were a number of loud coughs by passengers mainly in masks, and none of the unmasked passengers coughed. Our researchers went into three other carriages to examine the state of affairs in different groups of passengers.
The findings were that more than 99% of passengers were masked up, with very limited discussions going on.
Passengers were provided with survey forms with questions about the coronavirus and the lockdown, to get their views about the British government’s handling of the pandemic.
Verbal interviews were sought with some passengers, and a few obliged while others were more concerned with continuing their journey to work.
Callum Stevens, 31, a career, from Woodford said: ‘ I think the British government’s U turns are too many and do little to build trust in their credibility. Having said that I think it is pretty obvious that the pandemic is serious and we should all take care not to infect others.
Another passenger, Marsha Allison from Leyton, said: ”I feel safe in the tube because most people are masked, at least those around me are fully masked everyday I take the tube. The thing that gets me thinking is the fact the trains are so full that social distance is impossible.
If people can be so cramped up in a small space, I struggle to see what the difference is if people were free to move about with masks. I can tell you that cafes and restaurant are never as cramped up as restaurants like Nando’s or cafes. I am yet to hear the sense in trains being able to be so full up, when shopping centres are never that full, and masks are compulsory in shops.
”I just feel so sorry for Debenham employers and employees, because I have never seen Debenham or Primark as full as the central line on a week day morning. It makes no sense of the lockdown, except that limited the gathering of crowds minimises the transmission of the virus. But if all the trains are as full as they are when I use them in the mornings, it makes none sense of the lockdown”.