JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Better get used to wearing a mask and frequently reaching into your pocket or bag to take out a hand sanitizer particularly when in public spaces. If you find it too much to be compelled into keeping these habits during the New Normal phase in Indonesia, wait until you hear experts advocate for even tighter measures.
Among them is Junior Doctor Network internist Edward Faisal. He suggests that passengers on Jakarta’s public transportation refrain from talking to one another.
Enjoy the silence
“Passengers should refrain from talking to one another on the MRT, commuter trains, and other public transportation to reduce the risk of Covid-19 infection,” he said in a virtual talkshow held by the Junior Doctor Network and the Covid-19 Task Force on June 17.
"Research by the Centers for Disease Control in the US revealed that people emit small droplets as they talk,” Edward added. “These droplets can stay in the air for 15 minutes before they land on a surface.”
“On public transportation, one cannot know which individuals are asymptomatic or which ones are truly immune. So for now, it's most sensible not to talk.”
He went on to say that silence is best regardless with whom one travels. "Refraining from talking is just as applicable to one’s family, friends or significant others if we are on board public transportation with them.”
“It is probably best to use alternate forms of communication, such as sign language. These can be done via one’s hands or eyes.”
Holding off on texting
Edward’s notion of limits goes beyond talking. “Texting in public transportation is not recommended either. The metal or plastic in cell phones are mediums for Covid-19 that can stay for up to five days,” he said.
“Their effects or possibility as conduits for Covid-19 infection should not be underestimated.”
Most of all, Edward reminded the public to continue wearing masks at all times on public transportation. “Masks are the best way to prevent Covid-19. They are proven to protect individuals from the droplets that carry the virus.”
(Writer: Dian Erika Nugraheny/ Editor: Icha Rastika)
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