Taking a taxi in the time of Corona

31 March 2020
31 March 2020 Tenaka

Months after first hearing about the coronavirus, there is panic around the globe. But not everyone is moved by this virus. At the time of writing this, I still take a taxi to work everyday, still with a sense of ease. My fear comes when we have to pay for the taxi: everyone passes their money to the front seat, and the process of passing money is what I fear most because you have to pass the money through everyone sitting next to you.

It’s hard to not show fear and freak out because it looks and feels like an attack to some people. The other day, a guy was seated at the front seat with the driver. He started coughing; all eyes were on him. It made him so uncomfortable, and I sympathised so much with him. At the same time, those are the symptoms. It leaves one worrying: could this be it?

There is so little education on this outbreak. Not everyone has access to proper information – some don’t have television or internet access. We have people inflicting fear on others and others who are ignorant of it. You can hear conversations happening in the taxi: some say the virus is only for people travelling, others believe it’s only going to affect white people; the Zionists say they are still going to their Easter gathering in Moria – they do not believe in such illnesses, and their God heals everything. Sadly, I have seen one lady wearing a face mask right below her nose, which defeats the whole purpose because her nose is exposed. Another weird thing I saw was a lady wearing woolen gloves.

It’s a difficult time, and as time goes by I start to realise the impact and the rate at which people are being infected: it’s worrying, and taking a taxi is risky. We have 15 people in a taxi, and I take 2 taxis to work, meaning 4 taxis to and from work every day. We have people from all walks of life, no hand sanitiser, no gloves, people coughing and sneezing, frequent exchange of cash, and very little understanding of proxemics*.

Being pregnant doesn’t make it better because like any mother, I would like to protect my cub. Still, life has to go on because my family has to eat. Thanks to technology, we can now work from home. I am so proud of our government who has quickly put measures in place to ensure everyone is safe. I am really grateful that everyone will be indoors and that will limit the spread of this virus. And for those providing essential services and are still commuting to work, the government has limited the number of people in a taxi from 15 to 8 making it safer for all. We will stand together against corona 🙂

*Proxemics is the study of the space we need between us and how it is affected by social and cultural factors.

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