I wake up and its 5.30am and the cool light outside reminds me where I am. Brooklyn birds quietly tweet outside, the only noise in the stillness. My sleepy nook where I emerge everyday is a joy. I lift the eyelids inside my mind and immediately remember. He walked away from me. I was let go of, and sank deeper into my fog that met me a few weeks ago. The fog wasn’t so polite, but knew where my heart was more than I did. And made it harder to breathe without even introducing itself. I am not a lover of rudeness but it didn’t care. It carried in the sorrow and despair that I never let myself think about. What if me moving to another country and believing in love, didn’t work? The mist makes my heart condense, it feels harder and barely able to beat. Please be a morning fog, please warm up. I beg you fog, let him back in. Let me see him and feel his warm hand find me in the bed. What happened, fog why did you hide him? Why did he let go of my hand and not find our way out of the grey?
5.35am and my alarm jabs me back to my room and I dont see the fog, but it drifts inside.
Seventy four percent of subway poles across NYC are anti-vaxxers,
based on a recent survey during the current measles crisis hitting the city. Subway
poles, who typically ride the subway most days and therefore exposed to this
ongoing crisis, were asked how they felt about the outbreak and what they were
doing to stay protected.
Some of the questions asked of them included “Would you
vaccinate due to the recent outbreak of measles?” and “Do you feel touch
contributes to the spread of common illness?”
Belinda, a pole on the F train, felt like she was targeted
and was simply another New Yorker going about her business, “Measles on me is
just hysteria. Come on, we are not part of the problem. It’s a myth!” She felt
like she was made to be part of the reason New Yorkers are in a panic, “I keep
to myself and yet I am supposedly the threat! How would you like it, to be blamed
or exposed as the problem? I refuse to accept vaccination as the answer!” Belinda,
along with some of her friends were going to an anti-vaxxer rally this Friday
The most interesting thing to come out of the survey was the
majority (74%) did not believe in taking a trip to their doctor to get the
measles vaccine. “Usually I cannot make the doctor, as the subway is my main
commitment, so I would rather not.” says Bastien on the 1, sometimes 2, train. “Also,
I have heard that vaccines are just a way for the rich to get richer and us
poles gain nothing but more grime”.
Local communities are banding together to talk to anti-vaxxers
such as poles and have even provided flyers with speaking points. How to approach a pole with the right body
language and how to not offend a pole,
seemingly unusual flyers to discover but communities are taking this very
seriously. Chantal from the West Village has successfully had some great conversations
with the ant-vaxxers. “I feel they remain calm and respectful just like me, we
ride the subway as fellow New Yorkers and I hope what I say to them really
makes them think on their journey home. We are one New York.”
New York City has recorded at least 423 cases of the outbreak
since October 2018 and there is no sign of this reducing. Public Heath emergencies
have been declared in both New York City and Rockland County.
A few subway seats who overheard the survey reportedly chimed
in and expressed their views which were not available at the time of printing.
#142 – Your Commute (where are the other #141 hacks?)
If you are like me, I dislike touching strangers. But we are made to in the dreaded concept of commuting on public transport. It has taken a year to perfect my commute where my introverted self is happy with my journey and I can pretend I am in a meadow. A smelly small meadow with super sad cows that stand sort of close but hey.
So here is my hack/advice for working out a happy commute:
Consider leaving earlier for work. I go to gym in the city early so I avoid the crush. I avoid the sad stares of people going to do their soul destroying work. Or if you can, leave just after majority of the dead souls have already headed to their fate. Plenty of room.
Choose your subway car. Choose which subway car speaks to you, and what ones have less people than others. People are stupid and all cram onto the one closest to where they entered the station from, or then the others who all plan to go to the carriage that gets them closest to their exit on the other end. But you, you choose the carriage that is less busy the whole journey on average. And not empty because someone has pooed everywhere.
Position of where you stand on train. Aim for a wall. A wall you can lean against then zone out from the world. Don’t take a seat unless you have broken your leg or have pants that keep sliding down. That leaves you open to looking like a dick who doesn’t stand up for someone who needs it and you have zoned out. Even if you don’t get to a wall at first, make your way there as people get off. You will get there, don’t worry. Then you feel you have your own fort, protected from thoroughfare and only half the amount of armpits.
Choose your connection carefully. For many months I was changing subway lines at the WRONG station. It took a friend to comment that you should take it several stops earlier and then my world changed. I had been fighting for prime position and lining up where the door will appear with many others. A few of us regulars would eye each other, without actually eyeing each other. After this advice, changing earlier meant that the train had not stopped at some of the major stations meaning, as per suggestion above, I found an empty wall and zoned out to my meadow. Do it.
I will add more suggestions as I go (I wont) and feel free to share your own.