Work from home? Not unless you're in a non-union position which doesn't entail driving a rolling virus factory. Take doctors and nurses to work we do? I doubt many of them want to be anywhere near a bus or light rail vehicle these days.
SHUT IT DOWN! At least for two weeks. Let the infection curve begin turning downward quicker than predicted.
We have an unprecedented split Spring-2 Signup happening this week. Our transit agency has decided that with dwindling numbers of available operators it needs to cut service until at least the end of May. Problem is, we keep hearing about operators and other fellow employees being tested positive every day. Those infected are exploding in number, and most of us wonder not if, but when, it'll infest our own bodies. This may be all for naught; if a majority of US are infected, there may not be ANY available operators by June.
I have faced many challenges in my life. This is the first time I remember ever being scared out of my wits. My blood pressure is constantly climbing. Perhaps that's what killed my friend Dan last week... the stress of knowing our chances of being infected are magnified in the thousands every time we go to work.
Yeah, I'm actually frightened to go out, let alone drive a bus for 10 hours every day. My age and a few health factors put me at greater risk than some, less than others. Many of our brothers and sisters are at exponentially-higher risk than I am. It's difficult to fall asleep at night, knowing the next day I could come home and infect my wife and son, or even the passengers I'm ferrying around town.
The Governor wants us to stay at home, and has so decreed it. Millions across the world have lost their jobs and some have died. What's worse? Can public transit "survive"? That's not nearly as important as whether WE will.
Throughout this pandemic, our agency has reacted rather than taken major, proactive steps to protect us. Salem just shut down its Cherriotts bus system and it won't be long before other agencies take this drastic step. It will save lives, but will our own? Finances may be important under normal circumstances, but this has grown way beyond that.
Do the right thing, Management. Save our lives and SHUT IT DOWN!