Back to traffic jams & full trains

Yesterday was the first time in two years that I actually got on a train! For the past few weeks when I went in to work (two days a week), I parked my car at a park & ride and then took the metro in (about a 10 minute ride). That tends to be quicker for me by about 15-20 minutes rather than taking the train, especially as traffic jams, even in rush hour traffic, aren’t so bad now due to a partially working from home recommendation still being in effect. Yesterday Mr Esther needed the car more than I did, so I biked to the train station and actually boarded a train and then a metro. I was lucky. The train that left before mine to another city was so packed, people had to get off and catch another train. My train wasn’t too bad…

…and on the way home (I was able to travel back again before rush hour) it was even quiet…

I am no fan of rush hour train traffic. I hate the bustle and shuffle of getting on and standing in a crowded place and if you can’t get on, needing to wait for a next train that may be just as crowded and delays your trip by 15 minutes, making you late for wherever you need to be. I’d rather be on the metro where it can also get crowded but it’s never quite as crowded as on the train and there are more options to get to your destination as they depart more frequently. If a metro is too crowded, it’s easy to let it go and just take the next one 2 or 3 minutes later. I do like off peak train travel, though, just like yesterday on my way home.

The news today is that almost all remaining Coronavirus rules will be scrapped as of mid next week. No more mandatory face masks on public transport (although wearing one would still be appreciated), no more partial lockdown recommendation to work from home for half the week, no more testing restrictions to get into big events. Yes, the case numbers still appear to be quite high but pressure on the health system seems to not be so bad, which is why the rules will now be relaxed and we will have to learn to live with the virus. Here the elderly and those at higher risk are getting their fourth shots now. My mother and aunt just had theirs last week. The basic rules around testing with symptoms, isolation and quarantine will still remain in force for the time being.

I suspect that with the working from home restriction lifted, rush hour traffic jams on the highways will get longer again and trains will get busier too. Not sure how I feel about the relaxing of virtually all measures. On the one hand, these restrictions can’t go on forever, on the other hand the Coronavirus is still causing a lot of mayhem. For me, I think I will continue wearing a face mask in public transport when it is crowded… It feels a little weird getting back to life how it used to be again.

MTA – On rethinking this, I realize I lied! I was on a train again a month ago for the first time, while going to meet some friends for dinner in another city… The rest of this post still is true, though.

10 thoughts on “Back to traffic jams & full trains

  1. Esther that’s a lovely train! I haven’t been back on the metro in 21/2 years! Haven’t been to a play since HP although I will be taking the train to NYC in May to see Daniel Craig in MacBeth
    I’m not for relaxing restrictions although I think inevitably here in the US face masks will be lifted everywhere soon. It’s frightening to me to be honest

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We only had mask mandates left in public transport and now that is going too. It feels weird but it also seems true that while there are still a lot of cases, not many people get very ill thanks to the vaccines.

      How nice that you will get to travel to NYC by train!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m really looking forward to this trip one day up and back
        The theatre guidelines did say mask wearing is required and proof of vaccination when I bought the ticket so I wonder come May if those rules will
        Still be enforced ?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Servetus

    After the very first lockdown, local governments in my state repeatedly and successfully challenged the mask mandates — such that those of us who embraced masking as a means to deal with the pandemic ended up staying at home more than anything else, because in many places no one was masked. (The government offices stayed masked, though.) I went back to the cinema for the first time two weeks ago, and Obscura and I have been cautiously venturing out for the occasional lunch. Gotta say, it feels very strange. In terms of cases and deaths we are back where we were in February of 2020, at the point at which we did that first lockdown. I’m not sure what to think.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t been back to the cinerma yet since mask mandates in cinemas were dropped. Still feels weird to me.

      Here, while cases are high, the death tolls and hospitalizations are low. I think that has everything to do with the majority of people being vaccinated. So, I can understand letting measures go if the illness has a much less devastating effect and yet still it feels weird to me too.


      1. Servetus

        Our wastewater detection (I don’t know exactly how they do this) is indicating another surge is on its way. But I am pretty sure this will be another “just live with it” situation. People are exhausted by the precautions. There is no plan for a fourth dose, and the next wave of Covid-prevention funding was just taken out of the omnibus (the federal government’s pending budget bill). So.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Servetus

            And like an hour after I commented, Modern announced they are applying for authorization for a fourth dose for all adults. That cheered me up a little, perversely. Even if I pay for it myself.


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