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Back On Track

First NYC subway ride since March? Here’s what to expect.


March 1st, 2020-- approximately three eons ago. “tHaT bAt ViRuS” was still allllll the way out in China and Italy. We saw other humans’ noses, mouths, and chins and didn’t think twice about it. We saw other humans and didn’t thank God almighty for the opportunity to socialize. We were like children, so painfully naive. *masked sigh*


When the world shuts down, so does public transport.


When the world begins to open up again, slooooooowly rebooting like that dinosaur of a desktop in your attic, so does public transport.


And ho-lee-shit is it horrifying to get back on the train for the first time in four months, not knowing who or how many people will be riding alongside you. Will they be masked? Will they cover their noses, or just their mouths? Will they even cover their mouths at all!? Will the train break down for twenty minutes when you’re one stop from your destination? Will you be trapped in a box of commuters’ carbon dioxide and-- God forbid-- coronavirus?


Only one way to find out.


And it looks different for everyone. Read on for three New Yorkers’ reunions with the good old MTA.


Jessica, age 20


Route: W4-42 (via the E train), 42-59 (A), 59-242 (1). Weekend evening.


Before: Prepared by putting on a long skirt (rather than my short-shorts), gloves, and, of course, my mask. Four bottles of half-empty hand sanitizer in the front pocket of my backpack. Ready to go into the wild.