My Public Bus Experience: The Fear of Germs

Bus-hopping is a way of life in Lagos, particularly for those whose take home barely takes them home. Jumping from one bus to the other is hardly ever fun, but wait a minute, it could get worse. As if buses are not bad enough in themselves, now think about the germs and disease pathogens. Being the ward of a medical personnel most of my life, a mild case of germaphobia hits me in public spaces.


So, running a bit late this morning and I was hurrying into the bus. Of course, fear of contaminated money is not kuku a problem, cos, lets face it, IT’S MONEY!!!!!! But when you’ve balanced in your tight corner and are patiently waiting for bus to move, only for your neighbor to have a sneezing fit… That’s when you remember all your primary school health education classes some fifteen plus years ago.

The COUGH!!!

Was patiently sitting in the bus scrolling through my phone and anxiously looking at the changing digits when I heard it. A very loud, obviously unguarded cough. My body stiffened automatically, I woke up to a stuffed nose this morning and was so not willing to add cough to my list.

When you are quite acquainted with sickness, drugs and injections early in life, one tends to be subconsciously germaphobic. Maybe not to the extreme, but I do tend to wonder about things I touch now and again. And of course, there is always the constant reminder in your head of not touching banisters and hospital surfaces.

So, when bros had a second coughing fit in less than 5 minutes, mehn it was time to freak out. Unfortunately for me, as bro was spewing invisible organisms at my back, the lady by my side was jabbing her elbow into my side. As if this wasn’t enough, the child on her lap was licking some sticky milk thing all over her hands. And guess who the little cutie decides to touch with those hands? Freaked out, mini-germophobic MEE!!!!

Child washing hands
Keep their hands clean

So, as I was hunched forward and intermittently ceasing to breathe every time the bros sneezed, I was also trying to avoid sticky baby fingers from grabbing me. Most kids don’t hesitate to enjoy their goodies by sticking all fingers into their mouth. And then when it is some milk candy thing, extra sticky for the roll. And babe also had to lay her head on me sha….

I remained hunched forward, nose as close to the window as possible, and prayed I survived to my destination. Germs are everywhere, and airborne diseases are particularly troublesome to control, because its impossible not to breathe.
How do you cope with fear of germs and infections in public spaces? Are you even concerned at all about the people around you and how they affect your health?

Share your experience with us, and don’t forget to use a handkerchief to contain your sneezes and coughs. Plus, a hand sanitizer and wet wipes will help get off some of those germs.