New York subway riders on Friday were taking desperate measures amid fears of coronavirus spreading to the Big Apple.
Despite no reported cases of the deadly illness in the five boroughs, some straphangers avoided pole-touching, squeezed out gobs of hand sanitizer and shot side-eyes at anyone who dared to cough, riders in Brooklyn and Queens told The Post.
“I don’t touch the poles in the train with my hands. I put on my gloves,” said Reina Hikota, a 33-year-old student riding the 7 train. “I don’t want to get it. I am really scared. If someone sneezes, I turn away. When I get home, I wash my hands and my face.”
Others wore makeshift full-face masks — made by pairing surgical gear with pulled-down winter caps — while some sported latex gloves and stripped off potentially tainted clothing before entering their homes, straphangers said.
Nick Ye, a 34-year-old software engineer, who was riding the 7 train to work in Flushing said he’s careful not to bring germs into his house.
“When I go home, I wash my hands and take off my [outer] clothes before I go inside,” he said. “I have two young kids at home and my mother-in-law so I don’t want to carry anything home.”
Nearby, vendors were hawking face masks at a booth next to a bagel cart near the Flushing Street subway station.
In the Sunset Park section of Brooklyn — where some Chinese Americans celebrated the country’s Lunar New Year with relatives from their homeland last week — some straphangers wore masks to avoid possibly infecting others, they said.
“I’m wearing it just in case, in case of the coronavirus,” said Liz Chin, 52, who was riding the N train in Sunset Park.
She works at a test prep center in Chinatown that has been concerned about germs since news of the deadly virus hit a couple weeks ago, she said.
“We wash our hands more, [use] alcohol, wipe the tables, and sanitize before eating,” she said. “Very cautious! Hopefully, of course, it won’t hit New York!”
Jessica Chung, 22, who was riding the N train in Sunset Park, was nervous about the virus which had killed at least 132 people and infected thousands more Friday.
“Everyone is a little afraid — myself included — but it’s good to take precautions, ” Chung said. “Right now everyone is a little shocked about what’s going on… how fast it spread.”