By Isabelle Orr, Entertainment Editor
Have you been sick in 2019?
If you have been, you’re not alone. Records show that illnesses such as the common cold, flu, and having a really bad headache on the right side of your head that just won’t go away have affected more than 80 percent of the Greater Vancouver population.
The reason so many airborne illnesses have gone viral, according to scientists, is due to the true nature of public buses.
“Many people don’t know this, but city buses are actually one big bacteria amoeba,” said Jude Baker, Dean of Health and Sciences at UBC. “What people think is a road vehicle designed to carry many passengers is a huge, mobile germ that infects you even when you’re walking alongside it on the street.”
“People are gross,” said Kathy Hepburn, head of TransLink Public Relations. “Have you ever looked at your fingernails under a microscope? With the amount of dirt, grime, and bacteria that humans brought onboard our city buses, it was much more viable to simply replace them with a giant bacterial cell that would consume dead organisms, animal waste, and plant litter.”
Other Press reporters asked Hepburn to break down the composition of the big bacterium known as the bus.
“The doors are the cell wall, while the driver is the nucleus,” Hepburn explained. “The seats are the mitochondria, or the vacuoles, or something like that. It’s kind of a jumble in there.”
What does this mean for passengers?
“You’re guaranteed to get at least a cold by even thinking of the word bus,” Baker said. “And depending on the bus line, your illness might be more severe. The 99 B-Line will usually result in the flu, while catching any night bus will most certainly end in a venereal disease.”
Frequent bus riders weren’t exactly shocked to hear the news.
“I once saw a man throw up on a seat on the 18, and then sit on it,” said Clarice Lundgren. “Then he stood up to give it to a pregnant woman, who sat in it too.”
“I used to have a full head of hair before I started taking public transportation,” Lucien Douglas, Vancouver resident, told reporters. “Now I’m bald and I’ve had a runny nose for the past six years.”
“I like how the bus always smells like three to six people just sneezed right in your face,” Imogen Thrupp said to press. “It’s very comforting to me.”
When asked if TransLink would change their wheeled bacteria back into standard metal and rubber models, Hepburn seemed on the fence.
“If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. And if people are still willing to pay three whole dollars for something that should be free, why change it now?” Hepburn said. “By the way, our plans for 2020 include making the buses 80 percent germier and increasing fares to either five dollars a zone or a cup of your blood plasma. You’re welcome, Vancouver!”