The Lysol at the End of the Tunnel


The Lysol at the End of the Tunnel

In 2020, the world is facing something truly unprecedented—something no one could’ve ever expected or anticipated: the cleaning of New York’s MTA subway cars. 


Earlier this week it was announced that the subway would close from 1am to 5am so each car could be disinfected. This breaking news was almost enough to distract people from an online video of Meryl Streep singing in a bathrobe. (Almost). 


Even weeks ago, the idea of cleaning the subway was genuinely unthinkable — so unthinkable that people actually considered drinking lysol before they considered using it to clean a subway car. 


According to City Councilman Robert Holden, when the MTA was confronted about halting service for cleaning, they called the idea “dumb.” Now, there are a lot of things you can describe as dumb: Youtube fail videos, anyone you’ve ever worked with on a group project, and Lindsey Lohan. Earlier this week, a news anchor on Good Morning America appeared without any pants on. Those things are dumb. Wiping germs off a subway pole during a global pandemic? Not so much. 


It’s about time New York subway cares got a little care and attention. They’ve been through a lot. They’ve seen people hysterically crying into their Chick-fil-A, they’ve seen kitted out mariachi bands playing Ricky Martin songs, they’ve seen a drunk couple going at it under the dim romantic lights of the L train. They’ve really seen everything (except a lysol disinfecting wipe). 


However, officials were hesitant to close the subway even during off-peak hours, like 1 to 5am. Sure, the majority of New Yorkers don’t need to use public transport during that time, but what about those that do need it? Like New York’s persistent rat population? Or, worse, those commuting from New Jersey?


Now, for the first time since 1968, subways are finally getting a good rinse. The last time subways were cleaned, a big mac cost 49 cents, women were still wearing the beehive haircut un-ironically, and everyone’s idea of a wild night was going to the cinema to watch Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.


It only took a national emergency, a killer virus and 3.2 million deaths, but New York finally did the unthinkable. They put lysol wipes onto grotty surfaces in a move the governor is calling, “as ambitious as anything we’ve ever undertaken.” 


Even Governor Cuomo is now calling the state of the subways “disgusting.” And that really means a lot coming from a guy who lives in Albany. 

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