Anxiety and applause: bus drivers on the front line of coronavirus | News from the United Kingdom

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AWhile providing vital service gives them a sense of normalcy and purpose in these difficult times, Manchester bus drivers have said that the death toll among their staff is a growing source of anxiety.

Stage frighty Farrell, 48

Tracy Farrell has been a bus driver on the First Group’s Vantage Route – which mainly takes commuters from Leigh, Wigan, to Manchester city center – for six years, but has never seen days like these. she knew locked out.

“We’re still taking people to work, but our passenger numbers have dropped by about 90%,” said Farrell. When night falls, passengers are even rarer and the work can be “disturbing and insulating”.

Although Farrell misses having longer conversations with customers and greeting other bus drivers when the roads are busier, loneliness is the least of his work concerns.

Trying to protect against coronaviruses armed only with disinfectant is in the foreground of his mind. The death of London bus drivers also exacerbated his anxiety. “When something happens to a bus driver, no matter where it happens, you always feel very attached to him,” said Farrell. “This concerns us all and it is a very disturbing time.”

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