We work at the epicenter of the epicenter, with a mortality rate substantially higher than that of first responders. Common sense tells you that subway trains and platforms are giant vectors of this virus. We breathe it in along with steel dust. As a conductor, when I stick my head out of the car to perform the required platform observation, passengers in many stations are standing 10 inches from my face. At other times, they lean into the cab to ask questions. Bus drivers, whose passengers enter right in front of them, are even worse off…

The M.T.A. takes stern action against workers seen without goggles or cotton knit safety gloves. Yet we had to work without protection against the coronavirus.

At first we were warned not to wear masks. The M.T.A. said it would panic the public. It said masks were dangerous for us. Later it said we could wear masks we bought ourselves. But by then there were few masks for sale…

We are stumbling upon dead bodies. I know of two cases. A train operator nearly tripped over one while walking between cars. The other person was sitting upright on a bench right outside the conductor’s window and discovered to be dead only at the end of an eight-hour shift after my co-workers kept noticing the person on each trip.