Deputy Mayor of Budapest Kata Tüttő has recently called people’s attention to the dangers of coronavirus infections in essential services. Last time she mentioned the drivers of the M2 metro and that it is dangerously close to shutting down. But what about other services?
If the metro shuts down, it could cause chaos in the public transportation of Budapest. Metro drivers cannot be just simply switched out; there are no other metro lines in Hungary, only in Budapest. Metro drivers are therefore irreplaceable, and they cannot just simply be changed between lines as they would have to take the driver’s exam for each separate line. In our previous article on the topic, we also wrote that in the case the metro line does close, then buses will provide transportation, but the bus staff in Budapest is also in short supply.
24 reports that the danger of shutting down not only threatens the public transportation sector but almost all essential services. People usually take clean tap water for granted, or the fact that their trash gets taken away, the fact that you have heating at home, or that traffic lights work correctly. Well, guess what. If the infection rate continues to grow, all of these essential services and even more could become threatened. Fortunately, the situation is not critical in other services for now, only in the metro:
“There are 500 people in Budapest, who would need to be vaccinated, as without them essential services might be in danger,” – answered Kata Tüttő to the questions of 24.
There is no reason for panic. Yet. All of the mentioned services have precautionary plans and measures to ensure workers between shifts could not easily infect one another. If necessary, they can be ordered to move into their workplaces to avoid infection. This was done to some elderly homes’ workers during the first wave of the pandemic. Also, the soldiers of the Hungarian Defence Force can be sent to such facilities and provide some help, or mainly report coronavirus hot-spots and clusters.
In order to keep the capital running, Kata Tüttő urges that these 500 workers who have an essential role in keeping the city up and running should be considered crucial and be moved further up on the list of people to be vaccinated.
She added that the city’s governance has already prepared a plan; they would only need enough vaccines for those essential crews, and the capital could vaccinate them.
Just think for a second about the consequences of essential services shutting down. Almost all schools are using online education platforms. Just a simply electricity shortage could ruin the education of thousands of children. If the trash does not get taken away, it would gather up on the streets, worsening public hygiene and maybe even helping the spread of the virus. The weather is still quite cold, and some places use central heating for warm water as well, so if the central heating ceases, thousands could be left without heating or warm water.
Even worse would be the absence of personnel from water filtration systems. Clean tap water is taken for granted, but it is actually a lot of work to provide. If these services stopped, it would be catastrophic.