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Understanding microbial landscapes of the bus during the Covid-19 Pandemic: December-2021 Report

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Charlotte Veal



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


This report is provided for stakeholders involved in the provision and management of public transport services where there is a risk of community transmission of COVID19 and other infections such as seasonal colds, flu, and noroviruses. It provides analysis of everyday bus user experiences within the changing conditions of the COVID-19 public health crisis, March 2020 onwards. Central to our thinking is the concept of ‘microbial landscapes’. This is a new term we are introducing to help describe and explain what is going on all around us, but in particular, on the bus. Microbial landscapes describes the intertwining BETWEEN the various ways different bus passengers visualise and sense the bus environment, AND the physical, material elements like other passenger bodies, bus architecture, viral particles and microbes. These microbial landscapes are dynamic across the temporalities of day, different seasons, different passengers, and the local dominance of evolving viral strains (alpha, delta, omicron of COVID-19 virus) and cleaning regimes, hand-sanitising, mask-wearing, and windows opening.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Roe E, Veal C, Hurley P, Wilks S

Publication type: Report

Publication status: Published

Series Title:

Year: 2021

Pages: 42

Online publication date: 13/12/2021

Acceptance date: 09/12/2021

Institution: University of Southampton


DOI: 10.5258/SOTON/P1068