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Coronavirus has without a doubt turned the world upside down. In a matter of weeks, many cities, states, and entire countries have ordered their citizens to shelter in place and practice social distancing. City streets are deserted and many grocery store shelves are bare, the majority of people are taking note and staying hidden behind their front doors. However, what do you do if you are someone who needs to get around your city still? Perhaps you are an essential worker or need to care for an elderly relative. Is Uber or Lyft still operational in your city and available for you to utilize?
For the most part, yes, Uber and Lyft are still available in many places. Uber has yet to shut down any of their locations or services with the exception of stopping UberPool rides for the foreseeable future. However, hailing an Uber or Lyft car might currently take a bit longer than it did before. Many drivers have stopped driving for fear of contracting the virus, diminishing the amount of rideshare vehicles on the road in many locations.
While Uber has yet to take any stance on halting their operations, many people are calling them out, saying they must shut down in order for us to stop the coronavirus from spreading further. At least one NYC Uber driver has already died from the disease and worries are accelerating about how many people will be infected by asymptomatic drivers before action is taken.
While Uber and Lyft trudge on, other companies are taking more cautious approaches. Both Ola in India and Didi in China, have halted their operations, only allowing a few cars on the road in each respective country to transport healthcare and other essential workers. These cars are being more heavily monitored and sanitized to help stop the spread. India has also taken the initiative and suspended Uber from operating in several cities across their country including Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Visakhapatnam, Pune, Ahmedabad, Ranchi, Jaipur, and Lucknow.
If you find yourself needing to take an Uber, please follow WHO guidelines and make sure to frequently wash and sanitize your hands, cover your mouth and nose if you do have the urge to sneeze/cough, and try to avoid touching your face. Of course, at the end of your ride tip your driver, and preferrably in the app to avoid the exchange of cash. It is important to show your thanks to the drivers who are now on the front-line everyday.