Public transportation: can’t live without it, can’t seem to catch a break on it—especially when you’re packing onto the L. According to the MTA, the L train serves 300,000 people daily. That’s an awful lot of busy people and even more germs and illness—all before your day has even begun! How do you stay healthy while riding hip-to-hip on the subway with a couple thousand strangers? Dr. Neal Shipley of Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care, has shared the below tips for a smooth, sanitary ride:

Don’t get too personal

Sure, the L isn’t the most spacious of trains, but if you can afford to take a little space for yourself, do so. If you notice someone sneezing or coughing nearby, keep your head down and keep a bit of a distance, if possible.

Wash your hands

Standing room only on the L means taking hold of whatever you can to stay on your feet while surfing the tracks. After a trip on the train, wash your hands with soap and water as soon as you can. Take your time and be thorough—you should go through three rounds of singing “Row Row Row Your Boat” before you start rinsing that soap off your hands. If you can’t get to a bathroom, carry hand sanitizer as a more accessible option.

The Dracula Sneeze

If you’re nursing a cold or illness, be mindful of other passengers by covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze. The most effective way to do this is to embrace your "inner vampire" and cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow, as if you were Count Dracula holding your cape in front of your face. That way you don’t get any germs onto your hands.

Hands off!

We often rub our eyes or touch our nose and mouth without even realizing it. When on the subway, be conscious of avoiding these habits, as your hands are not at their cleanest, and your mouth, nose and eyes offer a means of entry for germs into your body.

If you do find yourself feeling sick, whether it be a runny nose, fever or other illness you cannot seem to shake, head to Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care for convenient and dependable care. Find out wait times and check-in online for nearby centers, including one a short distance from the Bedford stop on the L in Williamsburg, and one opening in August on Flatbush Avenue in Park Slope. If you’re outside your borough, there are 35+ locations throughout the New York area in Manhattan, Queens, Long Island, Westchester and Staten Island. Providers at Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care understand the importance of putting patients first in healthcare, and their centers offer innovative technology and a welcoming experience. For more information, visit

This post is brought to you by Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care.