‘You’re Just Another Number’: Bus Drivers Are Dying From Covid-19

Novara Media, June 2020

Marcia* has been a bus driver for two decades. She is terrified about returning to work, having been off for months following a family bereavement. 

“I’m really scared to go back. This thing got my husband,” she explains. Marcia’s husband died from Covid-19 in March and she has been at home since shielding with their child who has underlying health conditions. When her husband first got sick and the hospital doctor told her to isolate, her line manager asked for proof.

“My husband didn’t come back from hospital,” Marcia says, “and none of my managers has even called me to say sorry for your loss – no card, no nothing. They don’t care about us”.

Marcia doesn’t feel safe going back to work because 33 of her fellow London bus workers have died from Covid-19. Since the start of the pandemic, bus drivers have been recognised as essential and key workers. Despite this, safety measures to protect them were only put in place once they started to die.

To the bus companies, says Marcia, “you’re just another number: you leave today, they’ll replace you within hours; you die today; they’ll replace you within hours”.

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