This Reuters piece was about how passengers on Nigerian motorcycle taxis were putting calabashes and portions of tires on their heads to avoid using the taxi’s passenger helmets, under a new law that requires motorcycle riders to wear helmets.
Newspapers quoted passengers as saying they feared the helmets could be laced with magic spells so as to knock the wearer unconscious and make them easier to rob, while others feared they would pick up an infection.
But the interesting point was this:
One columnist said transportation can already carry a health risk, and recounted how he had picked up a bedbug while sitting on a bus.
“The story is that people who have scabies, craw-craw, ringworm, dandruff and all other such diseases would easily infect others with them through the helmets,” Steve Nwosu wrote in the Daily Sun.
I’m not sure I’d want to share helmets with New York City motorcycle taxi riders either.
But Reuters readers should be aware you can get bed bugs from planes, subways, buses, and trams in Manhattan, Toronto, Prague, and the City of London, just as you can in Capetown or Lagos.