Plenty of room to quarantine on MBTA ghost trains

Send COVID-19-positive patients into nursing homes? What in the name of Gov. Andrew Cuomo could possibly go wrong?

But I’ve got a better idea for Gov. Charlie Baker’s demented administration.

Instead of pulling a Cuomo, Tall Deval should just put anyone who tests positive for the virus in a place where they will be in total isolation, unable to infect anyone else.

Put them on the MBTA.

Have you seen the MBTA’s own chart about the utter collapse of ridership, across the board, but most spectacularly on commuter rail?

Ridership is down about 90% since the Panic began — nine out of 10 commuters have vanished.

When I started talking Monday night on my radio show about this unprecedented transportation disaster, a handful of Purple Line survivors began texting me about their own recent experiences:

“8:10 AM from North Station to Lowell, returned 4 p.m. Used to be packed. Today whole train to myself both ways.”

In other words, he was in the isolation ward.

“Worcester rail commuter. Maybe 75 each level of double decker (in the old days). Today there were 4 on my level out of South Station.”

That got another one of my listeners thinking. If you’re on one of these trains all by yourself, do you still have to wear the diaper, I mean the mask?

I put the question to the MBTA.

“Face coverings are required for all transit riders and conductors with whom commuter rail passengers interact, regardless of the number of people in a coach.”

Of course that was the answer. This is Maskachusetts. Don’t ask whether anything makes sense, just follow orders. Like going to restaurants and keeping the mask on except while you’re eating.

That latest bit of preposterous overreach goes into effect … Sunday. I guess the virus won’t attack anybody without masks in restaurants for the next four days. But Sunday – watch out!

Same with churches. Apparently restaurants and churches — and gyms, movie theaters, etc. — are where the virus spreads.

We’re supposed to follow the science, right? Well, the science — from Charlie’s own Dept. of Public Health — says that of the 10,793 “confirmed” MA deaths as of Tuesday, 6,900 had been in nursing homes.

Almost two-thirds — in places regulated by Charlie Parker.

Not at restaurants, or churches, or gyms, or hockey rinks, etc. The virus mostly kills in places he’s either directly responsible for — Holyoke Soldiers Home — or in places he has regulatory control over, as shown by the $52,000-plus he’s collected from their owners.

But Charlie’s okay, apparently, with throwing open the doors of the nursing homes for another surge, or is it spike.

Here’s the letter from the director of Willow Manor in Lowell.

“We will be accepting COVID-19 positive patients into an isolated portion of the building.”

Wait, how many times has Charlie Parker told us this virus never sleeps, never takes a vacation and attacks everything? But now, it’s going to be okay because the virus employees “will have their own separate entrance/exit and will not be in contact with the other departments or residents.”

In other words, when it comes to everything Charlie Parker has said these nine months: “Never mind.”

But let’s go back to the MBTA for a moment. This collapse in ridership happened almost instantaneously when Gov. Charlie Parker got into the full-time fear mongering business.

Yet apparently it never occurred to any of the hacks to start reducing the payroll, even though the economy was in free fall. Same thing across the entire hackerama — Massport, the courts and of course UMass.

(Think UMass football Coach Walt Bell. According to the state comptroller, he makes $573,971 this year for a record of 0-4, after taking home $628,692.52 last year for a 1-11 record.)


So finally, at least six months late, the T wakes up to reality. And what happens? Just what you’d expect — the likes of Mayor Marty Walsh put the blast on the T board, saying how dare you lay off workers, er, T employees?

“These cuts are just simply wrong,” he said. Yes, Your Honor, but what about the carbon footprint from all those diesel locomotives just running back and forth, empty, day after day, week after week?

These are union jobs — public sector, behind which comes the pensions, right Marty?

“The cuts would hurt workers. They would discourage ridership.”

Earth to Marty: T ridership is down 90% on commuter rail (and ferries), 60-75% on the subways.

“They will slow our recovery.”

Marty, there’s not going to be a recovery, not in Boston anyway. You and Charlie have killed the golden goose. Fifty years of economic growth, down the tubes in 10 months, and for what?

So Charlie Baker could send COVID-19-positive patients back into the nursing homes, just in time for Christmas?

Happy holidays. Someone cue up the Kingston Trio – Charlie on the MTA.

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