These last few days and weeks, there has been one topic that has consistently popped up in conversation. Yes, it’s the 2019-nCoV, better known as the Coronavirus, and the broader topic of the people of Wuhan who are facing some extremely tough times with quarantines and curfews in effect.
The frequency of people donning filtration masks and carrying hand sanitizers around is a clear sign that the general population is starting to take caution and preventative measures, even though we’re miles away from the epicentre of this WHO-declared epidemic. That being said, let’s consider a hypothetical situation where you had to drive through Wuhan. Here’s our top three options for carrying you safely through a potential viral hotbed.
Tesla Model X
Regardless of your opinion of Tesla’s business practices, their vehicles all come with a HEPA filter and a rather nifty sounding Bioweapon Defense Mode. The system actively scrubs air inside the cabin, as well as the ambient air around the vehicle. So effective is this system that in a matter of minutes the air will be about as clean as you could possibly get.
Now, these filters are good enough to even deal with potential chemical attacks and gaseous agents, which also means they will probably be effective enough to take care of any nasty airborne Coronavirus-laden particulates. As for why we’d pick the Model X, it’s simple – the more ground clearance you have, the easier it is to get out of a sticky situation.
More than 20% of car parks in Wuhan are supposed to be equipped with electrical charging stations to help keep your Tesla at peak charge, but if you still have a case of range anxiety, then the Volvo XC60 would be an excellent choice. It has onboard air scrubbing systems as well that will take dust and other particulates out of the air, keeping you a little more insulated.
Being a conventional car it will also keep allow you to keep it fuelled at the potentially deserted petrol stations around the city. It’s also undeniable that Volvo has the strongest safety record of all the automotive manufacturers, and sometimes it isn’t a pandemic that gets you but rather a fatal incident on the road.
Pre 1990s Toyota Hilux
As mother always used to say: when the going gets tough, the tough get a Hilux. Oh, your mother never said that? It doesn’t matter, because we’re going to tell you anyway. The most robust pickup truck you can buy in this region is undoubtedly going to be the best choice for if the S really hits the F. Sometimes it isn’t about how fast you can go, but how much punishment you can throw at it.
The other great thing about older pickup trucks with nearly no electronics is you can pretty much douse the entire interior in disinfectant and it wouldn’t bat an eyelid. You could probably keep the entire car filled with industrial grade cleaning agents and wear a wetsuit and the Hilux would still keep on going. With a solid load capacity (especially with a single cab variant) you’ll be able to keep yourself stocked on food rations for weeks or months at a time.
And there you have it. Not the most comprehensive list, but just the top three off the top of our heads that we’d probably want accompanying us if we’re heading into a quarantine zone. For those travelling by air over the next few weeks, remember to stay protected and sanitize your hands regularly – and of course keep the people of Wuhan in your thoughts and prayers.