Creative hacks for social distancing and other genius ways to prevent the spread of Covid-19

PHOTO: Reddit/Takeawayla

The Covid-19 virus outbreak has taught us many a great lesson about personal hygiene when it comes to protecting ourselves and the health of our loved ones during this pandemic.  

Washing our hands frequently and wearing a mask if we're unwell has become a repeated mantra, and now safe distancing (aka physical or social distancing) is a new term we've adopted into our daily lives to curb the spread of the virus.

Singapore has also rolled out a new measure which will kick in on March 26, seeing the closure of entertainment venues till April 30, and gatherings outside work and school limited to 10 people.  

Yet life still has to go on and if you have to be out in the public, besides refraining from shaking hands and hugging or kissing when greeting others, here are some other creative ways people in Singapore and elsewhere are practising safe distancing.

Wooden stick to deliver food

These days, with new measures set in place in hawker centres and eateries, it's just much more convenient to dabao food from the nearby kopitiam to eat at home. 

For those who are paranoid about accidentally making physical contact, you can learn from this street food seller in Thailand, who is seen passing the food to his customer via a wooden stick. 

โควิท-19 น๊อ น่ากลัวก็น่ากลัว ก็จำเป็นต้องขายของเพื่อรายได้ งั้นทำแบบนี้ซะเลย.... . . . . ขอบคุณเจ้าของภาพ และนิคม สุขสันต์

Posted by ข่าวด่วนจอมทอง รักคุณ on Tuesday, March 17, 2020

A bit too extreme? Maybe, but anything to stay safe. Use a disposable chopstick instead, if you're afraid people might laugh.  

Table dividers

https://www.reddit.com/r/singapore/comments/fo2ioa/panasonic_singapores_canteen_to_promote_social/

Posted by Redditor Takeawayla on Reddit Singapore, staff purportedly working at Panasonic were shown eating in a canteen that has a four-way divider placed on the table. 

Doesn't it remind you of the private eating booths at Ichiran Ramen in Japan? Turns out the Japanese have been way ahead in practising social distancing.

Car barrier

https://www.reddit.com/r/singapore/comments/f2s83c/next_level_paranoid/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x

Now that ride-sharing with other passengers have been put on hold, I feel more at ease when travelling on private-hire cars. For added safety, you can request to wind down the windows to ventilate the car, reducing the risk of getting infected. 

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Thai dad creates 'Covid-19 isolation room' in car to pick son up from airport

But there are paranoid drivers who have gone as far as wrapping a clear plastic sheet around the driver's seat, separating the driver from his passengers. 

It is uncertain whether the barrier will actually help cut down the driver's risk of infection, but he sure is keeping a safe distance from the passengers.

Fret not if there are no barriers, you can take the left side of the back seat, which will keep you quite a distance away from the driver. 

8 people to a lift 

PHOTO: Lianhe Zhaobao

Not a fan of squeezing into a lift that's already full? Me too! Safe distancing is a boon, in this case.

In Singapore, lifts at Maybank Tower have been sectioned into eight grids with people at the side facing towards the lift's walls so as to maintain a distance from one another, which will also help to reduce unnecessary talking and any resulting spew of respiratory fluids.

Perhaps it took a leaf from Thailand, where a similar sign was also seen in a hospital denoting which direction each passenger should face.

จากสถานการณ์ไวรัสโควิด 19 ที่กำลังแพร่ระบาดขณะนี้ โรงพยาบาลสวรรค์ประชารักษ์ มีความห่วงใยประชาชนที่มารับบริการ...

Posted by โรงพยาบาลสวรรค์ประชารักษ์ on Sunday, March 15, 2020

Marked out spaces 

 In most hawker centres and eateries, stricter safe distancing measures are now put in place with marked out seats to space out diners, thereby reducing the number of patrons at a table. 

Customers take their meal while some chairs are marked with red tapes as authorities implement social distancing at a hawker centre, amid fears about the spread of the Covid-19 novel coronavirus in Singapore on March 18, 2020. PHOTO: AFP

Supermarkets and even the minimart at my HDB block now have indicators in place for patrons to wait in line. 

Shoppers at FairPrice in Nex queueing a metre apart by following floor markers. Safe distancing will also be the norm at other public areas such as entertainment venues, restaurants, hawker centres and cinemas. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

Such safe distancing measures have also been implemented in the army. Soldiers are seen standing in marked out boxes while waiting to draw their weapons, and leaving more gaps between one another during physical training. 

As our Army continues training to maintain our operational readiness, safe distancing measures have been implemented to...

Posted by The Singapore Army on Monday, March 23, 2020

Hygiene hacks

People have devised quite a few methods when it comes to pressing lift buttons since the Covid-19 outbreak. While some are using their elbows to press the buttons, others are using a capped pen with an emptied out ink cartridge.Viral memes online also show how condoms can be worn on fingers to minimise the risk of getting the virus.

Jokes aside, the Volunteer Community Patrol has also equipped some HDB lifts with earbuds to press the buttons instead of using our bare hands.

Office workers in Thailand are going one step further by attaching safety pins to lighters to press the lift buttons. Instead of throwing away the pins, germs and bacteria can be easily killed by lighting it up on fire from the lighter. 

Have a safe distancing or virus-prevention hack to share? Tell us!

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melissagoh@asiaone.com