Elevators are small, enclosed spaces where you meet strangers. They can also act as an essential mode of transport for the elderly, the disabled, or those who struggle to climb stairs.
While many people face travel restrictions in the time of coronavirus and cannot move around as freely in their own homeland, some things need to stay operational, even in the worst of times. You can avoid enclosed spaces as much as you want and opt to take the stairs or cycle to work instead of taking the subway, but sometimes, you just can't avoid it.
Hospitals, for example, need to keep their elevators functional at all times. They are the most efficient way for people to transport patients back and forth. Many public transport hubs and residential buildings also cannot make do with just stairs. But don't worry; below is a guide to elevator etiquette that will keep you safe at all times.
Steer Clear of Elevator Buttons
Guidelines by the World Health Organization convey that you must avoid touching common surfaces to keep yourself safe from the virus. Regardless of COVID-19, traditional push elevator buttons are the culprit to the spread of microbes as they are touched by hundreds of people each day.
Instead of using your bare fingers to touch the keys, use a gloved finger or the back of a pencil. If you absolutely need to touch the button, make sure to wash your hands or sanitize as soon as you are out of the vicinity.
Avoid Crowded Elevators
You push the elevator button and wait for it to arrive while checking your watch every two seconds. You’re getting late. When the elevator finally opens, you see that it is already full. What do you do? Do you push your way in? The answer is no. Consider taking the next one instead. Better safe than sorry, right? Or, take the stairs.
In COVID-19 times, it is best to travel in an elevator with only a few people so that you can limit the spread of germs transmitted by respiratory droplets.
Social Distancing is a Must
Social distancing does not only apply to schools, workplaces, and public places. It also applies to elevators. If you find yourself in an elevator with other people, ensure that there is a one-meter distance from you and your passengers.
The Finnish way of travelling in a crowded elevator is to avoid talking. In case you have to cough or sneeze, turn away from others, and sneeze into the crook of your elbow to avoid droplets from spreading.
There’s no denying that passing gas is a natural bodily function that can’t be avoided. However, if you are in an elevator with other people and feel that you need to pass gas, don’t do it.
You can either step out of the elevator by pressing the button of the floor closest to you at that moment, or you can hold it in till you reach your destination. No one wants to breathe in the odour of a smelly elevator!