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Coronavirus and Walt Disney World general discussion

Wendy Pleakley

Well-Known Member
An interesting article in The Washington Post concerning "hygiene theater".

Temp checks, digital menus and 'touchless' mustard: The maddening persistence of 'hygiene theater'

The article starts with some examples:

WASHINGTON - At an ice cream shop in Rockville, Md., gloved servers scoop the frozen treat into cups, but a sign taped to the front window says "No cones: Covid." At McDonald's outlets along I-95 in Virginia, yellow police-style tape cordons off self-serve beverage stations. And at Nationals Park, baseball fans use a QR code and digital menu rather than ordering directly from the person who hands them their hot dog.​
None of these precautions provide meaningful protection against the spread of the coronavirus, safety experts say. Instead, they are examples of what critics call "hygiene theater," the deployment of symbolic tactics that do little to prevent the spread of the coronavirus but may make some anxious consumers feel safer.​

12 months ago I remember disinfecting my grocery bags after watching a segment by Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Hey, there was a lot of fear that COVID was being spread on surfaces. We just didn't know at the time.

As far as I can tell, WDW has stopped most of these practices now

Still I wonder, are there instances where WDW is still engaged in hygiene theater?

Thanks!

Edit: One example of hygiene theater that WDW ended a few weeks ago was locking open trash cans. Personally, I don't think of it as hygiene theater because when Disney first did this, it was a best practice at the time. However, if Disney had continued this, it would be considered hygiene theater.

You left out the part where they point out some reasons for some of these things. Businesses get people back in part by making people feel safe. Sure there's some overkill, but there's not a lot of downside to being overly cautious.

Defenders of hygiene theater argue that some restrictions that seem nonsensical or outdated may nonetheless be useful in helping people dive back into society. Leininger said she isn't ready to "shame businesses for hygiene theater because I have so much empathy for employers. Sometimes the way we mitigate risk is through emotions."

Personally, I'm going to be more diligent about using hand sanitizer in the future. How often does one touch railings at WDW that thousands of other people have also touched? I think regular hand cleaning will be beneficial, and isn't something I worried about before.
 

danlb_2000

Well-Known Member
An interesting article in The Washington Post concerning "hygiene theater".

Temp checks, digital menus and 'touchless' mustard: The maddening persistence of 'hygiene theater'

The article starts with some examples:

WASHINGTON - At an ice cream shop in Rockville, Md., gloved servers scoop the frozen treat into cups, but a sign taped to the front window says "No cones: Covid." At McDonald's outlets along I-95 in Virginia, yellow police-style tape cordons off self-serve beverage stations. And at Nationals Park, baseball fans use a QR code and digital menu rather than ordering directly from the person who hands them their hot dog.​
None of these precautions provide meaningful protection against the spread of the coronavirus, safety experts say. Instead, they are examples of what critics call "hygiene theater," the deployment of symbolic tactics that do little to prevent the spread of the coronavirus but may make some anxious consumers feel safer.​

12 months ago I remember disinfecting my grocery bags after watching a segment by Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Hey, there was a lot of fear that COVID was being spread on surfaces. We just didn't know at the time.

As far as I can tell, WDW has stopped most of these practices now

Still I wonder, are there instances where WDW is still engaged in hygiene theater?

Thanks!

Edit: One example of hygiene theater that WDW ended a few weeks ago was locking open trash cans. Personally, I don't think of it as hygiene theater because when Disney first did this, it was a best practice at the time. However, if Disney had continued this, it would be considered hygiene theater.

I think in some cases these procedures were put in place early on (at Disney or elsewhere) and no one has bothered to review them and make the call that they are no longer necessary.
 

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
Sure there's some overkill, but there's not a lot of downside to being overly cautious.
The downsides could become quite apparent in a fire or other emergency. A number of these solutions are not compliant with fire and life safety codes. Early on we saw some places propping open stair doors to encourage people to take them instead of elevators, but those doors are there and closed to prevent the spread of smoke and fire. Many acrylic sheets easily spread flames and are limited on how much of such materials can be present. In my experience I’ve seen a lot of small businesses rig up these frames and partitions out of cheap lumber not treated with fire retardants. Even hand sanitizer is limited in its quantities and placement. Then there are temporary/movable things like the stanchioned hand sanitizer dispensers used by Disney that are dropped into exit halls, created a hazard in the means of egress. I’ve also seen temperature scanners set up near doors where the would make it difficult for a person in a wheelchair to enter or could block egress.
 

durangojim

Well-Known Member
Just some food for thought. Could have sworn I heard some folks talking about this here this weekend🤨😄
If someone doesn't want to wear a mask, that's up to them, and I certainly won't oppose that position. However, let's not pretend masks offer no benefit at all.
 

Wendy Pleakley

Well-Known Member
Just some food for thought. Could have sworn I heard some folks talking about this here this weekend🤨😄
If someone doesn't want to wear a mask, that's up to them, and I certainly won't oppose that position. However, let's not pretend masks offer no benefit at all.

It's true. This is the longest I've gone without catching a cold.

Not that it's realistic to expect this in the future, but we could learn a few things from this pandemic. Working from home if one has a minor cold, washing hands more often, wearing a mask if sick and/or in crowded environments, etc.
 

Wendy Pleakley

Well-Known Member
My Dad caught a cold this weekend and it’s been super annoying to him. Not everything about returning to normal is a positive.

There's also the stress of getting a cold and not knowing if it's COVID or not.

I've had a cold at WDW in the past. It's just something one deals with, and does their best not to make anyone else sick.

Now one might wonder if they have a cold or just minor COVID. Should they get tested? Should they isolate for two weeks?
 

willtravel

Well-Known Member
Just some food for thought. Could have sworn I heard some folks talking about this here this weekend🤨😄
If someone doesn't want to wear a mask, that's up to them, and I certainly won't oppose that position. However, let's not pretend masks offer no benefit at all.
Could this also be that people had not been going out like they were pre Covid or more people worked from home or social distancing? I don't think anyone can say this was all because of masks.
 
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DisneyCane

Well-Known Member
Just some food for thought. Could have sworn I heard some folks talking about this here this weekend🤨😄
If someone doesn't want to wear a mask, that's up to them, and I certainly won't oppose that position. However, let's not pretend masks offer no benefit at all.
During the time of mask mandates and policies, I've heard plenty of people that sounded like they had a cold. Coughing, sneezing and/or sounding congested. It is a myth that there has been no other respiratory illness during COVID mitigations.

The flu season was practically zero but I still posit that that has more to do with travel from Asia (where the yearly flu outbreak originates) being restricted than anything else.
 

DisneyDebRob

Well-Known Member
During the time of mask mandates and policies, I've heard plenty of people that sounded like they had a cold. Coughing, sneezing and/or sounding congested. It is a myth that there has been no other respiratory illness during COVID mitigations.

The flu season was practically zero but I still posit that that has more to do with travel from Asia (where the yearly flu outbreak originates) being restricted than anything else.
Yeah.. no. When it drops to 3-6% of a usual year you have to look at the biggest reasons for it. It was virtually non existent this year. Again, doctors seem to disagree with you about the main reasons for that. Of course international travel helped in cases, but masks, social distancing and washing and sanitizing and kids not being in school, which is huge for flu transmissions were the main reasons.

 

Kevin_W

Well-Known Member
The downsides could become quite apparent in a fire or other emergency. A number of these solutions are not compliant with fire and life safety codes.

That's a good point I had not thought of. My company sells composites resins that are used in construction (often ceiling panels) and there is quite a bit of work that goes into UL certification and fire testing for these panels. The acrylic plexiglass that has popped up everywhere probably doesn't reach those same standards.
 

ABQ

Well-Known Member
Could this also be that people had not been going out like they were pre Covid or more people worked from home or social distancing? I don't think you can say this was all because of masks.
Agreed. It does seem that every article similar to this, and there are many, seem to focus so hard on the mask aspect, and it certainly has its merits. But social distancing, not going out to dinner at all, working from home, not traveling. Keeping to yourself is easily as attributable to not catching a cold or flu than just wearing a mask. No one can say for sure, but if the majority of the population wear masks but behave exactly as they did in 2019, you'd see cold and flu spread again. How much, unknown, but masks are/were just 1 important factor in the entire mitigation plan.
 

Incomudro

Well-Known Member
Agreed. It does seem that every article similar to this, and there are many, seem to focus so hard on the mask aspect, and it certainly has its merits. But social distancing, not going out to dinner at all, working from home, not traveling. Keeping to yourself is easily as attributable to not catching a cold or flu than just wearing a mask. No one can say for sure, but if the majority of the population wear masks but behave exactly as they did in 2019, you'd see cold and flu spread again. How much, unknown, but masks are/were just 1 important factor in the entire mitigation plan.
The happiest place on earth closed, as did every other theme park, bars, schools, concerts, plays, movie and television production, sports events in stadiums, beaches, weddings, restaurants, churches and other religious gatherings, much public transportation to work - for those that even went to work (many still haven't gone back) - came to a stop, and masking is given virtually all the credit for reductions in rate of spread.
 

Parker in NYC

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
The happiest place on earth closed, as did every other theme park, bars, schools, concerts, plays, movie and television production, sports events in stadiums, beaches, weddings, restaurants, churches and other religious gatherings, much public transportation to work - for those that even went to work (many still haven't gone back) - came to a stop, and masking is given virtually all the credit for reductions in rate of spread.
Fine, I'll start a COVID Awards committee and we can give out awards to the masks, the social distancing, the staying home, the everything. I can't say Plexiglass is in the running but I'm sure voters will bend if pressed.
 

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