Picture this: You’re at an amusement park and you’re super excited. It’s been months since you’ve been anywhere like a playground or an amusement park, so you’re extremely excited to finally get your fun- and scream-on. Woo hoo! You get into a roller coaster and strap in. You’re ready to go, but wait, the announcer says, “Please remember to keep your screams inside your heart.” Huh? In other words, please don’t open your mouth and scream out loud! Is this a joke, you wonder?
It may sound a bit odd, but that’s what some amusement parks are kindly asking their visitors to do while riding on roller coasters. Why? It’s for a very sound reason: to keep that nasty COVID-19 from spreading! As countries slowly re-open, there’s a concern that more people will get sick as they begin to visit crowded places such as amusement parks. One way to prevent the spread of such an awful virus is to ask people to wear facemasks. After all, more and more studies show that the primary way to transmit COVID-19 is through respiratory droplets. These droplets leave a person’s body when they cough, sneeze, and yes, even when they talk. As a precaution, a group of Japan’s theme park operators has asked its thrill-seeking visitors to please “scream inside their hearts” to keep COVID-19 from spreading to other visitors. After all, when you scream, you open your mouth, right? Along with this request are other guidelines to keep everyone safe at the parks. What are some of these other guidelines? Masks—of course—are required, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t seem welcoming. Park staff should try and communicate with guests in other ways such as smiling with their eyes and using friendly hand gestures. Those employees who cannot wear masks while working (namely those in costume), must stay at least a meter away from visitors. And conversations? Those should be limited or as short as possible. Some of these guidelines may seem extremely different from what we’re used to, but if these temporary changes mean less COVID-19, we’re all for it—wouldn’t you be too?