Elevator Owner in Japan Adapting to a new COVID-19 World

An elevator owner in Japan posted a few pictures recently showing how he is adapting to a new COVID-19 world, SoraNews24 says. One photo, titled, “You Never Know Who’s Been in There Before You,” shows a group of passengers apparently dressed as COVID-19 as if for Halloween, standing ominously inside an elevator cab. It’s actually pretty funny. The other is more utilitarian, showing blocks of Styrofoam holding scores of toothpicks next to the elevator button panel and outside the elevator. The second, toothpick picture, raised a few issues with this scenario, such as the toothpicks being too closely packed together, and the fact that someone sneezing or coughing on them could ruin the whole lot. The best suggestion: “One of the toothpicks should have ‘winner’ written on it, like popsicle sticks do, and then get a prize.

Celebrating a Milestone

With the hashtag #TBT (throwback Thursday), the University of North Carolina Charlotte College of Arts + Architecture posted on Instagram this photo of Gray, left, with now-retired architecture professor John Nelson, in the Arts Quad in 1999.
Gray

The University of North Carolina Charlotte College of Arts + Architecture has joined ELEVATOR WORLD in celebrating a milestone for Dr. Lee Gray — the publication of his 200th EW article, “The First Elevator in the Texas State Capitol, Part One,” which appears in this month’s issue. Gray, a professor of Architectural History and senior associate dean, joined the faculty at UNCC in 1992 and, according to an April 2 post on the Arts + Architecture Instagram page, “decided it was time to write a book. Asking himself, ‘What’s going to be the most fun?’ he landed on his topic: elevators.” It was in 2003 that he became an EW correspondent, penning monthly history columns (with occasional other pieces), and, according to the post, has since become the “ONLY fulltime elevator historian in the WORLD.” As such, he is the go-to answer man — if the question is “elevators” — for numerous national media outlets, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, The History Channel, National Geographic and PBS, to name a few. In a reply to the post, EW’s Instagram congratulated Gray, adding, “Our magazine wouldn’t be the same without his contributions. We look forward to his Escalator History book in 2021!” Faithful EW readers don’t have to wait that long for more from Gray, however — he’ll have another article in May’s issue, and for June he will be the subject of our popular “10 Questions” feature.

Creativity in Cabins Combats Coronavirus

Our last post, “Fighting Coronavirus,” mentioned using toothpicks to push elevator buttons, but the concept is being taken to another level in this elevator. As The National reports, this elevator in Dubai has introduced a toothpick-bottle-foam method, instead of a bottle of hand sanitizer.

While the “six-foot rule” of social distancing can’t be followed in most cabins, like the one here, it seems prudent to do what you can in such an enclosed space as a typical elevator cab. This Central Park Towers, DIFC elevator (also in Dubai) sports tape and footprint stickers to help give guidelines for a bit of separation.

The article also has another example of the toothpick method that confuses me a bit and a video of it in use in another elevator. So, head over there and stay safe!