Customers at a cafe in Germany were asked to wear pool noodle hats to enforce social distancing and we were blessed with this viral photo. So, of course, we had to test it.
In the video below, we tested two methods of enforcing the recommended distance of 1.5 metres. Video producer Abu used a giant umbrella hat we found online, and senior video producer Joel attached a pair of standard pool noodles to his biking helmet.
Were either of our methods effective at keeping people 1.5 metres away from us? No. Did we feel very silly? Yes.
Pool noodle hat
The fundamental problem with the pool noodle hat is that the noodles aren’t even long enough. The pool noodles that Joel used were around 1.2 metres in length, which meant he only had about 0.6 metres of “protection” on either side.
He found the entire contraption to be unwieldy, and low-hanging tree branches quickly became his nemesis. For the most part, people ignored him and continued to walk alongside him at less-than-1.5 metre distances.
Giant umbrella hat
Abu’s giant umbrella hat didn’t fare much better. The umbrella was heavy and uncomfortable to wear and was not nearly large enough to keep people 1.5 metres away.
Umbrellas don’t generally get along with wind, and logic would indicate that a giant umbrella would be even worse. Logic would be correct. The slightest of breezes on a beautiful summer’s day continuously pushed the hat off of Abu’s head or completely bent it out of shape.
We can now conclusively state that both of these methods are absolutely wack. These are not good ways to enforce the 1.5 metres apart rule. So let’s just all go back to yelling at people to get away from us.