Hygiene theater

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Hygiene theater is the practice of taking hygiene measures that are intended to give the illusion of improved safety while doing little to actually reduce any risk. During the COVID-19 pandemic, hygiene theater has often been performed by retail businesses in an effort to ameliorate concerns of potential customers, while actually doing little to mitigate the risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7]

HistoryEdit

The term was coined in a March 6, 2020 blog post by Bob Cooney, a recreational virtual-reality consultant,[8] where he suggested that VR-arcade operators "practice hygiene theater" for customers as the COVID-19 pandemic began.[9] On July 27, 2020, Derek Thompson, a staff writer for The Atlantic, used the term when referring to hygiene measures being taken during the COVID-19 pandemic that have done little to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and have provided a false sense of security.[1][3]

Measures taken against COVID-19 that have been referred to as hygiene theater include deep cleaning (aside from in hospitals), temperature checks, plexiglass barriers, and the spraying of disinfectants by humans and robots.[1][2][3][5] Cleaning and disinfection measures have persisted despite widespread recognition that SARS-CoV-2 rarely, if ever, spreads through surface contact.[7][10]

In the United States, many forms of hygiene theater were still in use in some establishments in June 2021.[11] Organizations such as the Kennedy Center continued to deploy temperature checks, even while acknowledging that the benefits were psychological, not medicinal.[11] However, amidst the general reopening of the US, the specifics of what practices were done were varied enormously, as companies updated rules and continued to adapt to customer behavior.[11]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Thompson, Derek (July 27, 2020). "Hygiene Theater Is a Huge Waste of Time". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on April 8, 2021. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
  2. ^ a b Thompson, Derek (February 8, 2021). "Hygiene Theater Is Still a Huge Waste of Time". The Atlantic. Retrieved February 22, 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ a b c Landsverk, Gabby (October 14, 2020). "5 bogus coronavirus protection measures that are just 'hygiene theater' — and 2 things that actually do work". Insider. Retrieved February 22, 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ Palumbo, Alysha (November 24, 2020). "Is Deep Cleaning Just 'Hygiene Theater' in the Age of COVID?". WBTS-CD. Retrieved February 22, 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ a b Thorbecke, Catherine; Lambert, Alexandra (September 20, 2020). "'Hygiene theater': Disinfecting sprays and sanitizing robots alone won't keep you safe from COVID-19". ABC News. Retrieved February 22, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ Ives, Mike; Mandavilli, Apoorva (November 19, 2020). "The Coronavirus Is Airborne Indoors. Why Are We Still Scrubbing Surfaces?". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 22, 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ a b Anthes, Emily (April 8, 2021). "Has the Era of Overzealous Cleaning Finally Come to an End? -- This week, the C.D.C. acknowledged what scientists have been saying for months: The risk of catching the coronavirus from surfaces is low". The New York Times. Archived from the original on April 8, 2021.
  8. ^ "Pandemic Travel Buzzwords We Hope Get Left Behind in 2020" Skift.com. Retrieved 2022-01-16.
  9. ^ "Word of the week: Hygiene theater" Fritinancy. Retrieved 2022-01-16.
  10. ^ Lewis, Dyani (January 29, 2021). "COVID-19 rarely spreads through surfaces. So why are we still deep cleaning?". Retrieved April 10, 2021.
  11. ^ a b c Fisher, Marc (June 14, 2021). "Temp checks, digital menus and 'touchless' mustard: The maddening persistence of 'hygiene theater'". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved June 14, 2021.