Japanese Amusement Park Tells Rollercoaster Riders Not to Scream Because It Could Spread Coronavirus
Anyone who has ever ridden a rollercoaster knows it is quite literally impossible not to scream during the drop, as their insides fall to their feet and a weightlessness engulfs them. A scream, at that opportune time, is often the only thing that can ground a person feeling like they’re in a free fall. Well, no more, say Japanese amusement parks that reopened in June after Covid19 shutdowns.
If someone wants to go on a rollercoaster ride, they better keep their mouth shut, the amusement park association recommends. “Scream inside your heart,” instead, a viral YouTube video from Fuji-Q Highland near Tokyo adds.
Fuji-Q is incentivizing park-goers to keep their masks on, mouths closed by asking them to participate in #KeepASeriousFace challenge for the rollercoaster cameras. The result? Mask-clad rollercoaster riders with deadpan faces and flying hair. Not everyone found this public safety task easy, however — when some riders reported it was impossible for them to stay quiet on the Fujiyama rollercoaster, Fuji-Q released a video of two poker-faced executives as examples to motivate others toward the job.
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The idea is to reduce the number of droplets released into the air, which could carry the coronavirus and exacerbate the current pandemic. To that end, all amusement parks in Japan are now requiring people to wear masks, while also restricting the number of park-goers.
The Japanese amusement park policy, while humorous on the surface, could signal what a future living with the coronavirus looks like. As governments and medical institutions scramble to find answers, the onus of surviving this period without a vaccine, adequate treatment or testing, or proper economic resources and a regular income, would be on individuals, encouraged to go about their business, even amuse themselves, but in severely restricted, dictated ways to which we never gave a second thought before 2020.
At least the numerous, seemingly never-ending months of lockdown have prepared us for this ride — we had been screaming in our hearts all along.