Pool Noodles Are Not the Best Way to Coerce Social Distancing

Customers at a cafe in Germany were asked to wear pool noodle caps to achieve social distancing, and we were blessed with this viral photo . So, of course, we had to test that.

In the video above, we tested two methods to achieve the CDC’s recommended six-foot spacing. Video producer Abu used a giant umbrella hat we found on the Internet, and senior video producer Joel attached a pair of standard pool noodles to his bike helmet.

Was any of our methods effective in keeping people six feet away from us? No. Did we feel very stupid? Yes.

Poolside Noodle Hat

The main problem with the pool noodle hat is that the noodles aren’t even long enough. The pool noodles Joel used were about four feet long, which meant he only had about two feet of “protection” on each side.

He found that the whole device was bulky, and the low-hanging branches of the trees quickly became his sworn enemy. For the most part, people ignored him and continued to walk next to him less than six feet away.

Giant Umbrella Hat

Abu’s giant umbrella hat didn’t look any better. The umbrella was heavy and uncomfortable to carry, and was not large enough to keep people six feet away.

Umbrellas usually don’t get along with the wind, and logic dictates that a giant umbrella would be even worse. The logic would be correct. The slightest breeze on a beautiful summer day would constantly knock Abu’s hat off or completely deform it.


We can now state definitively that both of these methods are completely useless. This is not the best way to enforce the six feet rule. So let’s just get back to yelling at people to get away from us.


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