How to reduce usage of elevator buttons amid Coronavirus scare? These creative ideas might help you

Elevator buttons have become a breeding ground for the Coronavirus to spread rapidly

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The novel Coronavirus, first reported from Wuhan in China, on December 31, 2019, has been declared to be a pandemic and the whole world is in a panic state as death toll now stands at 4,720 globally till now. As many as 128,343 confirmed cases have been reported from almost 127 countries with 59,422 active cases, as on Friday, March 13, 2020.

Though it is believed to have started likely from a wet market in Wuhan, it has now been spread to countries beyond borders. In the wake of this virus outbreak, people are requested to avoid public places or gatherings and not to touch any public areas.

Also read: Here's how China uses zero-contact technology for a safe elevator usage

However, elevator buttons in offices, apartments and public areas are now said to be a breeding ground for the COVID-19 to spread rapidly as they are being used by many multiple times a day. Recently, few videos of some miscreants deliberately trying to spread the deadly virus by rubbing their saliva on lift buttons had gone viral on social media. Therefore, people all over the globe are coming forward with some creative ideas in an attempt to avoid direct contact with the buttons while using the elevators.

Here are some of the creative ideas many have been trying out:

Creative ideas to minimise the use of elevator buttons amid the Coronavirus outbreak.
Creative ideas to minimise the use of elevator buttons amid the Coronavirus outbreak. Twitter

Toothpicks/ Earbuds

Some of the residential buildings in China have already provided toothpicks inside the elevators so that the residents can use them for operating the lifts. Earbuds can also be an alternative for this purpose.

Tissue papers

In some of the videos, tissue papers are seen placed inside the lifts for people to use them for pressing the buttons, so that they don't touch them directly with their fingers.


Multiple videos of people using lighters as "sanitizers" to press the lift buttons and immediately lighting them "to kill the virus" have surfaced online. Though we are not sure if the fire can kill the Coronavirus, it is one of the popular tricks used, especially in China.

Pen with a cap

Few netizens have also shared how they are using ball pens (refill removed) to press the lift button. After pressing the buttons, the pen should be closed with its cap.


Looks like condoms have also become a popular "tool" to protect oneself from contracting the COVID-19 from the elevator buttons.

Using elbows

Don't worry, if you do not have any of the above-mentioned items. Why not try using your own elbow to press the lift buttons as you can't touch your face with your elbow. But make sure you wash it soon.

Or maybe a DIY lipstick

AI-operated lifts

Meanwhile, a video of a Beijing-based company testing an artificial intelligence-enabled lift has also surfaced online so that people can give voice commands instead of pressing the lift buttons.

Do not try this one

However, someone has even tried to operate a lift in Hougang, Singapore, using his legs as a viral picture shows his shoe marks on it. But it has to be noted that this is definitely not a creative way and people must refrain from these disgusting practices.

WHO's advice

According to the World Health Organisation, the most effective way to avoid Coronavirus infection is by maintaining personal hygiene. Make sure to wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use alcohol-based sanitizers.

Also, it is necessary to regularly clean and sanitise surfaces you often touch including the laptops, keyboards, work station, telephones, mobile phones, toilet flush buttons, and doorknobs, among many others.

This article was first published on March 13, 2020
Related topics : Coronavirus