U.S. company makes 'bumper tables' to keep restaurant patrons apart during COVID-19
'It makes you happy and it feels fun,' says Revolution Events, Design and Production CEO
A Maryland company has come up with a unique way for people to practice physical distancing at restaurants and other events — bumper tables.
As businesses start to reopen in many U.S. states, Revolution Events, Design and Production has created giant inflatable inner tubes that are fixed on wheels and designed to help people stay six feet (1.8 metres) apart in public spaces.
Essentially, people drive the tables around like bumper cars.
"You can move it with your torso," Erin Cermak, founder and CEO of Revolution Events, told As It Happens host Carol Off.
"You can have a cocktail in each hand and be moving that table around with just your torso and directing it in any which way."
That way, she says people have freedom to move around without encroaching on each other's space.
"That is the idea," she said. "Just to keep it safe and keep it fun."
She says the company has had interest in their product from various restaurants, outdoors cafes, ice cream shops and even a major league sports team.
"I think people are just looking for a way to maintain what they've invested the last two months in, you know, their sort of quarantine status; being safe and being in lockdown," Cermak said.
"They're done, so they want to go out, but they still want to be safe."
Cermak tested the tubes on on the boardwalk in Ocean City, Md., as her friend took pictures. At the end of the day, she says she had a very different experience inside the table than her friend did on her own.
"She said, 'You know, I could not wait to get off that boardwalk. It just felt so unsafe and it gave me anxiety,'" Cermak said.
"I really had the complete opposite. I felt absolutely fine and that was because no one could accidentally fall into me and no could come up and talk too close to me. It isn't possible. So it gives you this great self of safety."
She says the company came up with the idea after seeing different hotels presenting their floor plans on what is going to be "COVID-OK" going forward.
"It's like a ballroom with 40 people in it with like four people at a table that normally sits 12," she said. "While it's OK and everybody is doing their thing to try and be as conscious as possible, it's just not fun."
She says Revolution Events wanted to design a product that makes people feel safe, but also allows them to enjoy themselves.
"You just get in and it makes you happy and it feels fun," she said.
Written by Alexandra Kazia. Interview produced by Tayo Bero.