An escalator (of all things) at El Dorado International Airport in Bogota was a visible reminder of both overreaction and underestimation in a world turned upside down by COVID-19.
Social Distancing Via Paint In Bogota Airport
After stepping off my Avianca flight from London to Bogota, it was 2:58 am local time, which gave me plenty of time to wander through the airport before the lounge opened, let alone board my connecting flight to Houston. First, however, I had to proceed through the arrivals corridor to international connections and re-clear security.
It was there that I came across an escalator that had been spray-painted in such a manner to promote social distancing:
As you can see, every fourth escalator step included a pair of yellow shoes meant to signal where you should stand while the three steps in between it had red Xs.
These were not stickers, but paint…as in permanent.
Talk about an overreaction! Did they really think that travel would never return or that people would be afraid to stand near each other once again? Is defacing public conveyances really the best way to prevent social distancing, even during a time in which it seemed helpful? All this reminds me of the perpetually empty hand sanitizing stations we see today across cities and towns around the world.
No one paid attention to the many Xs as crowds gathered on the escalator to go upstairs. I bet people pay even less attention today.
Visible markers like this are a sad reminder of a very dismal period in human history.
Perhaps the only thing BOG can hope for is that the paint eventually fades or wears off…