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…
Genuine question, how would one sticker an escalator step given all the grooves? It seems to me the paint is used out of necessity and convenience, though one would have thought they could strip it off eventually.
I don’t think stickers would have been a better solution – just signage at the bottom or perhaps a sticker on the side that could be pulled off. But the paint was just draconian and struck me as unnecessary.
Fair enough, I was going off your sentence “These were not stickers, but paint…as in permanent.” seeming to imply that stickers were an alternative, my mistake.
To be clear I think it is unnecessary to follow those markings now, but I hardly think they are unique to Bogota. I have seen similar “permanent” markings on pavements and escalators various places around the world which will fade with time but I am not sure I would go so far as saying it was draconian, though respect your right to. With hindsight a lot of restrictions went further than we now know to be necessary.
Given when they were painted it was alien for people not to crowd together so the prompt might have been seen as helpful at the time more than a sign most people wouldn’t read. Particularly because symbology is so much easier to understand for the foreigners using an airport that may not understand the local language.
Maybe we should just acknowledge the whole thing was a scamdemic and none of these measures were ever necessary?
About 7 million people disagree with you. Oh wait, that can’t… they’re dead
Many many more than this will die due to putting off necessary medical treatments because of the hype that was created around covid. And you promoted it. You are a moron focused on one thing (COVID) while the rest of the world continues. And it’s not a pretty picture. I hope you are wearing your mask right now and forever – if not you are a hypocrite.
Only innumerate people who have no conception of statistics would say such a thing. As if not for Covid, these people would still be alive today. People died before Covid, and will continue to die after Covid, and from all manner of things. Almost all of these people died not FROM Covid, but WITH Covid, and most of the rest had precarious health situations in which their deaths were hastened by hours or days because of Covid. The number of healthy people whose deaths were proximately caused by Covid is small, and certainly much less than other causes of death for which we accept the risk as part of normal life. It was always predictable, but in the fullness of time with all of the knowledge gained we can only conclude in hindsight that all of the damage to the world we caused by Covid was completely unnecessary and not worth the trade off.
It was all a big conspiracy by the elevator painting companies
Stand on the red xs and help the paint – and the psychosis – wear off.
Hey imposter… look at me. I’m the Billy Bob now.
Matthew, I am making an assumption here, but you have never lived in Central or South America. I have and things there don’t generally work like the States.
Some manager said mark the escalator for social distancing and gave an approximate amount of space.
That manager did not say how to do it, just to get it done ASAP so that the Manager’s boss doesn’t get angry at him.
So the guy tasked with marking the escalators didn’t think about the future, he thought about doing what he was told and spray paint was the fastest and easiest solution.
How petty can you get?! Slow news day. Better report on how BOG security will not accept E-boarding passes. Just as you and many others contend masking and distancing had no effect on managing COVID there is plenty of evidence of massive spreading in the early months when none of these measures were in effect . The combination of masking/distancing plus widespread vaccination did work in countries maximizing (though not oppressively as in China) these mitigation efforts. Why did countries like Canada and most in Western European have infection and death rates of half that (per capita) in the US overall and even greater among several Red states.
In economic terms, decals peel and wear and must be replaced several times a year at a cost likely much higher than a single paint job. But also recognize there are life/maintenance cycles for escalators (just like airplanes) and those step units will be replaced in a few months, likely by unpainted units. The painted once’s will be scrubbed clean (ever see the guck that accumulates within escalators…it ain’t pleasant!) and the markings removed for reinstallatiin.
So much ado about nothing…but click bate I’m sure.
As somewhat of a natural introvert, I enjoy social distancing and feel uncomfortable with folks getting to close. Personal space is a valuable commodity. While it may possibly help with viruses spreading, or not, it is simply polite. And quite a few people have abandoned manners, so please keep the reminders.
Who in their right mind would want to travel from Heathrow to Houston via BOG ??? Next time do it via EZE, a few hours more leisurely fantastic hours on an air tube !
I wanted to review Avianca and use miles.
To me, this is a reminder of a brief moment in time where we were all doing our part and working together to keep each other safe. We didn’t know what exactly would work, so we tried things. Some worked out and some didn’t, but this paint is a monument to people trying their best.
This is thin rationalization for ruining lives, causing children to lose their educational opportunities and social awareness, causing people to lose their livelihoods, causing people to die alone without loved ones around them, causing a general deterioration of almost every aspect of society . . . all while government workers still got paid to stay home and rich people in the suburbs didn’t have to commute. This was a mass tragedy inflicted by people like you whom have made themselves feel heroic because of it.
You flew London to Houston via Bogota? You must like flying.
I sure do.
I disagree. The red “X”‘s are potentially helpful in creating airspace between people and reduce disease transmission. It’s very complex because the reduction in escalator capacity may cause undesirable crowding before the escalator.
Millions have died from Covid-19. Millions have long covid and are suffering. Too many people have bad practices. In fact, the majority of people are like that.