Old customs and new rules in the elevator

  On March 23, 1857, in the Howard Department Store in New York, the world’s first passenger elevator began to carry customers up and down five floors. It was Elisha Otis who invented the car safety device who installed the elevator. His invention can prevent the car from falling out of control after the rope suddenly breaks. The owner of the department store believes that novel elevators can attract curious customers and may allow them to stay in the store and spend some time. Before long, office buildings and residential buildings in New York were installed with elevators and supporting steel frame structures. Elevators have raised buildings to new heights, and taller and taller buildings have caused population density to soar. Thus, a metropolis with a population of tens of millions of skyscrapers came into being. The most valuable part of a tall building is no longer the floors close to the ground, but the high-rise buildings away from the stench and noise of the streets.
  The elevator has completely changed the appearance of the city. At the same time, subtle changes are also revealed in the car wall-the elevator has nurtured new etiquette. Early elevators were posted inside and outside of the elevator guide: fast in and out, standing inside the elevator facing the door (the reason for this rule is because some early elevators have benches on the rear car wall, and passengers will naturally face Car door). However, by the end of the 1880s, with the popularity of elevators, men found themselves in a dilemma: Should a woman walk into the elevator, should she take off her hat and salute? People can regard elevators as private spaces as well as public transportation, so it is difficult to tell which etiquette is appropriate. In 1886, the “New York Times” proposed a compromise: in densely populated public buildings, men in elevators do not need to take off their hats, but in hotels or private apartment buildings, they should take off their hats and salute.
  The rules governing behavior in elevators are mostly reasonable. Everyone who works in an office building is familiar with an unwritten rule: People who take the elevator should divide the space inside the elevator equally, stand facing the car door, and stay away from others as much as possible to show courtesy. It is also a common practice to minimize conversations when the passengers on the same elevator remain silent or only say hello. Unless you walk into an elevator where there is no one, people who are talking should pause the conversation during the elevator, so as not to make others feel rejected. It is best to avoid eye contact. It is also rude to ask others to hold the elevator and wait forever. Singing, whistling, eating, and farting are strictly prohibited in the elevator. Failure to follow the rules of standing facing the car door can also overwhelm other passengers.
  Today, the new crown epidemic has completely rewritten the familiar rules mentioned above. Office buildings, hotels and apartment buildings are all looking for ways to ensure social distancing while keeping elevators running. The number of people allowed in the elevator is strictly limited, and the standing position is marked with a mark on the ground. The new regulations also require passengers to stand facing the car wall instead of the car door. Wearing a mask has become an obligation for passengers. In Korea, not talking in the elevator has been upgraded from daily etiquette to mandatory. It is best to press the button with your elbow or key. Of course, passengers still have to fast in and out, after all, no one wants to stay in a closed car with others.
  Some behaviors that were considered normal in the past will only cause panic, because no one knows how long the virus particles will stay in the air inside the elevator after the infected person walks out of the elevator.
  It took decades for the original elevator etiquette to be formed and developed. The new regulations to be enforced do not take so long. In a limited confined space, few things can be more frightening than awkward social interactions, but the new crown virus is one of them.