The Coronavirus pandemic has made the last couple of months incredibly difficult around the globe. Many people were forced into quarantining themselves against the potential spread of the virus, something which has everyone ready for the reopening of the world – for better or worse. In an effort to try and make this transition back into society as safe as possible, one restaurant in Virginia – named The Inn at Little Washington – is taking some rather creepy precautions. In fact, The Inn at Little Washington is now using mannequins to make sure the restaurant will only be filled at 50% capacity. This is intended to help with social distancing.
As reported by CNN, the social distancing technique is definitely a creepy one. It’s going to be uneasy for some people in general to enter society post-quarantine, and so being in a half-empty restaurant doesn’t sound that reassuring. Much less placing mannequins at all the tables right beside customers.
Patrick O’Connell, chef and proprietor of The Inn at Little Washington, made the following statement regarding the use of mannequins:
“I’ve always had a thing for mannequins — they never complain about anything and you can have lots of fun dressing them up.”
Don’t worry, if that’s not creepy enough yet, it gets better. As an added bonus, the mannequins aren’t just dressed like normal people. No, they’re dressed in 1940’s clothing in an effort to “capture a post-World War II celebration.”
The costumes were provided by a local theater, named Signature Theatre, whose managing director Maggie Boland seemed happy to oblige. She made the following comment in support of the idea to use mannequins at the restaurant as a means for social distancing:
“When The Inn at Little Washington reached out with the idea to costume mannequins, we thought it was a fun and creative way for them to conform to social distancing guidelines,” she said. “We jumped at the chance to collaborate with another of Virginia’s great cultural destinations in support of their reopening.”
It’s no doubt a particularly creepy idea, especially if you’re familiar with the imagery from films like Tourist Trap or House of Wax. Nevertheless, O’Connell insists that it will be a good step for easing people back into the world:
“We’re all craving to gather and see other people right now,” O’Connell said. “They don’t all necessarily need to be real people.”
While I can’t agree that placing around mannequins would be the best answer for people’s desires to socialize, it’ll certainly be interesting to see what other similar social distancing ideas come out during these post-quarantine months.
For those interested, The Inn at Little Washington will be reopening on May 29, where guests will be able to see the mannequins and even take photos with them while the restaurant will be operating at only 50% capacity.