Do Toothpicks Cause COVID-19?
It's a simple question, and one that I bring up because of a dining experience on Friday night.
We were out celebrating our now ten year old's birthday. My mother asked to take her out to dinner for one of her favorite meals, crab legs. The fact that the ten year old's palate is only best satisfied by the likes of sushi, crab legs, and ice cream in any form I'll blame on her mother.
I won't name the restaurant we ventured to for crab legs, but it's a chain restaurant and they primarily sell seafood. On the way out, I did what I always do at restaurants and looked for the toothpicks. After not seeing any, I asked if they had some with the reply of: "we stopped having toothpicks when COVID started". Before I could even say anything, my mother replied: "Yeah, because toothpicks cause COVID". The masked individual who I will assume from their attire was the manager, just stared at my mother in response.
I spent some considerable time on the CDC website looking for this thought that toothpicks are spreading COVID-19. I didn't find anything specific on toothpick guidance. I even did a search in the COVID-19 area of their pages and came up with nothing. I fully understand when things started to open up that the idea was probably to not hand over anything that someone might drop a mask for to stick in their mouth. However, this restaurant doesn't even have a mask policy currently, at least not one that I noticed posted anywhere.
It's also odd to me, the restaurant that isn't giving out toothpicks because of potential COVID-19 spreading, gives out shrimp on wooden skewers, or large toothpicks to the trained eye. This is just another silly example of people throwing a dart at a board and choosing what they think will or won't keep people safe. No toothpicks but there is staff not in masks, no toothpicks but there are no barriers between booths or tables. It's not the kind of thing to keep me from going to a restaurant, but I guess next time I'll have to ask for an extra skewer on my way out.
Have you experienced other odd ideas like toothpicks cause the spread of COVID-19, while out dining? You can view the full current CDC guidance for restaurants and individuals choosing to go out in public HERE.