These Wooden Sticks from Japan Aren't Toothpicks, They're Anti-Coronavirus Button Pressers

Nationwide Culture Coronavirus 2020.05.27
This Japanese toothpick maker is changing tack in the middle of a crisis.
Image Source: Kikusui Sangyo
The outbreak of COVID-19 has affected people and businesses in more ways than we can count. People are staying home when they can, wearing surgical masks when out and about, and doing everything possible to avoid touching germy surfaces or their faces. Some companies have been able to adapt to the new direction society has taken, and others haven't. And while the whole situation has left many of us feeling a little lost and directionless, in others it has inspired some serious creative streaks.

It's tough out there these days, and Japanese toothpick manufacturer Kikusui Sangyo is doing its best to stay on the right side of this economic turn. They've been making toothpicks for 60 years, but now they've got a new product making a splash in Japan. They're calling them "Toothpick Store No-Contact Sticks."
Image Source: Kikusui Sangyo
The idea is simple: instead of touching surfaces with your fingers while you're out of the house, possibly spreading coronavirus to yourself or others, you can grab one of these little wooden sticks (about 7.5 cm or 3 in long) and use them to press whatever needs pressing. Credit card machines, elevator buttons, vending machines, the list goes on. The idea was inspired by pictures of Wuhan residents using toothpicks to press elevator buttons, and Kikusui Sangyo managing director Akie Suenobu thought she could provide people with something even better, and less likely to poke the user in the fingers. Without fear of being stabbed by a pointy end, people using no-contact sticks can do exactly as the packaging suggests, and "poke to your heart's content."
Image Source: Kikusui Sangyo
To avoid spreading COVID via the wood itself, the no-contact sticks are made to be disposable, and they even come with their own little disposal container. Once a stick has been used and come in contact with germs, it can be safely stored away until the user finds a place to throw it out. Plus the sticks are made from recycled lumber that has been damaged and dampened in some manufacturing process, making it unusable for other purposes, so the materials are eco-friendly too.
Image Source: Kikusui Sangyo
The 120-stick packs are being sold for 568 yen, a symbolic price. In Japanese, the number 567 can be read as "corona," so the 568 yen price tag is meant to show how we can win out against coronavirus. Because sales tax is generally included when showing the price, however, they're available online for 625 yen. Now it looks like the sticks aren't just winning, they're blowing coronavirus out of the water. You can still buy the no-contact sticks from Kikusui Sangyo via the Japanese Amazon product page, but get to it before Japanese hospitals buy all the stock out from under you (really).

Information from Asahi Shinbun, Official Webpage
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