Schools in China are slowly reopening after a long hiatus because of the coronavirus outbreak. Despite students returning to classrooms, social distancing guidelines and other preventive measures are being followed in reopened schools to prevent the highly infectious disease from spreading.
One school in the city of Hangzhou even found a novel way to enforce social distancing by letting the students wear DIY hats with 3-foot-long horizontal plumes extending on either side, according to The Paper.
Pictures shared by the Chinese news outlet shows first graders at the Yangzheng Elementary School sitting in a classroom with desks arranged in single rows. The students, with their faces covered with masks, were seen wearing colourful headgear with extended plumes made out of cardboard and, in one case, balloons. The school allowed students to wear the headgear to remind them to keep their distance from each other.
The unique social distancing method found appreciation on social media after photos of the students were shared on Twitter by Duke University professor Eileen Chengyin Chow. Ms Chow, while sharing the pics, said that the students’ hats were reminiscent of headgear worn during the Song Dynasty rule in China. The long plumes were meant to prevent officials from conspiring quietly with each other at court, she explained.
First graders back to school in Hangzhou, with social distancing headgear
The long horizontal plumes on Song Dynasty toppers were supposedly to prevent officials from conspiring sotto voce with one another while at court—so social distancing was in fact their original function! pic.twitter.com/0AOKsWE1xH
— eileen chengyin chow (@chowleen) April 27, 2020