I suppose if the pandemic has a silver lining it might be getting to know a lot more about my neighbors, community, and city. For example, the City of Charlotte’s guidelines for reopening are industry-specific and they include advice tailored for “Axe Throwing Venues”.
Wait, what? Axe throwing venues are a thing? And we have one or more here in town? Did y’all know about this and not tell me?
I have questions.
Among other things the guidelines require the venue to ensure customers observe “safe social distancing”. Which begs the question – what exactly is the safe distance when axe throwing is involved? Maybe 30 feet for hatchets and 15 for long-handled axes? Is the safe distance relative to the number of beers consumed? Unfortunately, the guidelines seem to leave that up to the venue management and fail to provide even general advice. I know it is six feet for COVID-19 but surely that distance is greater when sharpened ballistic weapons are involved, right?
The guidelines specify that isopropyl alcohol must be in concentrations of 60% or better, but it isn’t clear to me whether that is for disinfecting surfaces or for wound treatment. And is COVID-19 really the risk we care most about at this point? The same section in the guidelines contains advice for bowling alleys and specifically requires that those employees to clean your balls often. But there are no requirements to keep axes sharp and free of rust. Apparently it’s come down to “We’ll tell ya how to avoid COVID-19, but when it comes to tetanus and deep penetrating wounds you are on your own.”
And as a former bowler with some experience in the matter I question the use of alcohol at any concentration to clean your balls, especially after waxing them. Governor Cooper may be fine with that, but to me it seems…well, extreme. If they insist on this procedure though, it should be done once as you enter the bowling alley and that’s it. Not repeatedly during game play. Otherwise the mere sight of employees walking around with a bottle of alcohol in one gloved hand and a rag in the other would tend to throw bowlers off their game.
Regarding PPE, the guidance says “Gloves and masks may be required, and usage could vary based on the level of interaction with customers, namely handling point of sale interactions.” This seems sensible to me. There should be no need for chain mail armor when using the cash register. I’m sure the participants need robust protection from flying axes, and waitresses probably need armor when serving beer, but the register should ideally be an axe-free zone. I’m a bit surprised though that no mention is made in the PPE section of the guidelines as to protecting the torso or lower body.
It also has not escaped me that the guidelines for escape rooms are in the same section as those for axe throwing venues. I have never been to either an axe throwing venue or an escape room so I’m unclear as to why these are in the same section. If you attend an escape room, is the person with the axe the thing that you are trying to escape from? Do they charge admittance to the people going to the escape room and the people throwing axes at them? Because that just seems like double dipping to me.
I opened this post saying the silver lining of the pandemic is learning about my neighbors, community, and city. On further reflection I realize that I now have more questions than before and fewer answers. But I do have an axe and now I know there’s a dedicated place I can go to throw it. And that’s not nothing.