A gadget to clip to your belt to help put your mind at ease.

With the coronavirus still a major health concern in Japan, the government has been asking people to limit the frequency with which they go shopping, ostensibly by buying more of what they need per trip. However, there’s only so much bulk you can buy in a country where the vast majority of urban/suburban communities do their shopping on foot.

If you’re walking to the store, you’re only going to be able to purchase as much as you can personally carry home, which means it won’t be long until you’re back again for more supplies, with each trip out involving touching doorknobs, cooler case handles, and all sorts of other surfaces that may or may not have been disinfected anytime recently.

And so our Japanese-language reporter Great Muromachi was looking for a way to keep his hands clean, which led him to this.

Produced by Tokyo-based company Piem, the Reassuring Door Opener is a hook you can use to open doors without having to directly touch them. “For you who loves cleanliness,” the package invitingly says, while also boasting that the product is “Made in Japan,” since who’d want to get stuck with one of those cheap, imported Reassuring Door Opener wannabes that are flooding the market?

The hook itself fits in the palm of your hand, and is just five millimeters (0.2 inches) thick. While you could just carry it around as is, the Reassuring Door Opener is really meant to be clipped to the end of the included reel, which connects on its other side to a carabiner.

With the Reassuring Door Opener attached to his belt loop, it was time for Great Muromachi to field test it. As he strolled to the convenience store to pick up some drinks, he was happy to find that the whole apparatus is lightweight enough that it caused him no distraction of awkwardness to walk with.

▼ Maybe not the most fashionable coronavirus countermeasure, but surely not the strangest-looking one either.

Once inside the store, he made his way to the refrigerated section, pulled on the Reassuring Door Opener’s cord…

…and, feeling fully reassured, used the hook to open the door.

It took a little more effort than grasping the handle directly would have, but the difference wasn’t so much as to cause him any distress or discomfort.

As he wore the item for the next several days, Great Muromachi discovered it has other uses too. For instance, if you’re using a vending machine or elevator, or for any other reason pressing a public-place button, it makes a handy prong.

▼ Personally, we think Piem is selling itself short by not calling it the “Reassuring Door Opener and Vending Machine or Elevator or Whatever Else Button Pusher,” but maybe their graphic designers couldn’t figure out how to fit all that on the package.

Great Muromachi purchased his Reassuring Door Opener for 1,980-yen (US$18.50) on Amazon, and if you’d like to be as reassured as him, orders can be made here.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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