If you’re not wearing a mask in public or properly practising social distancing to prioritise your comfort and convenience over everyone else’s health and well-being, you not only deserve to be called out but also reminded of your social responsibilities with a gentle 4.5-volt zap courtesy of this Covid-19 cattle prod.
The Social Distancing Zapper sounds like an April Fool’s Day prank, but then again, so does all of 2020. If someone had told you way back in January that a seven-inch, pocket-friendly cattle prod that extends up 64cm in length letting you shock humans, not cows, from a distance of around 1.5 metres (depending on the length of your arm) would be a device you’d actually consider buying by year’s end, you’d have laughed in their face. Ten months later, it seems like a must-have accessory, especially if you live somewhere the locals are endlessly whining about their freedoms.
An electric prod designed for livestock can deliver enough voltage to seriously harm a human, but this one uses a pair of AAA batteries to deliver just 4.5 volts. For comparison purposes, shuffling your feet across a carpet floor in the winter and then touching a metal doorknob will deliver an audible and painful static shock closer to 4,000 volts.
The Social Distancing Zapper, which you can order from Firebox for about $19, is intended to be used more as a gentle reminder. It should be the physical equivalent of a throat clear when someone has absent-mindedly breached your personal space but doesn’t see your concerned expression hidden behind a mask or hear your requests for them to step back and respect the social distancing rules that have been put in place to help minimise the spread of Covid-19.