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Drive-Throughs — A New Way of Life

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • As the spread of COVID-19 throughout the world has necessitated more rigorous social distancing measures, drive-through services are helping to solve physical distancing issues. With no need to even leave one’s car, the chance of unnecessarily touching other items or surfaces is removed, thus reducing the risk of infection. Drive-through services are also fast and convenient, eliminating the need for customers to remain in any one location for too long.
  • While receiving drive-through services, you should still avoid touching your face, mouth, or nose after receiving food or other services. Contactless payment methods should be used, and always remember to wear a facemask while receiving services, even when sitting in your own car.

 

A drive-through (or “drive-thru”) is a type of service that allows a customer to receive service from a store or service-point without leaving the car. It’s convenient and fast, provides an element of privacy, and has the added plus point of customers never having to stand in line. Red’s Giant Hamburg, which opened in 1947 in Missouri, U.S.A., is said to have been the world’s first drive-through restaurant.

Drive-Through Trends in the Covid-19 Pandemic Era

In many countries throughout the world, there has been a revival of drive-through services, expanding upon the existing business model of drive-through restaurants that most of us are familiar with. As an example, South Korea has seen a drive-in cinema boom where moviegoers can enjoy their film of choice from the safety and comfort of their own cars, parked in front of a large outdoor screen. In Japan, one bread manufacturing and distribution company saw its percentage of takeaway and drive-through customers rise from 60 percent to 70 percent after the coronavirus hit. The virus is also changing the way that people enjoy the country’s hanami cherry blossom-viewing traditions. Many people have posted pictures on Twitter with the hashtag “drive-thru hanami.” Across the globe, in Germany, the Cologne Bonn Airport parking garage was transformed into a drive-through art gallery, allowing visitors to enjoy artwork without leaving their cars.

In Thailand, in addition to the many food businesses that provide drive-through services, there are also a variety of other businesses that employ the method, including drive-through banking and drive-through postal services. Samitivej Hospital offers drive-through medical services, providing Covid-19 screening, blood collection, and vaccinations.

How Does Drive-Through Meet the Needs of Today?

  • Physical distancing: As the spread of COVID-19 throughout the world has necessitated more rigorous social distancing measures, drive-through services allow customers to feel more comfortable and at ease.
  • Reduces contact: With no need to even leave one’s car, the chance of unnecessarily touching other items or surfaces is removed, thus reducing the risk of infection.
  • Convenient and fast: Drive-through services eliminate the need for customers to remain in any one location for too long.

Drive-Through Service Recommendations

  • You should still avoid touching your face, mouth, or nose after receiving food or other services. Contactless payment methods should be used.
  • Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or alcohol sanitizer before and after touching products or receiving services.
  • Wear a facemask while receiving services, even while sitting in your own car.

Drive-through services are a great option during the COVID-19 pandemic era and will likely continue as part of our “new normal.” In addition to our drive-through medical services, Samitivej offers healthcare via telemedicine, utilizing various communication technologies to support a wide variety of health services. We also bring our services right to your doorstep and into the comfort and safety of your own home.


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Kittipong Kongchan, M.D. Summary: Internal Medicine Infectious Diseases