TikTok | @avalouise

TikTok Users Lick Doorknobs And Toilet Seats For 'Coronavirus Challenge'

Although the global spread of COVID-19 has clearly resulted in a great deal of health, economic, and supply anxieties for Americans at home, it has introduced a different kind of stress for those traveling abroad.

If the risks associated with crowded airports and canceled flights weren't enough to deal with, USA Today reported that flight prices soared for Americans trying to return home from Europe following the travel ban announced by President Donald Trump last week.

Given the heightened tensions, particularly for travelers, one might expect that we're living in a very different time from the days when people thought it was a good idea to lick ice cream and put it back last year.

But while that may be true for most, it appears that some people both at home and abroad have upped the ante despite an ongoing pandemic.

Information about the coronavirus pandemic is rapidly changing and Diply is committed to providing the most recent data as it becomes available. Some of the information in this story may have changed since publication, and we encourage readers to use online resources from CDC and WHO to stay up to date on the latest information surrounding COVID-19.

Over the weekend, 22-year-old social media influencer Ava Louise apparently found herself on a plane.

TikTok | @avalouise

While flying, she got the idea to introduce a "coronavirus challenge" to her (at the time) 19,000 TikTok followers.

And what exactly did this challenge entail? Apparently, licking the toilet seat in the plane's bathroom.

TikTok | @avalouise

Were I not looking directly at someone doing that right now, I would normally assume it goes without saying that this is incredibly risky behavior even when the world isn't facing a pandemic.

As The Baltimore Sun quoted one Twitter user as joking, "She won’t get coronavirus by doing this! She’ll get hepatitis A, B, or C, oral thrush, HPV, staphylococcus, streptococcus, or HIV. But definitely not coronavirus."

Although the video has since been removed from TikTok, that wasn't before Louise had inspired some imitators.

Twitter | @eliibosque

This person, for example, identifies himself as a friend of hers and and elected to try this challenge himself, this time by licking a doorknob in his home.

But while Bosque's video may not have featured him behaving this way in a public place or licking a toilet seat, the same can't be said for others.

Twitter | @vishkanyaaaa

Indeed, here we see someone licking an airplane toilet seat even more thoroughly than Louise did, this time posting it via Snapchat.

And from the looks of it, this person also chose an airport bathroom to partake in this challenge.

Twitter | @twomad

This may be a good time to express that, according to research conducted in China, it is apparently possible for COVID-19 to spread through an infected person's feces.

So it seems we can actually add coronavirus to the litany of diseases the Twitter user quoted before mentioned.

As for why Louise did this in the first place, it appears the answer had to do with social media clout.

TikTok | @avalouise

As The Baltimore Sun reported, she described being tired of coronavirus getting more attention than her and engineered this stunt as a means of seizing the spotlight.

She also claims not to have put anyone at risk of contracting coronavirus because she bleached the seat before licking it. Given that it's unclear whether any of her imitators followed the same protocol, however, she may not have as much reason to be as confident about that claim as she thinks.

h/t: The Baltimore Sun