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A Canadian tourism agency using baby beluga whales as a measuring tool for social distancing.
A Canadian tourism agency using baby beluga whales as a measuring tool for social distancing.
Emma Flacard

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a part of our daily lives for more than a year now, including through a range of rules and restrictions to follow to avoid contracting (or disseminating) the virus. It's a scary time, but also a convenient excuse for a moderate dose of silliness. One shot of silly that has spread around the world is the attempt to find new ways to make sense of the social distance guidelines, often with local references to make it more tangible for residents.

Our favorite recent example is a Polish church that used the range of a swinging incense burner to demarcate the appropriate distance we must keep. Here's a banner in front of a Warsaw church to show (well, sort of) the range one must keep.

Poland_incense_burner_church

A banner reminding Polish worshipper to respect social distancing. — Photo: Tomasz Dostatni/Facebook

The pious Polish reference sent us on a quest to gather other local examples around the world of how best to visualize the proper distance (approx 1.5-meters) for social distancing:

• FRANCE: Make sure to keep one dozen medium oysters between you and your friend, informs local French newspaper Sud Ouest. In the Arcachon Bay, oysters are more than a symbol, they're a culinary pride and a key tourist attraction.

• AUSTRALIA: Keep one kangaroo or at least three adult koalas apart. The two iconic animals have been used as visual reminders to respect the 1.5 meter social distancing rule. Signs have been displayed throughout the country by the Australian government, as The Daily Mailexplains.

• BELGIUM: In this food-and-drink-loving nation, residents have been told to make sure there's always either ten cones of fries, eight Brussels waffles or three Jupiler beer crates between themselves and others.

Social distancing explained in Belgium. — Photo: r/belgium

• UK: Stay at least one cow apart from your neighbor, warn the islands of Guernsey with a very realistic and funny message to locals.

• CANADA: In the northern part of Quebec, all sorts of domestic animals have also been turned into wacky converting measures. In the Côte-Nord region, the local tourism agency has imagined ways to both sensitize residents and put a smile on their face, daily newspaper Le Quotidien reports. Eight puffins, one moose, eight crabs … the rich Canadian fauna turns out to be a valuable resource for health guidelines.

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Economy

Food Shortages Around The World, Product By Product

The war in Ukraine and the climate crisis have been devastating for food production. Here's a look at some of the traditional foods from around the world that might be hard to find on supermarket shelves.

A customer walking along the aisle of empty shelves in a supermarket

Lila Paulou and McKenna Johnson

The consequences of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia have been far-reaching. A Russian blockade of the Black Sea has meant Ukraine, known as “Europe’s breadbasket,” has been unable to export much of its huge harvests of wheat, barley and sunflower oil.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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So even those thousands of miles from the battlefields have been hit by the soaring prices of basic necessities.

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