When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Enjoy unlimited access to quality journalism.

Limited time offer

Get your 30-day free trial!
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.

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

Ideas

How U.S. Airlines Are Doing Cuba's Dirty Work On American Soil

American and Southwest Airlines have been refusing to allow Cubans on board flights if they've been blacklisted by the government in Havana.

How U.S. Airlines Are Doing Cuba's Dirty Work On American Soil

Boarding a plane in Camaguey, Cuba

Santiago Villa

On Sunday, American Airlines refused to let Cuban writer Carlos Manuel Álvarez board a Miami flight bound for Havana. It was at least the third time this year that a U.S. airline refused to let Cubans on board to return to their homeland after Havana circulated a government "blacklist" of critics of the regime. Clearly undemocratic and possibly illegal under U.S. law, the airlines want to make sure to cash in on a lucrative travel route, writes Colombian journalist Santiago Villa:

-OpEd-

Imagine for a moment that you left your home country years ago because you couldn't properly pursue your chosen career there. It wasn't easy, of course: Your profession is not just singularly demanding, but even at the top of the game you might not be assured a stable or sufficient income, and you've had to take on second jobs, working in bars and restaurants.

This chosen vocation is that of a writer or journalist, or perhaps an artist, which has kept you tied to your homeland, often the subject of your work, even if you don't live there anymore.

Since leaving, you've been back home several times, though not so much for work. Because if you did, you would be followed in cars and receive phone calls to let you know you are being watched.

Keep reading...Show less

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

The latest