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 Mail explains.

• 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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Coronavirus

Why U.S. Vaccine Diplomacy In Latin America Makes "Good" Sense

Echoing its cultural diplomacy of the early 20th century, the United States is gifting vaccines to Latin America as part of a renewed "good neighbor'' policy.

Waiting to get the vaccine in Nezahualcoyotl, Mexico

Andrea Matallana

-Analysis-

BUENOS AIRES — Just before and during World War II, the United States' Good Neighbor policy proved a very effective strategy to improve ties with Latin America. Initiated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the policy's main goal was non-interference and non-intervention. The U.S. would instead focus on reciprocal exchanges with their southern neighbors, including through art and cultural diplomacy.

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