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What does 6 feet mean to you?

Physical distancing is one of the many important practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19. For months, Public Health officials have consistently reminded citizens to practice physical distancing measures when going out in public.

“Stay 6 feet apart at all times!” “Maintain a distance of 2 metres from other people!”

We see these numbers everywhere—on the news, on signs surrounding public places, just to name a few. These important reminders allow for people to protect both themselves and others.

But what does 6 feet (or 2 metres) mean to you.

Across North America, people have taken incredibly creative approaches to encourage physical distancing and lighten spirits throughout the pandemic. 

Here are a few of our favourite examples:

Have you been to Tim Hortons lately? If so, you may have noticed the floor decals reminding customers to stand 46 timbits apart. The popular Canadian restaurant chain has certainly found a way to give customers a laugh, by measuring a distance of 6 feet with timbits! This serves as an important reminder to maintain a safe distance—in this case, 46 timbits—apart from others when getting your Tim’s order.

(Image courtesy of IanCanada01 on Twitter)

If you are residing in the U.S. state of Florida, it is certainly not unusual to spot an alligator in the wild. As VISIT FLORIDA puts it, “The question of where to see alligators in Florida might be better phrased, where don’t you see alligators in Florida?” Officials in Leon County, Florida have come up with a creative way to help citizens maintain a safe physical distance, with an interesting visual that all Floridians are sure to remember. The poster reminds them to keep a distance of one large alligator apart at all times. This is undoubtedly a clever way to help citizens remember just how far a safe distance is!

(Image courtesy of Leon County on Facebook)

As national parks across the United States begin the process of reopening, unique posters throughout the parks are reminding visitors to practice physical distancing. The posters provide references to what 6 feet looks like; perfect if you are familiar with the size of one grizzly bear or a moose’s antlers! If not, you can take a look at objects that are right around you—a national park sign or two information waysides!

(Image courtesy of TreeHugger)

In northwest Canada, the Government of Yukon has launched a ‘One Caribou Apart’ physical distancing campaign. The creative ads promote physical distancing among Yukoners by reminding them to stay one caribou apart. New posters have been released each week, urging citizens to keep 6 feet apart through interesting visuals. These ads are definitely able to convey the extremely important protocol of physical distancing, while bringing a smile to people’s faces!

(Government of Yukon)

Canadians have also used a national symbol as a to promote social distancing using—to no surprise—the iconic hockey stick! Canadian Health Minister, Patty Hadju, advised the public that 6 feet is approximately the length of a hockey stick. Thus, innovation spread across the country! Posters reminding citizens to keep the length of a hockey stick apart popped up across the nation, drive-throughs taped debit machines to the ends of hockey sticks, and news reporters have attached their microphones to the ends of hockey sticks for interviewees!

Physical distancing is a vital practice, and these floor decals, posters, ads, and signs have an important job of reminding this to the public. It will require the efforts of all individuals to successfully stop the spread of COVID-19 and prevent a second wave. We must all do our part by wearing masks, avoiding unnecessary contact, following Public Health guidelines and advisories, and practicing physical distancing. 

Thus, it is extremely important to have a good understanding of physical distancing, in order to properly follow distancing protocols and avoid the spread of the coronavirus. If we all do our part, we will be able to “flatten the curve” and keep our communities safe. After all, it’s only 46 timbits, one large alligator, a national park sign, one caribou, or a hockey stick apart, right?

Contributors : Victoria Huang, Edie Whittington