Austrian Post Issues Coronavirus-Themed Stamp on Toilet Paper as Cases Rise

By Kurt Stolz on 24 October 2020
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It’s being called the return of the baby elephant.

Just as the Österreichische Post, Austria’s postal service, issued a “corona stamp,” the federal government announced a stricter set of measures intended to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

The new stamp brings together two key symbols of the pandemic in the Alpine republic.  It is printed on toilet paper to commemorate the panic buying – Hamsterkauf in German – that occurred early on. (The term “Hamsterkauf” is used as panic buying is akin to the manner in which the rodents stuff their cheeks with food.)

The stamp also features a baby elephant, the country’s symbol of the social distancing campaign to remind people to keep 1 m (3.3’) apart.  One meter is the estimated size of the baby elephant Kibali (who is now closer to 2 m in length) who resides at Vienna’s Schönbrunn Zoo.  In order to help Austrians visualize the recommended one-meter distance, health authorities used the example that it was the length of a baby elephant.

To further help visualize the distance, the stamp also displays an ant, a fly, and mouse, 1 mm, 1 cm, and 1 dm in size respectively, explaining that 1000 mm = 100 cm, 100 cm = 10 dm, and 10 dm = 1 m.

Meanwhile, Bundeskanzler Sebastian Kurz announced new restrictions on gatherings of various sorts as the number of new cases in Austria continued to rise.

“The situation is very serious,” he said to reporters earlier in the week.

If the current trend continues, the country will see 6,000 new infections per day come November, Kurz warned. In order to avoid a lockdown, “we must obey the rules.”

The new restrictions require cultural events to only take place using assigned seating, and the number of people who can sit together at restaurants and bars has been reduced from ten to six. Any gatherings or fitness classes are also subject to the six-person limit indoors, while the limit is 12 outdoors.

The new measures go into effect on October 23.

The Österreichische Post is selling the new stamp for €2.75 plus a €2.75. The proceeds from the surcharge are being used to provide aide to victims of the pandemic.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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