New on everyone’s lips is the phrase ‘social distance’.

What, you say? Is this the same as social isolation? Yes, Virginia, this is what has been beamed to you lo these past three weeks and yet you still are non-compliant. If you were living in Italy, there are Italian mayors that have threatened to show up at graduation parties with flame-throwers to disperse more than two people together in one room.

It seems, dear little Virginia, that you were probably born in the 1980s or later, past when the country did an amazing flip-flop from Imperial Measurement System that’d been oh so good from 1824 until 1970 when, ooh la la, the Systeme Internationale, or SI, took its place.

Thus, you know what two metres aka 2m looks like but one of the problems in this whole distancing/isolation instruction is that you don’t know what six feet, 6 ft, or 6′ looks like and with some saying the former and others the latter, this, I believe is where we are getting our wires crossed.

In Whistler, BC, home of ski hills, restaurants and more ski hills, they are using the length of an adult ski to demonstrate what two metres/six feet looks like. They want those athletic types who know what a ski looks like to imagine themselves with a board sticking out from each hip, like a human propeller. This is a useful image. An Italian mayor would encourage sharpening the leading edges and slicing in half anyone who came within your established distancing space.

In Almonte, however, we are a town of walkers, specifically, Nordic or pole walkers, in Finnish, sauvakävely. Thank-you Finland and now you can shaddup.

We are also a town of hot beverage drinkers out of cardboard cups. So in the interests of driving home the lesson, you must, MUST, be at least one 70” Nordic walking stick or 20 coffee cups, rim to rim, away from each other. Subtract three cups if you use a cat in your calculations.

You who are still using tablespoons (tbsp) and eight-ounce measuring cups to bake, and quarts of oil in your vehicles, I am certain that you now get it, too.

And you know what to do with the pointy end of the stick if someone comes too close.

Shannon Lee Mannion