Stay gnome, save lives: Fantasy and real worlds unite against Covid-19


Social distancing guidelines have been set out for humans and gnomes in Upper Hutt.

Phill Waddington/Supplied

Social distancing guidelines have been set out for humans and gnomes in Upper Hutt.

The fantasy world has joined the fight against the Covid-19 in Upper Hutt, where gnomes must stay 2 feet apart from one-another.

Featuring five pointy-hatted figures wearing face masks, yellow and black signage outlining the recommended social distancing guidelines of 2 metres for humans, and the new ones for gnomes, has appeared on Whakatiki St.

Local environmental artist Phill Waddington​ said he erected the sign for the benefit of the little-known gnome population living in fairy houses at the near-by Horoeka Reserve in Stokes Valley.

“They’re British, so they have a hard time understanding the metric system,” he explained.

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A trail in Horoeka Reserve, Stokes Valley, is dotted with fairy houses.

Upper Hutt City Council/Supplied

A trail in Horoeka Reserve, Stokes Valley, is dotted with fairy houses.

The imperial measurement of 2 feet is understood by magic-folk, British and Americans, and equates to 0.61m.

Waddington hoped the public service signage could make people smile beneath their masks.

“I have this feeling this Covid thing is getting to people, and this is about getting a grin out of the young and young at heart.

STUFF

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says high vaccination rates in NZ would be a “game changer” in the Covid-19 response.

“It must be hard for young children to understand what’s going on, so I thought this might be something that could cheer them up.”

Wadding had received a lot of positive feedback from the community and was “waiting for the official reaction”.

“Hopefully they see the fun side,” he said of the Upper Hutt City Council.

Upper Hutt mayor Wayne Guppy​ was supportive of the unauthorised sign.

“Any reference to what we should be doing to keep safe is a good thing, it doesn’t matter who you are – gnomes or people.

“We are a city of diversity … we’ll leave it up.”



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