Ghent: a creative way of keeping the social distance
Students from the City of Ghent came up with a creative way of socializing in the time of the pandemic. They painted 100 white circles in one of the busiest squares and accros parks, all in the city centre.
Mayor of Ghent Mathias De Clercq said the students themselves had come up with the idea, but stressed that, while Belgian COVID rules limit groups meeting outdoors to four, it was not mandatory for a group to sit in a circle: “Everyone is free to use them or not,” he told to Reuters television. “It’s a nice example of nudging, a gentle push towards good behaviour.”
Ghent is home to approximately 80,000 students. They are happy with this system because they can sit down outside with a couple of friends and do not have to worry about the virus. The circles are 6 metres (19 feet 8 inches) in diameter and 4 metres apart.
“In these harsh times, it’s not very easy to meet people and to socialise with your friends. So I think it’s a good solution. It looks a little bit weird, but it’s effective,” said 20-year-old engineering student Elian Colpaert.
Law student Kato Pion said some peers had complained that the lines were tantamount to treating them as infants. “But I think it is actually good that we are given the freedom to sit on the square, but of course according to the rules,” she said.
Photo credit in-cyprus.philenew