"Only in Canada, would we use our iconic hockey sticks to ensure everyone stays safe..."

pedestrians in toronto
Pedestrians take part in social distancing during morning commuting hours in the Financial District as Toronto copes with a shutdown due to the Coronavirus.
| Credit: Cole Burston/Stringer via Getty

When Canadian Health Minister Patty Hajdu advised the country that the length to maintain social distance was about the size of a hockey stick, she had no idea how literally people would interpret her words.

Very quickly, Canadians started using their hockey sticks for the purposing of flattening the curve. Even road signs popped up in Toronto, reminding people to use the very precise metric.

Businesses around the country also took her advice to heart.

Several drive-thrus adhered debit machines to the end of a hockey stick. The extremely Canadian solution allows businesses to continue accepting card payments while allowing employees to maintain their distance from customers.

"Only in Canada, would we use our iconic hockey sticks to ensure everyone stays safe at a physical distance while buying their Harvey's burgers," David Colebrook, Chief Operating Officer of Harvey's Canada, told CTV News. "It's a creative and fun solution to a challenging issue. And it ensures we can keep feeding Canadians through our restaurants and food banks."

Harvey’s is also donating a portion of all drive-thru sales to the World Food Bank.

But the uniquely Canadian ingenuity doesn’t end at the drive-thru — TV reporters have also taped their microphones to the ends of hockey sticks.

Gas station attendants are using the hockey stick method.

A journalist for Vice Canada was inspired by his country’s commitment to maintaining their culture, even while social distancing. So he embarked on a mission to push the boundaries of hockey stick distancing. He cooked himself breakfast and poured a friend a cup of coffee, all at a hockey-stick-length away.

Some diehard hockey fans debated the comparison, arguing that stick lengths vary depending on the position one is playing, according to Reuters.

There are more than 24,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in Canada, with at least 700 deaths across the country. Canada has not declared a national state of emergency over the virus but the provinces of Ontario and Quebec have ordered the shutdown of all nonessential businesses and Toronto declared a state of emergency, according to CNN.

Still, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged the country to stay at home and avoid any non-essential outings until further notice.

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The information in this article reflects that of the publishing time above. However, as statistics and information regarding coronavirus rapidly change, some figures may be different from when this story was originally posted. While we strive to keep our content as up to date as possible, we also recommend visiting sites like the CDC or websites of local health departments.