Many companies around the world are doing their best to contribute to the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Manufacturers capable of converting their production line to make masks (such as electronics maker Sharp in its factory in Mie Prefecture) or ventilators (such as Ford and GM in the US and Suzuki, in its factory in India) have taken up the challenge, for example. But what can a printing services company do?
For Kinko's Japan, the answer is contributing to raising awareness of social distancing. While both Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Tokyo Gov Yuriko Koike have issued stern warnings about avoiding crowds, very few statements coming out of official government channels have made specific mention of actual distance.
The "only for now" banner
According to their press release, "With the spread of the novel coronavirus, 'social distance' is attracting attention. This means keeping your distance between others to 1.8 meters. To support this initiative, Kinko's (Japan) has started using a poster printing service to create an 'only for now" banner," with the idea that people want to connect and interact but they need to stay physically apart "only for now" while the threat of the virus is present.
In case you were wondering, Kinko's Japan doesn't expect people to unfold their 1.8-meter-long paper banner in the streets or in stores when they line up for groceries. Their purpose is "to help you easily grasp the sense of distance at your workplace or home." In so doing, they "hope that this will help to reduce infections among people who are unable to telework."
How to get yours
If you'd like to have a free banner, call your local Kinkos's Japan store in advance so you can pick it up without waiting. The service is available at all Kinko's locations now except for the Kyushu and Shikoku area which is planning on beginning in late June.
For the list of Kinko's Japan locations, see their website here.
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