Miniature sheet stamp commemorating the COVID-19 pandemic. Issued by Österreichische Post, 30 October 2020. Stamp design by Marion Füllerer. In total, 300,000 stamps were issued.

The stamp commemorates the pandemic and uses the slogan "Distance that brings us together" with a drawing of a baby elephant ('babyelefant' in German). The baby elephant was used because it is approximately 1 meter (1m) long, the minimum space people needed to keep between themselves for the social distancing required in Austria during the pandemic. The size of the elephant is compared to the size of a mouse (10cm or 1dm), a fly (1cm), an ant (1mm) and a coronavirus organism (approximately 100 nanometers (nm)).

In addition it is uniquely printed on actual 3 ply toilet paper. In a world first, Österreichische Post worked with an Austrian toilet paper manufacturer to make the stamp. A self-adhesive foil was made from paper manufactured from natural fibres and was bonded to the reverse side of the paper to enable the stamp to be torn off and used. The product is the same size as a square of toilet paper and the perforations of the stamp are the same as those for toilet paper. Toilet paper was a symbol of panic buying during the pandemic in Australia, Austria and much of the world. Supplies regularly ran out when outbreaks were declared.

After initially doing very well in the pandemic in the early months of 2020, Austria had a sudden severe spike in cases with numbers reaching over 6000 per day in November 2020 (from a few dozen in May) and by the time this stamp was released the country had gone back into lockdown and curfew.

As well as the face value of the stamp (2,75 Euros), an equal amount was supplemented to the purchase price of this stamp and donated to an Austrian charity assisting those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The stamp was released in Austria with promotional rolls of toilet paper featuring the image of the baby elephant but they were not for sale to the public.

Physical Description

Square of 3 ply toilet paper with black, red and silver printing and stamp on right hand side. The block is postmarked in black ink on the lower right hand side. There are stylised line drawings of an elephant, mouse, fly, and ant in black ink, and a coronavirus organism in red ink.

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