Monday, 23 Mar 2020 12:35 GMT

Times Square billboard urges social distancing

The co-founder of social news site Reddit purchased a billboard in Times Square, New York to encourage Americans to stay home during the coronavirus outbreak.

The World Health Organisation has advised that in order to “flatten the curve” and slow the spread, the best thing to do is to practice social distancing and stay at home where possible.

Speaking to Forbes, Alexis Ohanian explains how he decided to purchase the billboard to push people to take the crisis more seriously.

He says: “It was a deliberate approach to think, what is one of the densest populations of people in the US? And on a normal day that would be Times Square. And then you have this cultural prominence.

“The sort of meme of it is here is a billboard in Times Square about flattening the curve, just preventative measures to defeat COVID-19.”

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We @initialized some billboards in Times Square. #flattenthecurve

A post shared by Alexis Ohanian Sr. (@alexisohanian) on

Ohanian opted for a simple design for the billboard which features an eye-catching blue background with the words ‘Staying home means saving lives”. It also includes the hashtag “FlattenTheCurve” to continue the message on social media.

The billboard has been met with a positive response on Twitter, with many users thanking Ohanian for taking action and helping to raise awareness.

While the message was only live for one day, Ohanian has said that due to the positive response, he may consider purchasing more billboards in other cities.

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