PERRYSBURG, Ohio — Social distancing signs and markers didn't exist just a few months ago. But now we see them basically everywhere, from grocery stores to outdoor food businesses.
Grace Imaging in Perrysburg started making them early on, helping people to get used to one of the new buzzwords of 2020 - social distancing.
"Sometimes I'm humbled how important a label can be," said Grace Imaging owner Bob Petrie.
Petrie said he never imagined he'd be making such an important product for a pandemic. His company has been in business for nine years but saw a new need when the coronavirus struck in March.
"We had a lot of demand for hand sanitizer and cleaning products," Petrie said. "And people needed labels quickly. And that's what we're really known for, to create custom labels fast."
Some of those labels can be seen on familiar products like Toledo Spirits' hand sanitizer.
But they have also made ground markers for social distancing. Customers include schools like Bowling Green State University.
"A lot of our customers are essential," he added. "And because of that, we have really kept up the pace."
Outdoor food spots have become a common spot for social distance ground markers. Ashlie Gray pointed out that, like masks, businesses like Penguin Palace Ice Cream in Maumee, are having fun with them.
"It's nice to have the visual I guess, especially since I have three kids," she said, "and it helps them to visually see what I mean when I tell them you have to stay six feet away, you know look at the penguin, stay on the penguin."
Gray said she has gotten used to this as part of daily life but it still doesn't feel normal.
"Some people we just want to have to see the normalcy in life," she added, "and now having things that visually tell us how we have to live our life is very difficult."
But companies like Grace and others have stepped up to help us help each other. And Gray believes that's how we get through this.
"You know a lot of us are losing a lot of business because of COVID," said Gray. "So locals helping locals is the best way for our community to stay alive."