13 July 2020
The United Nations, Taiwan, Oman, Monaco and the Czech Republic are the latest post offices to issue stamps on the subject of the global pandemic, following stamps from postal administrations including China, Switzerland, the Isle of Man, and Iran.
Whilst the new stamps from Oman and Taiwan are similar in design to many others previously issued, showing key workers in action, the Czech Republic’s stamps reflect the ‘new normal’ the world’s population is coming to terms with, simply showing a range of face masks. Meanwhile the UN’s stamp sheet provides simple advice on how to beat the virus.
The stamp from Oman, issued on 22 June, is set to raise money for a special government health fund, with 40% of the sales being donated. Abdulmalik Al Balushi, CEO of Oman Post, said:
‘Every single day, our frontline workers remind us about the humility and the preciousness of life… This stamp is our way of expressing our gratitude, to contribute to the efforts of the government to fight the pandemic, but also as a keepsake. So that when all this is over, its not the destruction of the virus we remember, but the heroism of the people who fought it.’
Taiwan’s pair of stamps are issued on 21 July and show medical staff, environmental protection workers and the public actively working together to prevent the spread of the virus (NT$13 stamp value); and the different ways we can beat the virus, including studying the virus and developing a vaccine, home quarantine/isolation, wearing masks on public transport, and washing hands thoroughly (NT$15 stamp). Between the two stamps is a se-tenant gutter featuring the text: ‘All out against the pandemic; COVID Nineteen we shall defeat. Taiwan can help.’
A single stamp from Monaco reproduces part of a message sent to residents by Prince Albert II which called for ‘Patience, confidence, courage and solidarity’. The stamp shows the Prince pictured with a globe and has a €1.16 denomination.
The two se-tenant Czech stamps were issued on 24 June and depict face masks adorned with simplified symbols of healthcare professionals, postal workers, armed forces, police officers, fire brigade and ‘all those who helped each other and stood together in difficult times of the coronavirus crisis.’ A statement from Czech Post said: ‘In the Czech Republic, the first case of coronavirus appeared in early March.
Subsequently, the government ordered multiple measures to prevent the uncontrolled spread of the new type of coronavirus. One of these regulations introduced the obligation to wear face masks in public. Since then, face masks have not only become a symbol of these days, but also a phenomenon that illustrates the current situation better than anything else.’
The new United Nations stamp sheet is entitled ‘We are all in this together – COVID-19’ and features six stamps, each with a 50 cent surcharge. The stamps’ themes are ‘personal hygiene’ (55 cents); ‘myth-busting’ ($1.20); ‘physical distance’ (one Swiss franc); ‘spread kindness’ (1.50 Swiss francs); ‘know the symptoms’ (85 euro cents); and ‘solidarity’ (€1). Funds from the sale of the stamp sheet will go to the United Nations’ Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
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