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Desse, a physical distancing fairy, keeps the distance with Crystal Rose Chmielewski, 5, daughter of Mike and Nhu Chmielewski, on Katterbach Kaserne, Germany, April 16, 2020.
Desse, a physical distancing fairy, keeps the distance with Crystal Rose Chmielewski, 5, daughter of Mike and Nhu Chmielewski, on Katterbach Kaserne, Germany, April 16, 2020. (Dani Johnson/U.S. Army)
Desse, a physical distancing fairy, keeps the distance with Crystal Rose Chmielewski, 5, daughter of Mike and Nhu Chmielewski, on Katterbach Kaserne, Germany, April 16, 2020.
Desse, a physical distancing fairy, keeps the distance with Crystal Rose Chmielewski, 5, daughter of Mike and Nhu Chmielewski, on Katterbach Kaserne, Germany, April 16, 2020. (Dani Johnson/U.S. Army)
Desse, a physical distancing fairy, reacts after reminding soldiers coming onto Katterbach Kaserne, Germany, about the social distancing regulations, April 16, 2020.
Desse, a physical distancing fairy, reacts after reminding soldiers coming onto Katterbach Kaserne, Germany, about the social distancing regulations, April 16, 2020. (Dani Johnson/U.S. Army)
Desse, a physical distancing fairy, points at a "mind the meter" sign at the Exchange Express on Katterbach Kaserne, Germany, April 16, 2020.
Desse, a physical distancing fairy, points at a "mind the meter" sign at the Exchange Express on Katterbach Kaserne, Germany, April 16, 2020. (Dani Johnson/U.S. Army)
Desse, a physical distancing fairy, poses with 164th Air Defense Artillery Brigade and 12th Combat Aviation Brigade soldiers, who are volunteering at the post office, on Katterbach Kaserne, Germany, April 16, 2020.
Desse, a physical distancing fairy, poses with 164th Air Defense Artillery Brigade and 12th Combat Aviation Brigade soldiers, who are volunteering at the post office, on Katterbach Kaserne, Germany, April 16, 2020. (Dani Johnson/U.S. Army)
Desse, a physical distancing fairy, ensures Capt. Bryan Westervelt and 1st Sgt. Carmelo Vasquez, both from 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, keep appropriate distancing during a commander and senior leader family advocacy program briefing on Katterbach Kaserne, Germany, April 16, 2020.
Desse, a physical distancing fairy, ensures Capt. Bryan Westervelt and 1st Sgt. Carmelo Vasquez, both from 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, keep appropriate distancing during a commander and senior leader family advocacy program briefing on Katterbach Kaserne, Germany, April 16, 2020. (Dani Johnson/U.S. Army)

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An unusual sprite flitted across U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach recently with her sidekick, a hand sanitizer bottle with butterfly wings, to remind troops to remain socially connected while physically distancing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Dubbed Desse the Physical Distancing Fairy, the frilly and feathery character was the brainchild of Victoria Hanrahan and Kimberly Stockton. Hanrahan is entertainment director for Ansbach’s Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, and Stockton is the costume specialist for THEATRIX, Installation Management Command-Europe’s theatrical costume collection and workshop.

“I was speaking to my supervisor, and he thought it was a cool idea,” Hanrahan said in a garrison statement. “It just took off.”

Stockton, dressed as the winged and bespectacled creature with a silvery bouffant, colorful cloth face covering and white gloves, visited places where people gather on base, such as the post office and dining facility, to remind them of disease prevention measures in a memorable way. She’ll continue to do so randomly, the command statement said.

“(The visit) truly brightened my day,” said Dina DeBoer, family advocacy program specialist with Army Community Service, quoted in the statement.

garland.chad@stripes.com Twitter: @chadgarland

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Chad is a Marine Corps veteran who covers the U.S. military in the Middle East, Afghanistan and sometimes elsewhere for Stars and Stripes. An Illinois native who’s reported for news outlets in Washington, D.C., Arizona, Oregon and California, he’s an alumnus of the Defense Language Institute, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Arizona State University.
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