5 Inspiring Stories of Communities Coming Together During the Pandemic

How these neighborhoods are supporting and uplifting each other in the midst of physically distancing. 

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- Posted on May 11, 2020

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As people around the world practice social distancing in response to the spread of the coronavirus, it can be hard to feel a sense of community. In these trying times, it can be helpful to remember that no matter the physical distance, people are still coming together and being good neighbors. Here are a few examples of neighborhoods that have found creative ways to come together while staying apart.  

1. Rainbow I Spy – Brooklyn, New York 

Marisa Migdal, a mother of two in Brooklyn, noticed her kids were bored during their daily neighborhood walk. She heard about people in New York putting pictures of rainbows in their windows to spread some joy. Marisa got the idea to make a game out of it! She posted in her neighborhood Facebook group, inviting folks to put rainbows in their windows so kids going for walks could play I Spy. Another neighborhood resident, Anna Grotzky, helped to put all of the rainbow locations on a map to help kids track them down. Now, the Quarantine Rainbow Connection has gone global, with people hanging rainbow pictures in windows all over the world. “It gives the kids something to do and the bigger it grows it’s quite obvious that it’s not only for the kids,” Anna told NY City Lens

2. Dinosaur Parade – Milwaukee, Wisconsin 

Residents of the Bay View neighborhood in Milwaukee found a creative way to entertain their neighbors, kids and adults alike. With a dinosaur parade! Using a ruler to ensure proper social distance, people in dinosaur costumes paraded to a cheering crowd that watched from their porches. Kids brought out their collections of dinosaur toys to watch while their parents took pictures and video of the humorous spectacle. Some kids watched from their car holding signs that read “I [heart] dinos.” We’re sure the rest of the neighborhood must agree.   

3. Pots and Pans Cheer – San Francisco, California 

Every Monday night at 7 p.m. the Western Addition neighborhood of San Francisco shows its appreciation and support for the essential workers in its community... with a lot of noise! Residents go outside and bang pots and pans together as they cheer for the workers. Organizer Susan Solomon told ABC News,"Without grocery store clerks and health care workers, and janitors cleaning up buildings that people have to go into and transit workers, bus drivers this would be even harder than it is right now." And people have definitely noticed. "I feel like we gain a lot of strength knowing that people are wanting us to succeed," said Dr. Ingrid Lim, a local ER doctor. "It makes it a little bit easier to go to work!"  

4. Say Cheese!  – Spring, Texas 

Yuli Vargas, a professional photographer based in Texas, was looking for a way to spread some positivity in her neighborhood of Rancho Verde. She decided to do a photo shoot with a few of her neighbors by having them stand on their lawn (at a safe distance) with the different things that are helping them survive their quarantine. News spread of the hilarious photos and soon Yuli was photographing multiple families in the neighborhood. One neighbor sits in a meditative yoga pose with her children and snacks around her. Another resident has her full baking spread on display. "Maybe this will be something for people to look at that will be positive,” Yuli told the Houston Chronicle, “instead of all the negative stuff that we're seeing.”   

5. Bear Hunts – Murfreesboro, Tennessee 

Remember the childhood song We’re Going on a Bear Hunt? Neighborhoods around the world have started putting teddy bears in their windows as a way to bring the song to life and entertain local kids on their daily walks. When Tennessee resident Shanna Bonner Groom heard about the idea, she started it in her neighborhood of Stewart Springs by posting on Facebook. “Within hours, everybody was responding and wanting to join in,” she told Time. Now she says almost half the homes in the neighborhood have participated. She also says kids have started dressing up in safari gear and bringing binoculars on their hunts. “Some families have turned it into a safari instead of a bear hunt because you see other animals,” she says. “People are putting bear prints on their sidewalks with chalk. It’s morphed into more.” 

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