Social media has a far-reaching way of bringing people together in these times of physical distancing.
In just a matter of days, for example, a Facebook page called Trail and Area Social Distancing Fun Hunt! has had well over 960 locals join the group as a simple way to help keep spirits up during these unprecedented days in history.
(Note: Tuesday afternoon there were 1,400+ members and the name of this Facebook page was changed to West and East Kootenay Social Distancing Fun Hunt.)
Families who are practicing social distancing are decorating their windows and sharing photos of their cheerful display – along with well wishes for all – bringing smiles to local passersby and to the thousands who are viewing and sharing their fun hunt images online.
“Easter is just around the corner, and unfortunately given recent events our kids will not be able to attend local Easter egg hunts,” Sarah Thomas and Ashley Robitaille said when they first started the page.
“So, instead of the traditional Easter egg hunt, let’s all come together, decorate an Easter egg with our kids and place them on the front window\door of our houses. You, of course, are welcome to do more decorating to the front of your house if you wish. Come Easter we can tour around our community and see how many Easter eggs we can find.”
This idea sprouted from a virtual International Easter Egg Hunt previously started on Facebook.
Locally, however, the fun has grown from eggs and bunnies for children to hearts and personalized window displays for – and from – people of all ages. And the movement continues to grow so quickly – it now includes hearts on vehicles – that a third page administrator has volunteered to help out.
“Now there are hearts from Waneta to Procter, Castlegar, and now the Okanagan,” Sarah told the Times. “It started for kids, but the seniors are really loving it and going for drives counting hearts as well. If you ever need to see some out pouring of love feel free to give our page a look. It’s refreshing through all of the uncertainty.”
The women emphasize, however, that anyone touring neighbourhoods to spot the windows must maintain stringent social distancing rules and stay on the street to look.
What that means is while participants are walking through town, they must keep at least two meters from anyone not in their household, and they must not enter private properties.
Further, anyone who has recently returned from a vacation must follow public health recommendations and remain quarantined for the mandatory 14 days.
“Please know that we are just a couple moms, trying to provide a bit of fun for our community in this difficult time,” the women shared.
“It’s important to us that we keep this group fun and light, while also following every measure to make sure everyone is safe and remains healthy. There is no possible way we can be absolutely sure that everyone is doing their part, therefore we ask that everyone please acknowledge the rules we have decided to put in place.”