Around the world, social distancing policies have been strongly encouraged and, in some cases, made mandatory. Schools and playgrounds are empty as parents keep their kids away from their friends and neighbors to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe.
The good news is that young people, including children, are frequently spared the worst impacts of coronavirus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted that reports in China confirmed that COVID-19 “may present with mild symptoms and though severe complications (acute respiratory distress syndrome, septic shock) have been reported, they appear to be uncommon.” 
But even though children are generally spared life-threatening complications, they can still spread the virus if they contract it, and in rare cases still develop life-threatening symptoms. Beginning earlier this month, schools around the world in countries hit hard by the pandemic shut down in order to slow the spread of the virus, leaving children far more isolated than normal.
One Facebook page creator had an idea for how to keep kids entertained and happy. Debby Hoffman, the creator of the We’re Not Scared Facebook group, was inspired to action by the book We’re Going On A Bear Hunt. The idea was to place teddy bears in visible locations around the neighborhood and allow kids to go for walks with their parents or guardians to try and spot the bears.
“I just wanted to give children something to smile about. It’s an unsettling time for a lot of people and this can give young ones something to look forward to,” Hoffman said.
The teddy bear hunt movement, which is believed to have started in London, UK, has since spread around the world with more people placing teddy bears in their windows.
New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has expressed support for the idea, asking families in New Zealand to participate.
“They might look for teddy bears in windows but as they pass people, keep your distance, don’t talk to others, just stay within your bubble,” she said in a press conference last week.
“And if you’re in Wellington and you’re walking in a local neighborhood, you might see one in my window.”
So if you live in a community with lots of kids, think about putting a teddy bear in your window. It could bring a big smile to the face of a young person who might otherwise feel scared and alone.
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