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Bear-hunting new social distancing activity



Bored staying at home to protect yourself and others from COVID-19?

How about a bear hunt?

Inspired by Michael Rosen’s 1989 children’s book, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, teddy bears are appearing everywhere along streets made empty by coronavirus. The stuffed animals are appearing in windows around the world to give children, and even the young at heart, an exciting, social-distancing-safe scavenger hunt activity during coronavirus lockdowns in line with the opening of Rosen's book: "We’re going on a bear hunt. We’re going to catch a big one. What a beautiful day! We’re not scared.

In its social distancing guidelines, the Centers for Disease Control recommends bear hunts. The idea is for some folk to display teddy bears and other stuffed animals in the windows and neighbors to walk or drive around to find them. You may find not only find bears, but perhaps a stuffed bunny or camel. In some places, the hunt is for safari-themed animals.

In neighborhoods where they're happening, people say the hunts building a stronger sense of community, communicating in a symbolic way that we're all in this together.

Laura Ann Walker, a seventh grade teacher at Alexander Junior High in Brookhaven, may have been one of the first to promote the idea in the area, stealing it from other teachers on social media and posting it as a suggestion on the Neighborhood Watch Facebook page of Brookhaven's Vernondale area. But the bears are appearing in locations as far flung as New Zealand.

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