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Easter-egg or heart hunt promotes connectivity and community in spite of COVID-19

Two similar movements are taking Canadian social media by storm as people find creative ways to cope with social distancing.

There are a variety of Facebook groups – Hunt for Hearts, Easter Egg Hunt 2020, etc. – outlining a way for families to get out in the sunshine and fresh air, connect with the community, and participate without violating the two-metre distance requirement.

Whether one is participating in either or both, the goal is to hang pictures/drawings of hearts and Easter eggs in their windows. Families then go searching for them, ‘collecting’ photographs, possibly sharing them on social media (or not, as their parents choose).

Some are also using sidewalk chalk to leave happy messages for others and thank-you messages to first responders and essential services workers.

Sara Thomas, along with two of her friends, started up Trail and Area Social Distancing Hunt, which they rapidly had to change to West and East Kootenay Social Distancing Fun Hunt! as more and more people got on board.

“We started it in Trail, then started getting so many people from Castlegar, then so many from Nelson, we decided to change the name,” Thomas said.

Thomas is 42-year-old hairstylist and mom whose friend Ashley saw an Ontario movement and suggested to bring it west.

“There is a global share-the-heart thing all over the world,” Thomas said. “We were basically starting it for our kids, but I guess a lot of people are doing it now – there are hearts everywhere.”

A lot indeed.

Her page has almost 1,700 members as of Thursday afternoon, from all over the country, with more joining by the moment.

“The biggest surprise is that the seniors have jumped on board and are loving it,” she said. “It’s a way to be connected, a way for everyone to do something together, even thought they are apart.”

To find the pages, you can use Facebook to search words like, ‘heart’, ‘hunt’, ‘easter egg’, etc., or for Thomas’ page, click here.

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