Meredith Geyer, Contributing Writer
Featured image taken by Meredith Geyer
Imagine being a kid right now. Normally we would all jump at the opportunity to relive our childhood, happily taking the naps we once fought. Not entertaining a second thought of hesitation about eating another cookie. Playing in the dirt and mud without a care because we were definitely not the ones taking the effort to remove the stains from our clothes before they even hit the washing machine. However, I will repeat the initial thought of this article: Imagine being a kid right now.
As adults during this current pandemic, we are faced with questions that have taken priority in our minds: When will I be able to return to work? How will I make my next payment? How long will it take to recover from this pandemic that seems to have no end in sight at the moment? Granted, these are important questions, and we often think that these are the questions that everyone is thinking about. However, this is not the case. The present is a scary place for adults right now, so I bring up the thought once more: Imagine being a kid right now.
Let’s be honest, kids usually have an ill-advised sense of fearlessness that is fueled by a lack of both self-awareness and awareness for anything around them. This, however, has shifted. Kids today are not only exposed to the media that is a major contributor to everyone’s fears but are also just as affected in their daily lives by the current pandemic as everyone else. They have lost the ability to be around their friends, as we have, and they have a knack for sensing anxiety in the adults around them. While most people have not considered it, kids today understand what is going on probably as well as we do, which is honestly not very much.
Similar to the previously mentioned adult-minded questions that have no answers, there are a few things that are completely uncertain at this point for kids. For example, nobody knows how the current situation is going to affect the educational experience of kids who have already been out of school for months. Parents also might be unsure of how this isolation will affect their children socially or mentally, or how they can help. Needless to say, this global pandemic is something that the future leaders of the world will remember for the rest of their lives.
In addition to all of the social media posts on Instagram and Facebook about little ways to make quarantine better for adults, there have been a few posts addressing ways to help children cope with quarantine. While most of these ideas are geared toward the entertainment or comfort of one child, there is a trend that has developed to console children all over the world. People have begun to place an assortment of stuffed animals, primarily teddy bears, in the windows of their homes to expand a global teddy bear hunt.
The idea is that children who are unable to go to school or spend time with their friends can simply go on a walk or a car ride with their parents and take part in the hunt. Each animal that is spotted is a point and provides children, as well as their parents, with a small escape from the stresses of today. As well as having reports of people taking part in the teddy bear hunt in all 50 states, neighborhoods in Canada, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand are also taking part in comforting children around the world. The pictures included in this article were taken in neighborhoods near McKendree University’s Lebanon campus, in the greater Memphis, TN area, in the greater Dallas, TX area, and in Iceland.
Oddly enough, the far-reaching nature of the teddy bear game, which started out as a small form of entertainment, displays not only the widespread impact of the Coronavirus pandemic but has also exemplified how the world has united during the past few months. Anyone can take part in this global hunt for comfort, even those who do not own a stuffed animal (a common substitution for stuffed animals is to post a picture of a rainbow in the window that can be viewed from the street). In many ways, the game demonstrates a similarity of experiences people are facing around the world, as well as a similarity of emotions that most people are feeling. The world is a scary place right now, but even in the most confined quarantine spaces the teddy bear hunt helps represent how nobody is truly alone right now.
Now that you have gotten stiff from reading this article, take a walk and add your score to the comments section below!