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Rainbows of hope in West Hempstead

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With families and communities in quarantine, West Hempstead residents have found a new way to bring the community together while promoting social distancing. The rainbow project, which was started on Facebook, encouraged residents to get out of the house for some fresh air.

Residents can cut, paint, or print out a rainbow and tape it to their front door or window. West Hempstead residents started a Google Maps tour, which features addresses that have a rainbow on their front door. West Hempstead resident Jackie Waters, who owns Bodies in Motion Dance Studio on Hempstead Avenue, said that once the store was closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, she thought the rainbow project would be a great way to promote positivity.

“I drew a rainbow and put it in our window to encourage our students to go outside on a nice day for a walk to get some sunshine and exercise and search for our rainbow,” Waters said. “These are very tough times for everyone but as long as we stick together, stay positive and continue to spread joy and happiness we can get through this.”

The rainbow project has also given residents a chance to visit lesser-known parts of the community. Public health officials urge people to avoid close contact with others and to take part in social distancing. The virus is believed to spread mainly between people within about six feet of each other and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Because many people have been self-isolating at home, and since schools closed March 16, fun activity ideas like the rainbow hunt have swirled on social media. “I know how hard it is to keep spirits up so this is something little that creates a big impact,” said West Hempstead resident Caitlin McCormick-Close in a Facebook comment.