SPRING 2020 INTERN PROJECT
During this time of uncertainty, we tasked our interns with writing an article and producing a 1 minute segment about how COVID-19 is affecting an aspect of their lives.
COMMUNITY COMES TOGETHER IN REGION-WIDE RAINBOW HUNT
By Skylar Eagle
The coronavirus pandemic has kept millions of New York state residents home from work, school and college since early March. Communities are struggling to find ways to keep connected with each other remotely. Members of the 518 area code came together to create a rainbow hunt for school-aged children across the Capital Region and beyond.
The rainbow hunt encourages families with kids to take a walk around their local communities and try to spot rainbows around neighboring houses and businesses.
The campaign #518RainbowHunt was created with a Facebook group on Mar. 18. Over time, the group has grown to have more than 114,000 members from the 518 area code region and beyond. The 518 area code covers 17 counties in New York including Schenectady, Albany and Saratoga.
Haley Kastler is a student at Pace University who decided to participate in the rainbow hunt with her little sister Maya.
“The 518 rainbow hunt is a really nice way for everyone to stay positive during this time so whatever way you want to do it, you put up a rainbow so that when people walk by they can hunt for rainbows either in their cars or on walks when they’re trying to stay physical during this time,” Kastler said.
Kastler said the idea to participate came from Maya’s teacher as a way to stay creative and get involved in something outside of her home while school is held remotely.
She also said the rainbow hunt has made a difference in how communities are handling the coronavirus.
“When we take our walks down in the neighborhood it’s the first thing that she does, she looks in all the windows and sees all the rainbows and it makes her happy and she smiles and it makes me smile too,” Kastler said.
Becca PrimDenburgh and Erin Elizabeth also participated in the rainbow hunt with their two children.
“I thought it was super cute at first. When I first joined there were only 1,000 people in it and I thought it would be a fun thing to do,” PrimDenburgh said, “It’s so nice to see that people are actually participating and doing something to come together.”
PrimDenburgh also said she thinks everyone should try to participate in the rainbow hunt because it gives everyone something to do.
“If you’re feeling lost and aimless because you’re so secluded, the fact that now I can go look for these rainbows and feel connected to the people that have them up, it’s nice to see that kind of stuff and it does give you something to look forward to,” PrimDenburgh said.
Members of the Facebook group won’t stop sharing rainbows anytime soon. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo extended New York on PAUSE regulations until June 13 which directs residents of the state to stay at home and avoid all non-essential travel. The Capital Region has not yet met the requirements to begin phase one of reopening, but several regions in the state have including: the Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, Mohawk Valley, North Country and Central New York.
Kastler, PrimDenburgh and Elizabeth said they would participate in another hunt to help keep communities connected during the stay at home order.