San Ramon community spreads positivity amid the pandemic

People get creative when trying to lift others’ spirits


Isaac Oronsky

Many late March and April birthdays were held in cul-de-sacs as guests would arrive in cars to honk at the birthday person.

Since March 17, counties across the Bay Area have been on a strict shelter-in-place order to combat the coronavirus pandemic. 

Despite being stuck indoors for the most part, people have still been finding ways to spread positivity within their neighborhoods.

Many people have been leaving positive messages in chalk, hanging up their Christmas lights, putting teddy bears in windows, and hosting birthday parades for those who have to celebrate in quarantine.

“A lot of people have been writing with chalk on the sidewalks,” sophomore Maison Erridge said. “I think it’s a really cool way to make people smile when they’re on walks throughout quarantine.”

While this is a great way to spread positivity, it can also be used as a way to say thank you to those who are on the front lines of this crisis.

“People [in my neighborhood] have been decorating driveways and sidewalks to shine a light and give thanks to all the essential workers that have been fighting to protect us from COVID-19,” junior Sydney Brack said.

Those with spring birthdays have had to find new ways to celebrate, while maintaining social distancing from their friends.

“[A while] ago it was my neighbor’s birthday and everyone came out with a sign and balloons to wish her a happy birthday,” junior Anika Gautam said.

Easter, which was on April 12 this year, also gave people the opportunity to spread some joy in their community. 

“We did an Easter egg hunt, where the kids printed out Easter Egg coloring pages, colored them and then put them in their front windows for other kids to find when they were out on walks,” counselor Becky Bellini said about how her neighborhood celebrated the holiday.

Similar to this, it has become a challenge in some neighborhoods to see how many teddy bears kids and their parents can spot in the windows. Little activities like this are helping lift people’s spirits during this uncertain time.

More than anything right now, people are trying to stay connected and show kindness to one another.

“I think everyone is making a point to be kind to each other and supportive of one another,” yearbook and Spanish teacher Jamie Brindley said. “It spreads positivity and the feeling that we are not alone.”

Some people have also been going out of their way to help other members of their community. Besides spreading kindness and checking in on their neighbors, people have been making masks, donating, shopping for each other, and more.

“Our neighbors have also been checking in on each other, offering to do big grocery runs for people who are more at risk,” Bellini said. “It has really been so nice of them.”

Though everyone has to stay six feet apart for the time being, spreading positivity and staying connected is still very much possible.

“I think it’s really important to stay connected whether it’s online or six feet apart during this scary time because it’s really beneficial to be able to talk and spend time with people,” Erridge said. “Being able to put a smile on someone’s face or having fun and laughing helps make the time go by faster.”