By Jeff Abell
Affixed to windows and doors they can be found, a heart-shaped symbol of hope in a time when the bright side of life has been darkened by fear of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Throughout Burlington and the region, hearts are being painted on or cut out of colorful paper. Some are adorned with the names of the children who made them, or Bible verses, or to honor a health care professional on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It all started with an idea by Galesburg, Ill., resident Krista Wynes. That idea has become a movement including nearly all 50 states and countries aboard, and a Facebook group with more than 700,000 followers.
Through her Facebook group Heart Hunters, people share photos of hearts they have spotted on windows and doors and ones they have made. Wynes said the goal was to provide children with a fun activity but at the same time encourage social distancing.
“I know with my boys being out of school, I was looking for some things to be able to do with them to get them out of the house and get the wiggles out, and I thought how fun to be able to walk and kind of do a virtual scavenger hunt,” Wynes told the Register-Mail in an interview last month.
That initial goal has been turned into something much bigger — a beacon of hope for many.
A sentiment shared by James Dodson of Des Moines, who was walking Monday in downtown Burlington. Looking around, he remarked about the hearts affixed to windows of downtown businesses.
“It made me smile when I saw them. It makes me believe we will all get through this difficult time as long as we don’t lose hope,” he said.
Photo by Anthony Dewitt
Windows and doors throughout Burlington are adorned with hearts as a way to encourage children to practice social distancing and to give them a fun activity to do while home from school during the COVID-19 outbreak.