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Bear Hunt: DC neighborhood combats coronavirus boredom with new game

McLean Gardens residents are placing bears in their windows for locals to search for... at safe social distances.

WASHINGTON — A northwest D.C. neighborhood has come up with a unique game to combat quarantine-induced boredom.

In McLean Gardens, residents are placing teddy bears on their window sills for neighbors to search for as they get some fresh air, while still practicing social distancing. 

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Graham Cornwell first floated the idea for a "bear hunt" on the neighborhood’s email listserv. After that, the game grew in popularity among local kids and adults who wanted to participate in the hunt.

"Everybody coalesced around this idea being a good one and within a couple of hours, we could hear kids at our window counting up their tally of, '19, 20 [bears]'."

Cornwell said his wife, Judy, came up with the idea for the hunt before he put it to the web.

"She had heard a group of friends, who were kind of exchanging, ‘what do we do with our kids during the social distancing and the school closures?’, and we loved the book, 'We're Going on a Bear Hunt', so we decided to do this bear hunt thing," he said.

There are currently dozens of teddy bears in windows across the northwest D.C. condominium complex. Cornwell said the neighbors below his residence have 16 bears in their windows.

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He said he is happy locals are getting the chance to have some fun while practicing social distancing at the same time.

"You know, there's not a lot to do," he said. "You can't go to the playground with the kids. It's like a chance to move around and look for something."

Cornwell has encouraged other people in the neighborhood to follow @bearhuntmcg on Instagram and hashtag their bear sightings with #bearhuntmcg.

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