Teddy bears are popping up in the unlikeliest of places as New Zealanders embrace an international movement in which people in lockdown are placing the stuffed animals in their windows to brighten the mood and give children the game of spotting bears in their neighborhoods.
The inspiration comes from the children’s book We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, written by Michael Rosen and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury.
New Zealand last week began a four-week lockdown, but people are still allowed outside to exercise if they keep a safe distance from each other. In other words, bear-spotting is permitted.
Deb Hoffman, part-time school administrator and mother of two, started a Facebook page called “We’re Not Scared — NZ Bear Hunt” and also set up a Web site with an online map, on which more than 120,000 people have placed pins to show the location of their bears.
“We’re not scared” is a repeated line in the book, which features a family overcoming a number of obstacles in their search for a bear.
Hoffman said that she has been taken aback by the huge response, adding that some people are creating personalities for their bears by having them do a different activity each day.
One woman, who had been housebound for six weeks following surgery before the lockdown began, wrote that the teddy bears were the only thing getting her through the isolation, Hoffman said.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has even joined in, saying that people should keep an eye on her window because they might spot a bear.
In recent weeks, the 73-year-old author has wondered on Twitter whether symptoms including fatigue and fever meant that he had COVID-19 or a “heavy flu.”
Rosen’s family on Tuesday said that he was doing “poorly,” but improving, having previously spent a night in intensive care.
FRENCH AID: Paris has sent a navy ship and aircraft from Reunion Island with some pollution control equipment, but rough seas are spreading the oil spill The operator of a Japanese bulk carrier which ran aground off Mauritius in the Indian Ocean yesterday apologized for a major oil spill, which officials and environmentalists say is creating an ecological disaster, as police prepared to board the ship. The MV Wakashio, operated by Mitsui OSK Lines, struck the reef on Mauritius’ southeast coast on July 25. “We apologize profusely and deeply for the great trouble we have caused,” Mitsui OSK Lines executive vice president Akihiko Ono said at a news conference in Tokyo. The company would “do everything in their power to resolve the issue,” he said. At least 1,000 tonnes of
Three Micronesian sailors stranded on a remote Pacific island have been found alive and well after a rescue team spotted their giant SOS message written into the sand on a beach. Australian and US military aircraft found the three men on tiny Pikelot island, nearly 200km west of where they had set off. Rescuers said that the men were “in good condition” with no significant injuries. The men had been missing for three days after their 7m skiff ran out of fuel and strayed off course. Authorities in the US territory of Guam raised the alarm on Saturday after the men failed to complete
A cat that went missing on a family holiday on the shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland, has been identified 12 years later. Tortoiseshell-and-white Georgie spent October half term in 2008 with her owners at the Rowardennan campsite, but vanished as they were due to return home to Greater Manchester, England. After a search of the site the Davies family departed without Georgie, hoping the three-year-old microchipped feline would be located by someone. Over the intervening 12 years, she remained close to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park site, being fed and cared for by campsite staff and holidaymakers. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdown
LIFELONG LOSS: Jiro Hamasumi, who was not quite born when an atomic bomb hit Hiroshima, lost his father and other relatives, but said he thinks about his father daily As Japan marks 75 years since the devastating attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the last generation of nuclear bomb survivors is working to ensure their message lives on after them. The “hibakusha” — literally “person affected by the bomb” — have for decades been a powerful voice calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons. There are an estimated 136,700 left, many of whom were infants or soon to be born at the time of the attacks. The average age of a survivor now is a little over 83, according to the Japanese Ministry of Health, lending an urgency as they share their testimonies