Nassau Coronavirus: Neighbors Paint Rainbows To Lift Spirits

Nikki Gaskins

This article originally appeared on the Wantagh-Seaford Patch

WANTAGH, NY—This, too, shall pass. That's the message some Long Islanders hope to send others trying to make it through the outbreak of the new coronavirus, which has affected so many people financially, emotionally and, in many cases, physically.

"Right now in these times, everybody is a little uneasy, and they don’t know what to expect," Katherine Schilling of Wantagh told Patch. "It’s a rough time with everything we’re dealing with."

Eager to spread some cheer and feel-good vibes in a world on the edge, Schilling and her niece, Nicole Sapienza, recently launched a social movement centered on positivity and hope. Together, the two created the Facebook group, Rainbows Over Nassau And Suffolk Counties And Beyond.

Courtesy: Katherine Schilling, used with permission

“The rainbow, to most people, signifies sunshine after the storm," Schilling said. "Rainbows are positive. People smile when they see a rainbow."

Through the group, they are encouraging families stuck in isolation due to COVID-19 to display rainbows in their front doors, windows, driveways - or really just about anywhere. One woman even asked if she could draw a rainbow on her cast after she broke her leg, Schilling said.

“There was also one post where the mother had her daughter dressed up as a rainbow they both created," she said. "She was smiling and waving to people. People have been so creative. We have posts where people are holding up rainbows for their grandparents saying 'We miss you' because they can't get close to them."

Courtesy: Katherine Schilling, used with permission

In less than a week, more than 35,000 people have joined the group, and not all of them are from Long Island.

“Some have joined from Canada, Italy, Germany, I mean, all over," she said. "I’m totally flabbergasted. I can’t believe how many people have joined."

And as more people seek to find joy in a world that seems filled with uncertainty right now, she expects more members to join to help continue spreading a message of hope.

"I’ve had messages from nurses, postman, police officers thanking me," she said. "When they go to work or come home, they notice the rainbows."

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