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Spreading happiness and hope amid the coronavirus


Residents on the North Shore are trying to find ways to cope amid the coronavirus pandemic. Some are finding innovative ways to socialize with friends. Others are reaching out to the elderly to ease the loneliness. 

Amos Niven is doing her part. The owner of Locust Valley’s Le Petit Zebra said she was reaching out to friends who live alone. Niven spends time every day with one friend, Edmund Bingham, 81, who lives in Glen Cove. Niven has been walking with Bingham to get him out of the house. And she brings different people with her who practice social distancing, she said, to contribute to the conversation. Niven said she thought she would run out of things to talk about with Bingham, but that hasn’t happened. “It has ended up being a win-win for both of us,” she said. “We’re uplifted after being together. This is about human contact and togetherness.”  

The fear that people are experiencing manifests itself differently, which Niven sees with the people she brings on the walk. “Some are scared and some, because we’re rural, think they’re removed from it,” she said. “This can be most devastating for people who live alone. Every day Edmund says, ‘See you tomorrow, same time, same place?’”

Kathryn Moore, a senior at Oyster Bay High School, has been taking part in “rooftop socialization” at Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park. She and a group of friends drive there, form a circle with their vehicles and then sit on their roofs. 

“We have a speaker and play music, and sometimes we dance,” Moore said. “It’s a good time. We FaceTime at night, but during the day it’s good to get out of the house.”