While feelings of isolation can plague Burbank residents obeying stay-at-home orders in the midst of the COVID-19 epidemic, locals are determined to maintain a sense of solidarity. The Burbank COVID Zoo 2020 event takes place in participating households within the community and serves as a reminder of unity amidst tough times.
The event, which began from 10am to 6pm this past Friday, May 15, through Sunday, May 17, will be carried out monthly and consists of utilizing lawn space as a canvas for individual zoo exhibits.
Each home chooses an animal to represent through their lawn decorations, with each contributor getting creative in the process. Some incorporate materials such as toys and stuffed animals, holiday decorations, or other recycled materials. In addition, participants display written information about their animal to further recreate an authentic zoo-like experience.
Burbank resident Kelley Hickey is organizing the event and says she decided to introduce the idea after family members in Canyon Lake enjoyed a similar ceremony in their neighborhood. The difficulties faced during this period of a nation-wide quarantine make the zoo event an enjoyable escape for participants.
“We have all had to completely halt our normal daily activities and everyone struggles with that in their own way,” said Hickey. “Not being able to socialize is really hard, especially for the younger kids who don’t really understand why we are distancing.”
Hickey moved with her husband and two young daughters to Burbank five years ago and sees the event as an opportunity to give back to the neighborhood she and her family love so much.
“There are so many wonderful and creative people here, and wonderful families that share our values and continue to cultivate the magic in this community,” said Hickey. “There are a lot of people trying to do good things here, and we are thankful to be connected by the internet when we can’t be together in person.”
Hickey’s main goal for the zoo drive is to introduce a new, collaborative project that brings people who are at home closer together.
“I am hoping this gives families a project to do with one another, something to look forward to when there is so little that can be planned, and an escape from their homes where everyone is spending so much time doing the same things,” Hickey said.
In addition, the desired outcome is one in which Burbank residents are reminded that our current circumstances won’t last forever, and there can be pleasant opportunities created in the meantime.
“I hope the project sends messages of positivity, creativity, and shows our kids that we can make the best of what we have.”
To learn more about the Burbank COVID Zoo 2020 event, visit their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/burbankcovidzoo2020