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People are being encouraged to put up Christmas lights to spread cheer while they're social distancing

As coronavirus ha...

Posted: Mar 18, 2020 10:21 AM
Updated: Mar 19, 2020 6:30 AM

As coronavirus has infected every state in the nation and people are stuck inside their homes in an attempt to prevent it from spreading even more, things are feeling a little bleak.

So some are trying to spread a little hope and cheer instead.

People around the country are putting up their Christmas lights and encouraging others to do the same.

The idea is that twinkling, colorful lights will lift spirits during these dark times. And it doubles as a social distancing activity: people can admire the lights from the safety of their own homes or cars.

Over the weekend, Lane Grindle, a broadcaster for the Milwaukee Brewers, posted a callout on Twitter.

'What if we all put our Christmas lights back up? Then we could get in the car and drive around and look at them. That seems like a fair social distancing activity,' he wrote.

Dozens responded with enthusiasm, with a couple even posting photos of the lights on in their front yard.

In Cumberland, Rhode Island, a 10-year-old boy had a similar idea.

'Hey dad, can we turn the Christmas lights on?' Holly Griffin says her son asked her husband. 'I want something to look at.'

The family put up their lights and decided that they'd keep them on until social distancing protocols were no longer in place.

Griffin and her husband both encouraged others to do the same on social media. Since then, they've received messages from people all around the country.

Someone in Louisiana replied to Mike Griffin's tweet saying that she put her Christmas lights up at 1 a.m. after reading about it, and shared it with others in her community too.

Even someone in the United Kingdom from people messaged them, excited about the idea.

'Times are dark and there's light to be spread,' Griffin told CNN. 'Now more than ever is a time to be looking outside yourself. I think taking our mental health seriously is really important and just hearing bad news all the time can really make that multiply.'

The lights are a small gesture, Griffin says, but she said she hopes that when first responders, grocery store workers and pharmacists drive by that it might bring a smile to their face.

'It's the little things we can do to feel connected,' she said.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 906596

Reported Deaths: 17358
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2997606993
Riverside659021279
San Bernardino626191072
Orange585731447
San Diego54583870
Kern33813416
Fresno30752436
Sacramento25372484
Santa Clara24144388
Alameda23312461
San Joaquin21630489
Contra Costa18621241
Stanislaus17629396
Tulare17495286
Ventura14240164
Imperial12700336
San Francisco12103140
Monterey1137291
San Mateo11075159
Santa Barbara9781120
Merced9465155
Sonoma9312136
Kings822883
Solano728674
Marin7074128
Madera498174
San Luis Obispo414132
Placer409357
Yolo319159
Butte307852
Santa Cruz278825
Napa195715
Shasta187830
Sutter183712
San Benito143715
El Dorado13174
Yuba129310
Mendocino112721
Tehama8728
Lassen7661
Lake69615
Glenn6573
Nevada6088
Humboldt5629
Colusa5506
Calaveras34218
Amador32816
Tuolumne2694
Inyo22715
Siskiyou1930
Mono1802
Del Norte1781
Mariposa782
Plumas680
Modoc290
Trinity250
Sierra60
Alpine30
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Fire danger remains high over much of California on this Monday, and that will continue through Tuesday afternoon. Thankfully, most of the strongest wind has passed, and the wind will weaken through midweek.
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