OCEAN COUNTY, NJ – Eleven years ago, 28-year-old Tara Marqua moved to the Jersey Shore from Fairfield, Connecticut. Amid the coronavirus crisis, Tara has kept up with the news from her hometown. When she learned that her old neighbors started a bell ringing project, she decided to bring the message to the place she now calls home.
Tara took to social media and has already received over 2,000 shares for what she simply calls an “Ocean County Weekly Bell Ringing.” She’s added the hashtag #OceanCountyFlattenstheCurve to bring attention to the whole concept of staying at home. The bell-ringing starts tonight and is planned indefinitely every Wednesday evening from 7:00 pm – 7:02 pm.
“We are asking all residents of Ocean County to go out on their front steps, or open a window,” shared Tara. “We want people to joyously sound a bell, chime, banging of pans, or anything else that makes a ring of solidarity.”
Governor Phil Murphy’s call for everyone to stay home has many in isolation. The two-minute chorus of noise comes with a symbolic message to members of the community who are physically separated to avoid further spread of the coronavirus.
“We want our citizens to show they remain united in their support for one another,” Tara explained. “We need to stay dedicated to overcoming the present situation.”
Even before Governor Murphy called for social distancing, Tara made the decision to stay home with her six-month-old and three-year-old children. She sensed it wouldn’t be smart to take any chances.
Tara is a yoga teacher at Wildflowers on Long Beach Island and misses her classes. Like everyone else, she’s hoping that life will return to normal before the summer. When the vacationers in town, Tara extends her yoga classes in Barnegat Light.
Why did Tara start this project? “I’m a very positive person,” said Tara. “I love to help people, and I think it will be so cool for neighbors to hear other people making noise.”