By Don Ford

SUNNYVALE (KPIX 5) — At the start of the pandemic many bay area neighbors found ways to stay connected while still remaining physically distanced.

It was a year ago when a group of neighbors in Sunnyvale decided that they were not going to stay inside, all cooped up. Instead, they stepped outside and started waving.

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Barb Jensen is a “neighbor waver.”

“We had the idea of a 5 o’clock wave, where we would come out at 5 p.m. and wave at our neighbor. The whole idea was just to check to make sure everybody was OK,” explained Jensen.

That simple act grew into a neighborhood event. It just kept growing and growing. Today they celebrate the one year anniversary.

Paula and her husband Hank Ford are also neighbor wavers.

“When it’s wave day, I’d check, ‘It’s wave day! It’s the wave!’ I think it’s what kept me sane,” she said.

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Actually it’s a quiet street. Not many cars go by. The regular waving simply became a clever way to stay social, stay connected and stay safe. Ruth Gooves moved here 61 years ago.

“It’s just everyone seems to be happy to know each other and to be. And we look out for each other. We’re kind of a village,” said Gooves.

John retired from Lockheed Martin 20 years ago.

“Well, checking in on old people like us is nice! The young people check on us. It’s nice,” he said.

Cupcakes come out with big smiles behind little masks as kids run around freely.

A taste of simpler times; and Dave Jensen says it all started because these neighbors care deeply for each other.

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“The whole idea was to walk out to the edge of your sidewalk, look up and down the street and wave at one another. And if people were out waving, we knew they were fine,” explained Jensen.