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Elmo's Social Distance Playdate with Lin Manuel-Miranda Is Hand Washing for the Soul

Elmo and his friends have been serving up some coronavirus advice

Allison Picurro

Sometimes all you can do is sit down and watch Elmo have a playdate. Maybe that wasn't something you'd ever thought about before the coronavirus pandemic began, but it's more than likely where you're at now. Good thing the Sesame Streetgang are experts at bringing positivity and warmth, and their talents were on full display during the April 14 special, "Elmo's Playdate," which aired on HBO and PBS, and can now be watched online.

With special guests Anne Hathaway, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Tracee Ellis Ross, everyone over at Sesame Street did their own version of a Zoom hang. Games were played, songs were sung, and people watching was reminded of the importance of social distancing.

The special, which was part of the Caring for Each Other campaign Sesame Workshop launched during the COVID-19 crisis, was an all-around delightful time. Elmo hosted, and had visits from Grover, Cookie Monster, Abby Cadabby, and more. They even took a moment to thank healthcare workers, mail carriers, grocery store workers, and all the people working through the crisis. "Elmo's Playdate" may have been designed to bring some joy to kids stuck at home, but there was a lot of joy to be found in it for adults, too.

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As one of the most enduring, tightly knit communities on TV, the puppets and people who live on Sesame Street get how hard it is to be away from friends and family, which is why the PSAs the show been posting have been especially comforting to watch during this time. They've done ones about hand washing, safely sneezing and coughing, and self-hugging. In another targeted specifically at parents, Elmo's hilariously overwhelmed dad, Louie, encourages parents to take time for themselves.

"Breathe with me right now," Louie says in the video, just moments before Elmo calls for him to help build a pillow fort. Even puppets are going through it!

Regardless of your age, be sure to watch some of the PSAs Sesame Street has put out below.