Community in the Age of Coronavirus


Yesterday my town morphed into Mayberry.

The sound of incessant car horns beeping, fire engines blaring and loud cheering drew me out of the quiet of my office yesterday afternoon.  I thought perhaps this was my town’s equivalent of the N.Y.C. 7:00 appreciation cheer for all the first responders.

I went out into my front porch to witness a parade of slow-moving vehicles all with open windows, men, women, and children reaching out and cheering us, their isolated neighbors. Strangers in cars waved at each passing home, cheering us on that we are not alone. Fire trucks and automobiles festooned with signs saying “We Miss You,” “We Love You,” “You Are Not Alone,” drove slowly by each house, each waving and shouting as we each in our own cocoons connected from afar. My heart was full, my eyes teared up and I half expected to see Aunt Bea waving an embroidered hankie from a 1963 Chevy.

The story felt like something straight out of  Readers Digest’s  infamous collection of heartwarming, homey anecdotes that ran under the heading “Life in These United States.” I know that all over the country even as we self distance from one another,  communities are coming together in a show of solidarity in this grim and perilous time

This too is life in these United States in the age of Coronavirus.


One comment

  1. We’ve been doing this the past three Saturdays at 4 PM. In this small (8900 people) town, the main street fills with over 200 vehicles, slowly “Cruising the Butte” (Box Butte Avenue – main street in town), people waving and honking at friends as they pass. This activity used to be how teenagers hooked up with friends in past, now is how some adults are dealing with cabin fever. The main difference between your event and ours: This is closer to being Mayberry. LOL! Our version of Andy smiles, winks, and ignores the congestion and mayhem caused by this activity. Our “Aunt Bea” stands beside the local theater, selling (!) popcorn to the barely moving vehicle because we know she couldn’t give away her pickles, let alone sell them.


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