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Time for a Happy Hour

On Wednesday, the Ironton government proclaimed a happy hour of a different kind.

Instead of gathering for a drink with friends after work, Ironton is asking all of its residents to go outside in their yard and shout out a few words of encouragement to their neighbors.

In normal times, that would be a weird thing.

But social distancing is bringing social loneliness.

Most people are in their houses. Churches and in-dining restaurants are closed. Baseball diamonds are empty of players and fans. Public buildings are appointment only. Easter egg hunts, usually the highlight of the spring for those under the age of 10 are on hold. Even the Pope had to have his Palm Sunday mass in an empty church.

Around the world, people are dealing with the situation in different ways. There are videos of people in apartment building complexes exercising on their balconies as a person stands in the courtyard leading them.

In Nashville, a grandfather and his granddaughter meet in the street across from their houses for a daily dance off.

In Italy, a quarantined musician serenaded his neighbors with a trumpet version of John Lennon’s “Imagine.”

These videos went viral because they showed that even under dire circumstances, we all need to feel connected, we still need to know we are not alone. We need to know we still matter.

So, until further notice, let’s all just come outside at 6 p.m. and say hello. Maybe talk about the weather or how the kids are doing. Reconnect with your neighbors.

Because as comedian Red Green always says, “Remember I’m pullin’ for ya — we’re all in this together.”