Mill Valley residents bond and unite during COVID-19 pandemic with nightly community howl

ByCornell W. Barnard KGO logo
Saturday, March 28, 2020
Mill Valley residents bond and unite during COVID-19 pandemic with nightly community howl
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As the novel coronavirus has prompted a weeks-long shelter-in-place, a Mill Valley neighborhood has found a unique way to stay connected.

MILL VALLEY, Calif. (KGO) -- No, that's not a convention of coyotes you hear through the canyons of Mill Valley on most nights. It's neighbors checking in with each other, thanks to a big community howl.

It's become a thing every night at 8 p.m. during our stay at home order a chance for neighbors to step outside for a few minutes and connect. Christine Nesbit and her kids never miss it.

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"It's a nice way to relieve stress, and know you're going to hear some of your neighbors and recognize voices," said Nesbit.

It's more than blowing off steam. It's a way to thank medical workers, on the front lines of the pandemic.

"It's fun to howl and thank the hospital workers for helping all the people," said Kaela Nesbit.

The idea started in Italy, quarantined citizens singing and making noise, thanking doctors and nurses and greeting each other.

Back home, there's a new take.

"It's become the only thing we have where we get chance to socialize during the quarantine," said parent Jonathan Kathrein.

Howls are echoing through the hills and canyons, and even retirement communities are letting loose.

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The Mill Valley Howl has its own Facebook page started by Scott Schumaker, complete with a few video clips of confused dogs, but mostly a community rallying together.

"Going outside and hearing the whole valley howling, you know everyone is in this together."

The idea has even caught on to other communities like Novato, where they were making noise on Friday night.

During these uncertain times, seems like a good howl just makes sense.

Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here