Canes Covering Coronavirus, Connecticut

Impromptu happy hour creates a sense of community, even if 6 feet apart

Katherine Begg
Trumbull, Connecticut
5:30 p.m. Sunday, April 26


Impromptu happy hour creates a sense of community, even if 6 feet apart

The residents of Carriage Drive connected late Sunday afternoon for a social distancing happy hour. The catch? They gathered in the middle of their cul-de-sac, 6 feet apart.

Although it was not a traditional dinner party, the neighbors were happy to share conversation with friendly faces, just steps outside their homes.

“Lack of face-to-face interaction has been the most challenging aspect of the quarantine for me,” said Karen Seltenreich, who has lived on Carriage Drive since 2015. “When I get a chance to stand 6 to 10 feet apart from my neighbors on a warm, sunny day during an impromptu happy hour, it does so much for my well-being.”

Bob Tibor, another member of the Carriage Drive community said that although there have been many disadvantages as a result of the pandemic, a greater sense of community and humanity has emerged.

“I think the coronavirus pandemic has helped me and my family connect with each other and those around us,” said Tibor, 46. “There seems to be a lot more communication among neighbors, especially during our weekly, socially distant happy hours on the street.”

Michael Begg, front left, Tim Healy, far back left, Lea Healy, second from back left, Kelly Quatrella, center, Rich Seltenreich, back right, and Tricia Begg, front right, meet for a socially distant happy hour on their cul-de-sac on Sunday, April 26, in Trumbull, Connecticut. 

The Carriage Drive community also keeps in touch electronically.

“We have an extensive group text message thread going on sharing ‘dinner deals,’” said Tibor. “We seem to update this thread daily, whereas in the past, pre-pandemic, we would just give a quick wave to each other and be on our way.”

Lea Healy, who has lived on Carriage Drive since 2005, said the quarentine has brought both her own family, as well as the neighborhood community together.

“The quarantine has kept us home, but simultaneously brought us together in a safe and supportive way,” said Healy, 48. “I’ve enjoyed sharing recipes, family meal deals, drink mixers and toilet paper, but most significant are the friendships and support in an otherwise dark time.”


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