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Appreciative neighbors howl for health care workers in Missoula


Notice: Transcripts are machine and human generated and lightly edited for accuracy. They may contain errors.

Judy Woodruff: If we look around, we do see signs of solidarity are keeping pace with the spread of the virus.

It started with singing from open windows in Italy. Now cheers for essential workers are heard around the world, from Madrid to Canada to New York.

The latest trend, howling, is echoing through neighborhoods across the country.

Montana PBS' Breanna McCabe lets us listen in on what has become a nightly ritual in Missoula.

Shawn Paul: Gives you chills.

Breanna McCabe: Health care worker Shawn Paul is in the middle of a two-week quarantine after returning from an out-of-state work trip.

It's not uncommon to hear howling in this dog-loving neighborhood, so the first night Shawn heard it, he was about to dismiss it. But something about it the way it sounded drew him outside.

Shawn Paul: I poked my head out. And there's -- one of our neighbors was out there leading the charge.

Breanna McCabe: By the next night, more neighbors heard about the 8:00 o'clock howl through social media or sidewalk messages, saying the gesture shows support for health care workers and first responders.

And neighbors, like the Lewis family, started to add to the chorus.

Hayes Lewis: It feels cool, because you just feel a bunch of noise, and it's like all around you. And the dogs have been howling, so that's funny, too.

Breanna McCabe: Carrie Lewis works in the intensive care unit at the local hospital. She's one of three nurses on this block.

Carrie Lewis: I have heard that it's to support health care workers. And I'd like to think that that encompasses everyone, I mean, nurses and physicians, of course, on the front lines, E.R. on the front, front line, ICU doing some tough stuff, but housekeeping, security, laundry, scary now.

I hope people know that it's everyone that they're howling for.

Mia Lewis: We have been doing it off our back porch, but, yes, last night was the first time we came to our front porch. And we could see all our neighbors howling.

Breanna McCabe: Who knew being isolated would bring us all a little closer?

Shawn Paul: It's more and more every night.


Breanna McCabe: For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Breanna McCabe in Missoula, Montana.

Judy Woodruff: I'm getting a lot of urging to do this. Not doing it.


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