Daily life in Dothan has been eerily quiet for several days as most residents have heeded government admonitions to stay home to help prevent the transmission of the coronavirus that has caused a global pandemic.

It’s a major disruption of everyone’s routine, and many people are struggling with ways to keep themselves entertained. After all, there is only so much time one can spend watching Netflix.

However, the quarantine has produced some unexpected and positive results. Streets that are usually busy with vehicular traffic are now dotted with people out for a stroll. Some folks are finding unexpected household items on their porches, things that friends and neighbors picked up at the grocery store and thought others might need. Some people are spending their newfound idle time catching up with people they haven’t talked with in a while, or checking in with people who live alone or are elderly or ill.

In one neighborhood, a resident dropped by neighbors’ houses with small houseplants — red anthurium — simply to say hello and see how things are going.

The situation affecting us all is uncertain and unsettling, but it has given us a moment to explore our optimism and exercise our humanity.

Wave at a neighbor across the way. Phone a friend or relative. Offer to walk someone’s dog. There are endless opportunities to fill your idle hours while enriching others’ lives as well as your own.

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