Ohio Family Offers Drive-Thru Conversations Amid Quarantine Struggles
By Leena Tailor
Can we get fries with that?
As many around the world struggle with loneliness and lack of face-to-face communication while isolating amid the coronavirus pandemic, one Columbus, Ohio, family has launched a new way for locals to get their social fix.
Corrine and Matt Roush, their 8-year-old son, Charlie, and 6-year-old daughter, Louetta, have set up a drive-thru chat that has been operating for the last week.
Corrine tells ET that almost 40 drivers, walkers, cyclists and even one motorcycle rider have stopped by so far.
Locals are invited to head to the family’s U-shaped driveway and honk their horn for a chat any time between 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The clan talk to visitors while maintaining social distancing from their living room.
“Several people have told us that it was the highlight of their day and it’s just been so wonderful to be able to talk face-to-face,” Corrine told Tank’s Good News.
The mom added that the idea was born as Charlie struggled with being stuck at home and kept telling her he was “losing his mind.” He and his sister were also getting “too much screen time.”
While video calling has helped, Corrine noted there’s something special about spending time together in person, so they put a sign at the end of their driveway and launched the drive-thru chat, which has already been visited by police officers, teachers and neighbors they had previously never met.
“We’ve got a U-shaped driveway, so it’s perfect!” Corrine said. “Cars, bikes, even walkers can just come up and stop in front of our living room window and we can chat from a safe distance. We’ve had breakfast, coffee, lunch with family and friends, and it’s getting us through this time together.”
“We have a sign just out front of our living room window that says ‘Stop & Beep,’” she added. “It doesn’t matter what room of the house we’re in, when we hear that beep, we come running to that window with huge smiles on our faces. It’s been such a light during what has felt like such a dark time.”