They’re bundled up and socially distanced in front of a roaring fire, with drinks in hand. In this Arlington neighborhood, residents have met for a happy hour called Six Feet at 6:30 every night for nearly a year.
"It's been my therapy," Mary Stump said.
Stump came up with the idea, which started as a neighborhood wave in the cul de sac. It evolved into the happy hour, complete with a logo designed by 16-year-old Izzy Obey, T-shirts, blankets and other swag with her design.
"It's been just fabulous," Stump said. "I couldn't imagine anything better than this."
Over the past year, the neighbors have gathered in pouring rain and documented it with tons of photos and videos. Their motto: Social distancing doesn’t have to mean social isolation.
"This has been our lifeline and our silver lining for COVID," one man said.
The gatherings have built a sense of community between neighbors of all ages and different backgrounds. And, yes, pets are welcome, too.
On Friday night the group toasted Christal Platt for her birthday. She said the group has been like family for her, and it’s good for her mental health.
"I love it because I think by nature we're all social, so it's important to connect with other people," Platt said. "When this first started, it was just a way for everyone to check in, make sure everybody's OK."
When things open back up and people head back to work, the group wants to continue their happy hour (though probably once a week instead of every day).
They also hope others will be inspired by their group and try it out in their own neighborhoods.