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Ohio Family Starts “Drive-Thru Chat” For Socially Distant Socializing

An Ohio family struggling with quarantine life has come up with a creative way to safely socialize—by holding a “drive thru chat.” And their entire neighborhood is benefitting.

The Roush family—Corrine and Matt and their two children Charlie, eight, and Louetta, six—were missing social interaction and wondered if there was a way that they could still communicate with friends and neighbors while staying safe.

So the family decided to make use of their U-shaped driveway and create a drive-up where folks can stop by in front of their house and have conversations from a distance.

“We’ve got a U shaped driveway so it’s perfect! 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,” Corrine said.

“We’ve had our ‘drive thru chat’ up for a week now and we’ve had dozens of visitors including our local police, the kids teachers and several neighbors we’ve never met! 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 explained how the quarantine was starting to take a toll on her family, even her “self-described loner husband.” But it was mostly Charlie who was suffering from a lack of interaction with others.

“Charlie has told me several times that he’s losing his mind.” Corrine said. “They’re also getting too much screen time.”

Parents all over can definitely relate.

“FaceTime, Zoom, Skype have all been great aids in staying connected but there is just something about actually being in the presence of someone and spending time together.”

“We have a sign just out front of our living room window that says ‘Stop & Beep.’ 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,” Corrine said. “It’s been such a light during what has felt like such a dark time.”

Patricia Grisafi

Written by Patricia Grisafi