Howling for the front lines; Mill Valley residents join together to honor the first responders

Charlotte Casey

Since the start of the shelter in place, due to COVID-19, every night at 8 p.m. Marin erupts with the sounds of people howling. Residents participate in this nightly activity, together as a community, to thank all of our first responders for helping during this pandemic. The howling lasts for five minutes and was started by Mill Valley resident Hugh Kuhn, on the week of March 23. In an interview with the Marin IJ, Kuhn explained his motives behind starting this new trend.

“I was just trying to get the community together during a time where a lot of people are experiencing isolation,” Kuhn said.

Kuhn got the idea from a growing trend around the world; #Solidarityat8. In Italy, people have been singing opera from balconies. In Spain, they have been banging kitchenware, and in the U.K., they have been clapping to show their appreciation for all of the first responders. Kuhn wanted to start a trend that was unique to Marin, so he decided on a unified coyote howl.

“It’s original and brings it home because it’s directed at our town,” Tamalpais High School sophomore and Mill Valley resident, Arianna Chitzas said.

The howl has quickly migrated over Mt. Tamalpais and is now a nightly trend all over Marin. Peoples’ dogs are getting involved, people are banging pots and pans together, and even wild turkeys have been heard joining in. 

“It started taking on a life of its own,” Kuhn said when interviewed by the Marin IJ. 

Ross resident and Redwood sophomore, Julia Milani, said she started howling by the second or third week of quarantine, about one week after the howling in Mill Valley started. 

 “[People have been howling] to show support for healthcare workers and to let them know that they are thankful for everything that [healthcare workers] have been doing in support of COVID-19,” Milani said. 

“I think this howl is a good thing because it brings the community together, without us actually having to be together. It’s important to acknowledge people who are helping us in this whole pandemic because it isn’t something we’ve seen before.” Chitsaz said.

Along with showing support by howling, people have also been trying to support their local business’ as best as they can by ordering food from restaurants that are available for takeout and delivery.

During these times, people are seen all over the world banding together and doing things as a community to bring joy and give thanks to all the people risking their lives. Whether it’s making noise at 8 p.m. or buying food from a local business, even the little things can make a big difference. 

“It’s about community connectedness, with a little sense of humor,” Kuhn said. 

To support our local healthcare workers and first responders, join in howling every night at 8 p.m.