Before we were asked by health officials to physically distance ourselves because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it seemed like we were already "distant" from those who were living closest to our homes.

A study before coronavirus, published by StudyFinds in December of 2019, revealed that 75 percent of adults "aren't friends with any of their neighbors." The survey also showed 1 in 4 people feel they live in a neighborhood with "no community spirit."

Now it seems that being stuck at home during the pandemic closures, we may have started to bring some of the community spirit back.

According to a new survey from, 30 percent of Montanans admit that they met their neighbor for the first time during the COVID-19 lockdown, compared to a national average of 20 percent.

The survey of 4,000 Americans also revealed 15 percent of us would reach out to our neighbor for financial help in a time of need. On the flip side, Americans would give their neighbor an average of $167 if they were in need. Montanans would give their neighbor in need an average of $84, according to the survey.

Despite being physically separated from people we care about, a sense of community support is more important now than ever, which includes being there for your neighbor in times of need. Having the support of a friendly neighbor can be extremely helpful in trying circumstances. -Sam Allcock for

While we've waved to each other on numerous occasions, and I always would smell him cooking on the grill, I didn't meet my neighbor until the shutdown. I found out he works at St. V's Hospital and was on the front lines of our battle with COVID-19.

A couple weeks ago, some of my neighbor kids were playing on their trampoline in the backyard, and one of their bouncy balls ended up bouncing across the fence into my yard. I tossed it back across the fence into the trampoline when I got home that evening, and the following day I had this card on my front door:

Credit: Johnny Vincent, Townsquare Media
Credit: Johnny Vincent, Townsquare Media

How thoughtful of these kids to do that. Now, I can say hello to my neighbors by their first names. And to Bianca and Amelia, my name is Johnny. Calling me "sir" makes me feel like I'm too old to jump on your trampoline. Probably am. I'm still trying to recover from helping Mark move his 1000 pound TV hutch.

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