NEWCASTLE, WA—Expressing nostalgia for the routines of his life before stay-at-home orders began, local man Bryan Miller told reporters Thursday he had lost any sense of how much time had passed since he last danced through his community’s central square trailed by a rollicking chorus of friendly townspeople. “Was it really only a month or two ago that I promenaded through the town, stopping along the way to be twirled and dipped by a smiling, Lindy Hopping postman?” Miller said as he looked out his apartment window onto the empty streets below, quietly humming the chorus from one of his town’s all-time favorite showstoppers. “It feels like ages since I’ve stopped in to give Widow Jenkins a big hey-hello and how-do-you-do, let alone traded off a series of increasingly intricate tap-dancing moves with Mr. Beasley, the baker. Think how hard this must be for the old folks, who haven’t even been able to toss their walkers aside and form a kick line while a nearby construction crew pounds out a jaunty beat with its hammers. Let’s face it, without women handing off their babies to strangers and back-handspringing their way across the street, this place is a ghost town.” At press time, the mayor, Barrett J. Walmsley III, was heard eagerly ringing the bell in town square, shouting “Hear ye, hear ye!” and announcing the summer cotillion would have to be canceled, which further darkened Miller’s mood.
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