COVID-19 and Howls from Unexpected Places

Wolves Howling - Image Credits - Creator: Wilfried Martin

Steven Bonifazi

For a multitude of reasons, every evening at 8 pm thousands of Coloradans are taking to their parks, porches, and decks to howl like wolves during these troubling times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It gives you a sense of not being alone,” said Kati Blocker, writer, communications specialist for UCHealth in Northern Colorado and mother of two. A Laporte resident, Blocker says the howling has brought her closer to her community.

Originally created by Shelsea Ochoa just two weeks ago on Friday, March 27, a public Facebook group titled “Go Outside and Howl at 8 pm” now has nearly 500,000 members, gaining a total of 10,000 in the last month alone. Ochoa was inspired to start the page when a friend of hers from Topanga, California told her about a memory from her childhood when most nights the locals would go outside howling.

Ochoa thought it would be fun to start a group to get friends and family doing the howl but had no idea it would gain such a following. “When I entered the page it was 100 members and within days it grew exponentially,” said Irina Bogomolova, Poet and Moderator for the Facebook Group.

The group is now international, with members from 99 countries around the world howling every night. While some are howling as a cathartic release, through grief over the loss of a loved one, or simply for the purpose of keeping their children and themselves entertained during quarantine, others find it a cool way to connect with others, regardless of political perspectives or beliefs.

“Every person does it for a slightly different reason, yet when you are out there doing it, it doesn’t matter why and everyone is in acceptance that we are all out there and going to make it through this,” said Blocker.

The howling has taken place all around Colorado, including Denver, Fort Collins, Laporte, as well as other towns and cities throughout Northern Colorado. While the Facebook group continues to grow, admins and moderators of the group such as Bogomolova plan to keep the nightly tradition going, regardless of the current situation the world finds itself in.

“I don’t care if there is a pandemic or not, I am howling for the rest of my life!” said Bogomolova.


For more information about the nightly howling and the “Go Outside and Howl at 8 pm” Facebook group, please visit their page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/howlat8/about/

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