Melrose

Social Distancing Fun: Woman’s 102nd Birthday and Roaming ‘Unicorns’ Bring Cheer

The unicorns were joined by plenty of people dancing on lawns and with them on the streets, "people we don't even know just asking to bring some light into their day, which has been really fun to give," one said

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The coronavirus pandemic didn't stop 102-year-old Agnes Carson from getting a big birthday party Thursday -- it came to her in the form of a parade conducted by dozens of great-grandnieces and -nephews in Woburn, Massachusetts.

Meanwhile, in nearby Melrose, a mother and daughter helped make the days a little brighter for their neighbors by dressing up in their inflatable unicorn costumes and visiting area residents.

They're two ways that people are working hard to highlight the good amid strict social distancing rules.

"Here's to 100 more!" one person yelled as a long line of cars, SUVs and even firetrucks rode by Carson's assisted living home. Some participants made colorful signs they waved out the window and at least one dressed up their dog for the event, too.

Carson sat outside, taking in the scene in a big chair with a protective mask on -- social distancing ruled out an indoor party this year. At 102, this is the second pandemic she's lived through, along with the influenza pandemic of 1918.

The secret to her longevity? "I have a very happy family," she said.

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In Melrose, Stephanie Nelson and her 13-year-old daughter Marley wanted to lift the spirits of people who might be feeling down while being stuck at home.

Before the pandemic broke out, a child from the town had asked Mayor Paul Brodeur if they could have a unicorn day. Because Thursday is "national unicorn day," Brodeur decided to recognize it in the city as well.

That prompted the Nelsons to post on social media they would be dressing up in unicorn outfits and visiting the homes of children and senior citizens who are having a difficult time while social distancing.

The Nelson's planned to dance their way around 50 streets between 10:30 a.m. and noon - rain and all.

"It's worth being wet and being silly," Stephanie Nelson said inside her big, inflatable unicorn suit.

They were joined by plenty of people dancing on lawns and with them on the streets, "people we don't even know just asking to bring some light into their day, which has been really fun to give," Stephanie said.

These couples are thriving during being "stuck" together at home during the pandemic.

The pair is a part of Melrose's designated "spirit squad," which aims to lift up citizens during this difficult time.

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