New Jersey

Message in a Bottle From 2020 Found on Long Island Resonates With Millions on TikTok

NBC Universal, Inc.

For many, 2020 feels like a lifetime ago.

In the height of the pandemic, amid all the lockdowns and daily fear of a then-new and unknown virus, two women from New Jersey decided to put a letter into a bottle and drop it in the ocean, with a message of hope for the future.

Two years later, the bottle resurfaced. The person who found it posted about it on TikTok — and the message is now resonating with millions of people

While they were locked down on the Jersey Shore, Melanie Bock and her niece decided to write the message, then handed the bottle off to a family member to toss into the ocean while fishing.

"I didn't know that anybody would ever find this, I figured it would get wet, the bottle would sink to the bottom, never to be seen again," said Bock, who said they wrote the message six months into the pandemic.

Fast forward nearly two years later, and 80 miles away, a filmmaker in Long Beach, Long Island, was out on a run when something caught his eye.

"I tried to open it up, it had a cork in it, but I could see there was a message inside," said Kyle McCarthy.

He pulled out his phone and started rolling, and he made a video of himself reading the letter.

"Hoping this finds everyone safe and well, hoping God will see it fit to bless and find a cure soon," the letter reads in part.

McCarthy said the letter brought him right back to what the world felt like in 2020.

"That time period was so intense, it brought me back to that feeling, the uneasiness of what the future felt," he said.

There was a phone number left with the note, so he decided to give it a call. He told the person on the other end that he found their message in a bottle.

The video he made has been viewed more than four million times on TikTok. Both sender and recipient, Bock and McCarthy, believe it's the message of positivity and resilience that is resonating with so many.

"I'm safe and well, two years later," McCarthy said.

Bock said that not only has a lot changed in the world since she and her niece wrote that note, but there has been a wonderful addition to their family as well.

"We got through it well, and the niece who was staying with me is now the mother of a beautiful baby boy," Bock said.

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