These days, the need to connect and share a moment is stronger than ever.

With the isolation brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, the meme of D.W., Arthur’s younger sister, looking forlorn, peering through a chain link fence, has been racing across the internet. It’s been used to capture the longing for the gym, a friend — just about anything closer than 6 feet away — as the nation struggles with the loss of normal routines.

This week, the meme made it to the cover of Newsweek with the story “The Class of 2020 is all Dressed Up with Nowhere To Go,” featuring a tweaked image of D.W., wearing a graduation mortarboard and clasping a diploma in her hand.

Newsweek approached WGBH asking to use — and adapt — the image, which comes from a 2005 episode where D.W. wants to go swimming, but the pool is closed.

The accompanying article captures the angst and uncertainty of the roughly 2 million members of the college Class of 2020 who are reeling with fallout of COVID-19, after childhoods shaken by the September 11 attacks and the financial crisis of 2008.

“Memes are how twenty-somethings communicate on the internet,” says Deborah Frank, associate producer for Arthur, television’s longest running children’s animated series that premiered in 1996, when today’s college graduates were preschoolers.

“People are really connecting with the longing that’s in the image.”

Arthur, now in its 23rd season, is known as a pioneer in children’s programming for its handling of important health, social and emotional topics. It was awarded the 2019 Television Critics Award for Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming.

So why does Arthur still resonate among today's college graduates?

Carol Greenwald, senior executive producer, isn’t quite sure, but suspects it is the authenticity of the characters.

“People think of Arthur, Buster or D.W. as people they really knew growing up. They’re so genuine and memorable… even when you’re in your twenties!”