On Track

Power-Walking through the Pandemic

By Judy Felton

Many years ago, a very wise Buhl School Board made the decision to invest in building an athletics track. It soon became known as one of the best in southern Idaho and was the location of many track and field events. It was used through the years for regular physical education activities and classes and provided students with an opportunity to improve their sporting abilities. Community residents were invited to use the track and many took advantage of it as a safe place to exercise, push baby strollers, walk dogs, fly kites, or watch the Fourth of July fireworks. The track is just over the fence from my backyard and I have enjoyed watching the various uses of the school’s property by people of many different ages. But it was only during the past year that I came to truly appreciate the treasure just a short distance from my kitchen door.

When the COVID-19 pandemic became a shocking reality in all our lives, my husband Mike and I struggled to analyze the contradictory information that flooded media outlets. At the ages of eighty-one and seventy-nine, we knew we were members of a high-risk group and needed to protect ourselves. We decided we would wear masks, avoid large crowds, wash our hands often, carry sanitizer in our vehicles, and practice a modified form of social isolation. We temporarily discontinued attending the social and civic group meetings that had been an enjoyable part of our lives for many years.

Mike decided to continue going to his office. The staff planned with him how to keep themselves and clients at a safe distance from each other within the office. Clients were encouraged to stay in contact via phone rather than in-person visits. I laughed when Mike told me he would occasionally ask clients to park at the side of his building and stay in their cars while he brought out papers or documents for them to sign. He would wear his mask and stay a few feet away from their vehicles while attending to their legal needs. I teased him about practicing “curbside law.”

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