Firstly, I’d like to remind everyone that the COVID antibody tests are in. We have had several people express interest, so make sure you call to set up an appointment while there are tests available.
Secondly, as you all may be aware, Governor Brad Little has extended the state-wide stay at home order through the end of the month (https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/statewide-stay-home-order/)
This can be frustrating, especially since it seems like Kootenai county and the surrounding areas haven’t been hit as hard as the southern parts of the state at this time. However, we feel it is extremely important to continue to observe the order closely and continue social distancing to KEEP our area’s impact as low as possible. This means taking the following precautions:
1) Signing up for grocery delivery or takeout. Both Fred Meyer and Walmart are participating in grocery delivery, and if you are in the mood for trying something new, Green Chef has a new spin on meal prep that is diet and allergen conscious (https://greenchef.com/menus/main)
2) Utilizing pharmacy and banking drive through instead of going in the lobby. Some pharmacies that offer drive up are Walgreens, Medicine Man (Cornerstone in Hayden and Idaho Street in Post Falls), and Fred Meyer. Check with your bank to see if a drive through option is available. Many banks now offer remote deposit from your phone, which can also limit trips.
3) Streaming church services instead of attending in person. Real Life Ministries is one church that does this; check with your congregation to see if this is an option.
4) Scheduling all normal face-to-face interaction (I.e. with coworkers, family members, etc) via the video chat service of your choice (Skype, Google Hangouts, Discord, Face Time, Marco Polo, and Zoom are just a few of the services that you can tap into).
5) If you are scheduling doctor’s appointments, ask if your provider will either speak with you on the phone or use a HIPAA secured video chat service.
6) Lastly, don’t forget that if you absolutely must leave the house and go into public, please wear a mask (and gloves if possible).
We believe one reason Kootenai hasn’t been as widely affected is because we started taking action early, and it has been making an impact. Keep up the good work!
Finally, if you’ve gotten that touch of cabin fever, take advantage of the beautiful weather and go exploring! This activity gets you out of the house, gets you natural vitamin D and fresh air, and still allows for easy observation of social distancing. North Idaho and Northeastern Washington contain a mighty plethora of trails, both paved and rugged, many of which are right in our back yard. Maybe as a biology adventure for the kids (or even adults!), try hunting and identifying some wildflowers (https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/ipnf/learning/?cid=fsm9_019153) (just make sure to make as little an impact on the local wildlife as possible while flower hunting, and make sure to check which flowers and plants should be left alone).
Here are some park and trail ideas:
1) Post Falls Community Forest (https://www.postfallsidaho.org/departments/parks-recreation/parks/community-forest/)
2) Centennial Trail (https://visitidaho.org/things-to-do/rail-to-trail/centennial-trail/)
3) Tubbs Hill (https://www.cdaid.org/tubbs-hill)
5) Cougar Gulch (https://visitnorthidaho.com/activity/cougar-bay-preserve/)
6) McEuan Park (https://www.cdaid.org/751/departments/parks/all-parks/mceuen-park)
7) Stoddard Park (https://www.cityofhaydenid.us/community_history.php)
8) Farragut State Park (https://parksandrecreation.idaho.gov/parks/farragut)
10) Route of the Hiawatha (https://visitidaho.org/things-to-do/rail-to-trail/route-of-the-hiawatha/)
These are some of the more well-known outdoor recreation areas, but again, we are virtually surrounded by them; there are even paved trail circuits in most neighborhoods. Anywhere outside is an ideal location to get out of the house and get some exercise, just make sure you are using social distancing precautions with anyone outside of your household. If you have any outdoor ideas, share them! I’d love to include them in next week’s bulletin.
That’s all for now! I’m hoping these emails have been a source of encouragement and strength for everyone. Don’t forget to care for each other. We love you all!