Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay the Course
Posted on 04/16/2020

Badger and Candy Mountains, the Playground of Dreams, the riverfront, and plenty of sunshine are calling. After months of (albeit mild) winter weather, many Mid-Columbians are itching to get outdoors and back to recreational pursuits. With the mild spring weather may come a sense of complacency about the risks of coronavirus: Is being outside around others outside our immediate families that big of a risk?

In a word, yes. One of the main tenets of the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order is making sure our hospitals are not overwhelmed with patients without the resources to care for them.

While the news is promising about how some states, including Washington, are “flattening the curve” and seeing the number of cases and deaths leveling off, the residents of Benton and Franklin counties have a responsibility to ourselves and each other to continue to stay home, stay healthy, and stay the course until further notice.

Our current projections are built on the assumption that people will continue to follow physical distancing in their lives,” says Gov. Jay Inslee. “The threat of this virus is just as deadly now as it was on March 23 when I directed Washingtonians to stay home and stay healthy.” 

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact (within about 6 feet) for a prolonged period. Recent studies indicate that people who are infected but do not have symptoms likely also play a role in the spread of COVID-19. Continuing the practice of staying home except for essential reasons is the most effective way to stop the spread of the virus. 

In the meantime, you can still enjoy the sunshine by gardening, walking with members of your immediate household, or exercising in your yard. Here are a few other ways to get creative while socially distancing: 

  • Have a backyard campout
  • Have a “drive-in” movie in the backyard with a white sheet and projector
  • Hold a scavenger hunt
  • Start a compost pile
  • Challenge the kids to a cornhole tournament
  • Hold a family picnic. Grab a blanket, pack a lunch, and enjoy the afternoon!
  • Make chalk art and write notes of encouragement for passers-by on your front sidewalk
  • Set up a cardboard fort with all those online shipping boxes!

Have another great idea for outdoor fun? Let us know! Send an email to outreach@bfhd.wa.gov.