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Coronavirus Brings Families Back to Basics


Going on a Bear Hunt

Jordan Bridges

Messenger Reporter

HOUSTON COUNTY – The Coronavirus (COVID-19), a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person, has taken the world by storm. This disease has caused school closures, supply shortages, and employment issues nationwide.

By following the President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America and obeying Texas state and local authorities, many residents are finding themselves confined to their homes for safety measures.

Despite the fear, worry and uncertainty pertaining to the coronavirus, our local community has been able to find positive attributes on which to focus. With many families being forced to reconfigure their daily lives to accommodate the constant changes, some are choosing to see “the brighter side.”

“For us, we haven’t been affected either good or bad much except we can’t really go out to do anything so we are getting more accomplished at home.” Tiffany Thomas, mother of one and resident of Crockett, said. “Our family has been gardening, while my husband has built hog traps. My daughter has been playing a lot in the rain and now mud,” Thomas laughed.

“I’m spending less time on eating out that even my three-year-old told me that she didn’t need a happy meal since we have cereal at home!” Beverly Ray, mother of one and resident of Lovelady said. “Today all six of the children I occasionally care for were completed with their school work before lunch which I didn’t even have to make because Lovelady ISD dropped off the kids’ breakfasts and lunches.” Ray continued.

Chelsea Freeman, mother of three and resident of Latexo, expressed the joys of having her children at home during this time. “I’m spending more quality time with my sons,” Freeman said. “They are learning different ways to do things. We don’t practice the common core method in our home. You can bet they learned how to carry the ‘one’ today,” Freeman comically continued.

Other residents of Crockett, Joni Yount and Kim Canada, along with Grapeland Police Department Sergeant Carly Foster, have come together to create a ‘Bear Hunt’ for Houston County.

After Yount reposted the activity on her personal Facebook page, a social media platform, Canada took it a step further by seeking community feedback on the “What’s Really Happening Houston County” Facebook page. It quickly became apparent that our community was in full support.

“This will help get people out to explore Houston County and do something fun with their families. By participating in this activity we’re taking advantage of this time by being able to create memories with those closest to you,” Foster said.

The “Bear Hunt” activity is based upon the children’s picture book, “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt,” written by Michael Rosen. The story consists of five children and their dog who are on a search for a bear. They travel through grass, a river, mud, a forest and a snowstorm before coming face to face with a bear in its cave.

“To participate, put a teddy bear in one of your windows or somewhere where hunters can easily see it from the street. Children need to be able to spot it while they are hunting,” Sergeant Foster stated on the “Houston County Bear Hunt,” a Facebook group page.

“If you are a hunter, please stay in your vehicle for the hunt! The object is to DRIVE around town in the safety of your vehicles and search for the bears. When you find a bear snap a picture and continue your search. The object of this activity is to have fun but practice social distancing. Stay safely tucked away in your vehicles while you explore your county and go on a bear hunting adventure!” Foster continued.

Businesses and residents throughout Houston County are encouraged to join in the fun. For safety concerns, residents are being asked not to provide their physical address on the group’s Facebook page, but instead provide a general location allowing the “hunters” to search for the teddy bears.

Jordan Bridges may be contacted via email at jbridges@messenger-news.com.

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