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City parks remain way to escape cabin fever
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With "social distancing" now a common part of American dialect, getting outside is a great way to feel refreshed while also maintaining proper distance from others. This fisherman at Riverfront Park grasps the concept. - photo by Jennifer Woods
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Scottie Merriman and daughter Carly enjoy a beautiful Friday on the Civic Center walking trail.

Schools may be closed and many businesses are shuttered, but even in times of trouble it’s hard to beat a beautiful day.

Friday was that day. The temperature was warm, a nice breeze was stirring and folks made sure to get out and enjoy the sunshine.

City parks remain open with plenty of room to roam to keep appropriate social distance with coronavirus fears. There were 1,203 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Tennessee as of Friday, although none were from Warren County. When contacted Saturday morning, River Park Hospital officials said there still has not been a confirmed case here.

Lita Glenn works for the Highway Department and Linda Cooper is an independent salesperson for Little Debbie. They decided to meet downtown Friday to get some fresh air and exercise. 

Cooper said, “I had cabin fever. I gotta get out.” 

Glenn said they are partners in crime who usually enjoy going to yard sales together, but since that’s not happening they decided to window shop while walking.

Cooper is recovering from cancer and she shared, “Even though my white cells are low and I have to be super careful, I need to be active. We’re careful to keep our distance and take the precautions necessary.”

At the Civic Center walking trail Scottie Merriman and his daughter Carly were out for a stroll and enjoying time together. 

“We’ve been cooped up inside. We needed to get out and away from the front of the TV,” said Merriman. 

Carly said, “Being out of school is great.” 

Dad then pointed out that her packet of homework was thick and she has more work to do.

The bees weren’t the only thing buzzing around the blooms and the variety of flowers at the Lowe’s garden center. People were picking out plants for their yard. Landscaping projects weren’t being put off with new-found time and a gorgeous spring day. Lewis and Opal Land were there to get supplies for their vegetable garden. 

“Opal loves petunias and geraniums so that’s what were looking for at the moment,” said Lewis. “We’ve been home for a bit and needed to get out.”

The Hattaway family loaded up their truck with mulch and pretty potted plants 

“We’re getting ready to sell our house. This is our second load of mulch,” said Michael Clayton. Wife Tonya has been busy preparing their home for the listing and staying busy with their business called Farmhouse Finds. They live just over the county line in Smithville and shared it was easy to drive down and get what they need. Son Clayton was smiling and enjoying the day with his parents. Later on he will be busy helping with yardwork.

Riverfront Park was bustling with lunches being enjoyed at the picnic tables or in vehicles, kids playing on the swings and a few people taking the opportunity to do some fishing. Brother and sister Nathan and Carlie Jennings decided to go for a joy ride with the top down. “We went to Sonic and decided to come down here to eat and enjoy the river,” said Nathan. 

Walking and riding bikes or a scooter is what parents Jayme and Susan Mart were doing with son Noah, 15, daughter Sarah 12, Micah 4 and their dog Katie after their homeschooling was done. 

“We need to get out of the house and get out in the sunshine,” said Susan. She also suggests everyone can take a few minutes and go outside. “Find things to remain active that fit your lifestyle. You can just stop and breathe. Enjoy your life.”