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Two Nice Hikes, and Masks

Sunday, June 28, 2020

I have been trying to increase my hiking. Yesterday and today, I hiked using knee braces. They helped me a lot, but the are very hot to wear.

Yesterday I hiked along the Deschutes River at Tumalo State Park.

My friend Hanne told me the wild flowers were blooming prolifically in the badlands wilderness area. So I hiked there today. I love seeing the flowers blooming in the desert. There were carpets of yellow Oregon sunshine (that’s the name of the flowers)

Juniper trees had lots of berries.

The tiny pink flower is dwarf monkey flower.

I love the dramatic clouds from the approaching storm. I was lucky and did not get rained on.

COVID-19 is increasing in my state (Oregon), and the governor has ordered masks be worn in indoor public spaces in the six largest counties. Those counties have the highest rate of COVID-19 cases. Our county does not require masks, but our rate of infections is increasing also. Here, Masks are voluntary but recommended in public indoor spaces. And I always wear a mask when I am grocery shopping or at the pharmacy, because of my age and risk factors.

Our local newspaper published a investigative report, where they stationed reporters at a several grocery store parking lots during the busiest hour, from 5 to 6 PM. The rate of wearing masks varied widely, from a low of 24% -36% (local lower cost grocery store store and WalMart) to a high of 78% (at Trader Joe’s and at an upscale local grocery store). They interviewed people on both sides of the issue. I thought it was very interesting, and it will certainly help me decide where I will shop. My personal experience is the rate of mask wearing increases a lot when I shop during the senior hour, which is normally early in the morning. I think that those of us that are at high risk tend to be more cautious. A couple of stores, like Costco, require everyone to wear a mask. But there is a lot of resistance to masks among many people. I am very concerned about stopping the spread of the virus.
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