May 22, 2020 – The word pandemic tends to conjure thoughts of people rushing to the grocery store, buying up all the canned goods and toilet paper, waiting for chaos to ensue. In reality, the word pandemic just means a disease prevalent across a whole country or the world — which is still scary, but our current situation doesn’t have to be chaotic.
Military bases across Northwest Florida are making adjustments to help kick the COVID-19 pandemic and get back to normal life. You can see the popular hashtag across social media platforms, with photos of service people in masks or working from home with their kids or pups, telling everyone to #KeepCalmFightOn.
As of mid-March, Tyndall Air Force Base had decreased their daily traffic on base by approximately two-thirds. The base reduced hours and patron density at many facilities and had to completely restrict access to others. Critical missions and training are still being performed, but those working from home also have opportunities to share their new routines on Tyndall’s Facebook page. CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright and Dr. Lori Santos also started a video series called “The New Normal.” Social distancing doesn’t necessarily mean everyone has to be less social.
NAS Pensacola is trying to keep outdoor activities open during this beautiful spring season while doing their best to #SinkCOVID19. The A.C. Read Golf Course is still open for anyone who is willing to walk the course. Sherman Cove Marina and Bayou Grande Marina are both still open for boat, board and kayak rentals.
Eglin Air Force Base started the “Minutes to Win It Challenge” as a way for people to participate in physical activities at home to help keep moods elevated, reduce stress and sharpen focus. Federal civilians and active duty military members can register at USAFwellness.com through May 31, 2020.
Hurlburt Field is encouraging parents to share their kids’ artwork of mom or dad working (from home or on the field) or selfies of the whole family together at home in a recent Facebook post. Air Force Colonel Richard Dickens, commander of the 505th Command and Control Wing at Hurlburt Field, shared his personal experience with COVID-19 on Facebook, reminding his airmen to practice social distancing and good hygiene because they are all still needed during this time.
Face masks and social distancing have become the norm, but it doesn’t have to be this way forever. Stay home, stay safe and stay positive.