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Look for those bear necessities of life

bear

During these uncertain COVID-19 times, a simple teddy bear can be a source of comfort, a necessity in life for sure.

Confession.

As a kid, I had a special little bear. And he was pink. Laugh, but don't judge. He, along with Blue and White, the name I assigned a soft toy dog, and a handful of others were my comforters mostly at night.

Here in Forest Hills at the north end of Greenwood County, just a rock's throw from a now-vacant Greenwood High School, at the urging of Peggy Hammett by way of a note in our mailboxes, a bear hunt was begun. Peggy thought back to the origin of the Teddy Bear, named for President Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt. Don't know the story? Here's one source that explains why the iconic soft toy became popular and gave so many kids comfort: nps.gov/thrb/learn/historyculture/storyofteddybear.htm.

And so it goes that most households put bears in windows, at their front doors and even outside on sheltered porches. The idea was that while we maintained physical distancing, we can walk in our neighborhood and distract the kids with a bear hunt.

My kids are not kids any longer. One has three children she and her husband are now keeping at home and coming up with all sorts of ways to teach at home — although they are on spring break. They have also had to come up with ways to explain the coronavirus, ways that the minds of 3-, 5- and 9-year-old minds can understand, but without instilling fear.

We participated in the bear hunt. The little fella in the photo sits at the front door, keeping watch and, we hope, providing comfort to kids walking by with their parents or grandparents. We have two others looking out from our kitchen and dining room windows.

Truth is, they provide us comfort too during these uncertain times. And I bet they do the same for our neighbors walking by with their children.

I had my pink teddy, along with the other toys, stored in a chest in the room where I stayed when visiting my grandparents' home on Eastern Shore of Virginia growing up. I figured one day my children would enjoy them and find them to be a source of comfort. But they were consumed when that house burned to the ground in June 1972.

Laugh if you want, but I admit I wish I still had that little pink bear today.

Whiting is executive editor of the Index-Journal. Contact him at rwhiting@indexjournal.com, or follow him on Twitter @IJEDITOR.

About this blog

From telecommuting to the new public home school model, a growing number of us are homebound for the foreseeable future as we take unprecedented steps to slow and hopefully stop the spread of the new coronavirus that is sweeping the world. This blog is our attempt to catalog some of the daily changes we are experiencing together. If you want to share your story with us, email us at newsroom@indexjournal.com.

COVID-19

LATEST DEVELOPMENTS

On Sunday, the Palmetto State recorded its highest number of new COVID-19 cases in nearly two months as the nation is seeing its highest number of daily new cases.

State health officials reported 628 new confirmed cases and 57 new probable cases of the novel coronavirus on Saturday, as well as 14 additional confirmed deaths and two new probable deaths.

State health officials reported 784 new confirmed cases and 83 new probable cases of the novel coronavirus on Friday, as well as 18 additional confirmed deaths and 5 new probable deaths.

State health officials reported 921 new confirmed cases and 79 new probable cases of the novel coronavirus on Thursday, as well as 40 additional confirmed deaths and 10 new probable deaths.

State health officials reported 686 new confirmed cases and 86 new probable cases of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday, along with 11 additional confirmed deaths and 1 new probable death.

State health officials reported 666 new confirmed cases and 66 new probable cases of the novel coronavirus on Tuesday, along with 25 additional confirmed deaths and 10 new probable deaths.