After a wintry weekend, Spokane is expected to have a sunny and warm week ahead.
“We definitely will be getting quite a bit of sun,” said Jennifer Simmons, a National Weather Service meteorologist.
With social distancing in full force across Washington, many people are heading outdoors to get fresh air while protecting themselves and others from COVID-19.
Retirees Bob and Carol Sexton donned red and pink hats and headed out for a walk Tuesday afternoon in Manito Park.
“We’re getting some sunshine and vitamin D and whatever else the sun has to offer,” Bob said.
As a couple, the Sextons say they try to stay healthy all the time by getting enough sleep, eating a plant-based diet, exercising and socializing, a regimen they are keeping up while social distancing.
“We’re very healthy as part of our getting-older plan,” Carol said.
The Sextons reduced their trips to the grocery store and have stayed home, other than walking outdoors.
“I’m calling my friends when I normally would be meeting my friends,” Carol said.
The Sextons also have decided to tackle some house projects like planting their garden, doing their taxes and starting some early spring cleaning.
Even with her positive attitude, Carol said she’s experiencing the effects of the small changes they have made to social distance.
“It hasn’t even been that long, and I’m already feeling it,” Carol said.
Nearby, Hailey Gross, 19, had brought the two young girls she was babysitting out to play in the park.
Gross is studying education at University of Montana Western and came home to Spokane for spring break.
Late last week, she was told not to return to school. Instead, she’s living at home, cleaning houses and babysitting to make some money.
“It’s spreading really fast, and you never know if you’re overreacting or underreacting,” Gross said.
Having worked in child care as a summer job, Gross said coronavirus is concerning, but she has practiced good hygiene for as long as she can remember.
“I washed my hands before it was even in style,” Gross said.
The rest of the week will continue to help people get fresh air.
“Right now, we are going through a warming trend,” Simmons said. “We’re looking closer to our seasonal norms. We might be slightly above.”
Temperatures are forecast to be in the upper 40s midweek and rise to the mid-50s over the weekend, Simmons said.
“It will definitely be a calmer, drying week ahead of us,” Simmons said.
In SpokAnimal’s dog park at High Bridge, Mike Whitley sat on a bench while his dog, Flower, ran off to play.
Whitley said he had been reading on the bench for about an hour and had only seen a few other dogs and their owners.
Just a handful of cars sat in the parking lot, with a few people and pets playing in the large dog area.
“I’m just out to get some fresh air while it was sunny and not get cooped up in the house,” Whitley said.
As a retiree, Whitley said he doesn’t get out too much under normal circumstances but has reduced his outings with the pandemic.
“It has made me stay at home a lot more,” Whitley said.
While he is a bit worried for himself, Whitley said his biggest concern is families who have to take care of kids at home and try to work from home.
“I’m worried about those families and how they’re surviving,” Whitley said.
A short time later, Whitley packed up Flower and headed home, but he said they might be back Wednesday.
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