Coping with Covid 19

Gunnison Hometown Market employees are wearing face masks sewn in the store’s fabric department. Robin Hendrickson (customer) is greeted by Roy Vargas, Brenda Miramontes, Colton Anderson and Leanne Karren.


Coping with Covid 19

Wedding held over zoom, doctor moves into his van,

and grocery store mandates masks


By Dyna Folkersen

Staff writer



Teachers, business owners, doctors and family members in Sanpete County are all adjusting to the lifestyle changes that have come with the corona virus.

There’s the business owner who is wondering how to pay her mortgage and wishing the governor would give her some good news.

And there’s the doctor who is living in a van to avoid potentially exposing his family to COVID-19.

“We’re totally close, cold turkey,” said Lori Nay, the co-director of the Casino Star Theatre Foundation, which owns the Casino Star Theatre. She is also the mayor of Gunnison.

“All our revenue sources are gone. We don’t know when we can reopen. But we’re still paying a mortgage; we still have utility bills.

“We need to hear some good news,” Nay added. “Let’s hear our governor say, ‘let’s open up.’”

Grocery stores are one of the essential businesses that remain open. Store manager Jeremy Vincent of the Gunnison Hometown Market, and some of his employees have been worried about the risks of constant contact with the public.

Susan Kearney is being treated by Dr. Allen Day and his nurse. Because of the risks of exposure he faces as a doctor, Dr. Day is currently living in his van.

So some employees wanted to start wearing face masks. “If one person gets a mask, the whole store gets them,” Vincent decided. So he had the fabric department sew masks for all employees.

“We’re just putting some protection out there,” he said.

Cristian Bucker, and his fiancé, now wife, Ella, didn’t want to postpone their wedding. So they invited guests, including Cristian’s grandfather, Robert Buckner of Spring City, to attend via Zoom.

Buckner watched his grandson marry his bride from the comfort of his home even though the ceremony actually in Orem.

“I wish I could have been there, but I was just glad to still be able to participate,” Buckner said.

Buckner has had other experiences with video conferencing. He has been participating in board meetings for both Friends of Historic Spring City and Spring City Arts Committee online.

Dr. Allen Day of Fairview believes social distancing, quarantining and ritualistic sanitizing have been effective i

Debbie Pike, an English teacher at Gunnison Valley Middle School, as seen from a computer screen, instructs her students online.

n flattening the curve of COVID-19.

Dr. Day is currently living in a van because as a doctor, he is constantly exposed to people, and he is concerned about the safety of his family.

Dr. Day predicts things will start getting back to normal by June, and is excited to return home to his family, eat a steak and enjoy a family reunion at Bear Lake.

Gunnison Valley Middle School teacher Debbie Pike teaches about 130 students in seventh grade English and eighth grade reading and art.

The teachers at Gunnison Middle have assigned times to meet with their students over Zoom, a video chat system. Pike makes herself available, through Zoom, to her English students every day at 9 a.m.

She doesn’t require them to log in, but they’re invited to join if they have questions on assignments. Some log in just to say “hi.”

Meanwhile, she posts videotaped lessons on Canvas, a website designed to hold school materials. Students log into the site, view the lesson, download worksheets, do assignments, and post the finished work back to the same site.

Bill Bedford, a science teacher at Wasatch Academy, and in ordinary years, a coach for the Wasatch and North Sanpete High Schools, is working from home on his laptop.


Pike said about 80 percent of her students are doing their work yet a handful of students are behind. “There’s a teeny-tiny bit that we aren’t getting anything from,” she said. “Those are the ones we want to check in on.”

But she misses the face-to-face contact with her students. “It’s hard to be home,” Pike said. “It’s hard to be alone. I miss my students. Most of us are teachers because we love our students and believe we can teach and help them.”

Bill Bedford, a science teacher at Wasatch Academy, and in normal years, a track coach both at Wasatch and North Sanpete High School, says he has mastered some new tricks as he faces teaches and coaches from his laptop.

Bill’s wife, Cindy retired a few years ago from North Sanpete High School where she served as the gym and health teacher.

Running and keeping physically fit, seem to run in Bill and Cindy’s family. An avid cyclist, Bill used to be seen pedaling to and from his job in Mt. Pleasant and his home in Fairview.

Now days, with no need to go further than into the next room, Bill finds himself pushing pedals less frequently, but he still loves biking for transportation and recreation.

It appears that despite being forced into significant lifestyle changes, Sanpete residents are finding ways to carry on and make the best of their situations.

Gunnison Hometown Market employees are wearing face masks sewn in the store’s fabric department. Robin Hendrickson (customer) is greeted by Roy Vargas, Brenda Miramontes, Colton Anderson and Leanne Karren.