Looking for the “bear” necessities in St. Stephen

Andrew Sutton/Courier “I think it’s awesome,” said MacEachern. “We took part in it ourselves. I think it’s a great idea. People are being cooped up in their homes, and this gets them out,” said St. Stephen Mayor, Allan MacEachern about the bear hunt taking place in the community. And don’t worry, MacEachern promoted social distancing while checking the bears out.

St. Stephen – With people being told to maintain social distancing and self-isolation, many are becoming what some would call “shack whacky” because they are stuck indoors. Provincial Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Jennifer Russell, supports daily exercise and fresh air, providing you stick to social distancing and don’t go out in groups.

One thing some towns are doing to keep people from becoming too bored, particularly small children, is setting up “bear hunts”. No, they are not going out and hunting the actual Yogi and Booboo. What they are doing is looking for teddy bears and other stuffed animals that people are placing in their windows. Some people are taking photos of the bears they see in windows, while others are just taking a count.

St. Stephen Mayor Allan MacEachern said he thinks the hunt is a great idea, and he has taken part in it himself with his grandchildren.

“I think it’s awesome,” said MacEachern. “We took part in it ourselves. I think it’s a great idea. People are being cooped up in their homes, and this gets them out.”

MacEachern said people who want to take part can go out for walks with their families, as long as they practice social distancing and don’t interact with others. They basically hunt for bears placed in the windows of homes throughout the town. For those who are nervous about being out in public because of social distancing, this can be done by going out for a drive and never getting out of their vehicles. MacEachern said this is perfectly safe to do, and it is a great way to show support in the community during this time of crisis.

“I’ve heard that there are over 200 of them (bears),” said MacEachern. “Throughout the community, you are seeing them everywhere. I think it’s a really nice thing to see. You can’t see the people, but you know they are thinking about you when you drive by and they have put bears out for your children.”

While this may be an incentive to keep little ones from becoming too bored while being cooped up inside their homes, it is also something that adults are enjoying. Not only do they get to have fun with their children or grandchildren, they are enjoying seeing the bears themselves. Many residents are not only placing a teddy bear in a window, but multiple bears in many windows.

“It’s fun for us too. I took our two grandchildren out touring. I’ve seen some people with multiple windows filled with them. It’s really nice.”

Some people have expressed concerns that this activity goes against all the warnings they have received about being out in public. Medical professionals have been advising people that they do need to get outside for fresh air and exercise. They just have to remember to respect social distancing at this time, and not go out in large groups or socialize with others who are taking part in this activity.

“No one said that the people can’t go out. They just can’t go out in groups,” said MacEachern.