Dining out amid COVID-19
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The Christmas gift that my wife and I enjoyed most was an overnight stay at a very nice Corvallis hotel. My in-laws gave us this break from our daily lives and they stayed at our house to watch the children.

Not long after we checked in, we walked through the downtown area and noticed folks having drinks in various outdoor venues. We decided to visit one of these establishments. It didn’t take me long to realize that you could barely tell that you were sitting outside. This restaurant/bar had a very effective set-up going complete with powerful heaters (in fact, it was too hot!).

It made me think. Sitting with other patrons in this outdoor tent area seemed no different than sitting inside of a restaurant that could have the same sort of distancing. Now there are two ways you could look at this:

1) It seems silly that eating or drinking in a restaurant or bar is prohibited but in these tents, it’s allowed. I really could not see much of a difference, at least at the Corvallis venue where we had a couple of adult drinks. There are probably different types of tents and enclosures with quality varying from place to place. We seemed to be in a pretty good one.

2) On the other side of the coin, since it’s not much different than drinking or eating in a building, maybe what we did was just as dangerous in terms of spreading or catching the virus.

What do I think? After this experience, I see no difference between eating or drinking in the outside enclosures compared to what it would be like in the actual restaurant/bar. If social distancing can be maintained and people follow some simple rules, business owners should be able to just use their in-building dining areas. It seems to me that it can be done safely. That’s my take after our experience.

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Tami Maida’s name comes up every so often when female athletes break a sports barrier. A newspaper called, The Garden Island, published a sports column three weeks ago entitled, “Women’s breakthrough in college football overdue.”

The piece was a reference to Vanderbilt kicker Sarah Fuller, who that week had become the first woman to play in a “Power 5” college football game. (The following week, she became the first woman to kick an extra point in a “Power 5” game).

The columnist reviewed some other accomplishments through the years. Among them was Liz Heaston, who became the first woman to play and score in a college football game. She played for Willamette University and accomplished the feat as a placekicker in 1997.

Maida’s name was also included in the piece. In case you’re not remembering, Maida gained national attention for appearing in a Philomath High School football game in 1981. She played some quarterback at the junior varsity level and was the inspiration for the TV movie, “Quarterback Princess,” the role played by Helen Hunt.

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The Central Oregonian published an interesting article with the headline, “Man killed by an enraged bull in Prineville.” The headline attracted my interest and so I clicked on it.   

It’s true, the man’s gored body was found by his wife in a pasture — but it was on June 15, 1945. The story included a photo from Bowman Museum and is likely a segment in an ongoing series of stories from the community’s past.

I mention it here because there was a Philomath connection. The man, 70-year-old Clarence Daniel Calbreath, was born in Philomath on April 24, 1875, according to the article. His family moved away when he was a young child.

(The Scoop is an occasional blog published by the Philomath News. This blog often contains news items but also could include opinions of Brad Fuqua, publisher/editor).