Mill Creek Park becomes escape from quarantine and stress

Coronavirus

Parks are one of the exceptions to Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine's stay-at-home order

(WKBN) – Even with Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s stay-at-home order, trips to the park are allowed. If you keep your distance from other people, getting outside can be a nice way to forget about the virus lurking around us.

On Wednesday at Mill Creek Park’s Daffodil Meadow, white and purple crocuses mingled with the yellow daffodils, forcing people to break from their walks to take pictures.

“It’s relaxing,” Joanne Forsythe said. “It just kind of clears your head.”

A mile away, the park’s East Golf Hike and Bike Trail was busier than normal.

“I’m tired of sitting in the house, cleaning cupboards, closets, drawers and decided to go for a walk in the park,” Forsythe said. “It’s beautiful out here. And tired of looking for toilet paper.”

A mile-and-a-half from the bike trail at Boardman’s Good Hope Lutheran Church, Pastor Bob Quaintance was passing out consecrated communion wafers in bags of 10 to be used as his congregation watches the Wednesday evening and Sunday morning services streamed online.

“We’d like our people to be able to participate in worship and communion,” he said. “Word and sacrament is an important part of our liturgy as Lutherans.”

Pastor Bob said online streaming has gone well. On Saturday, he even streamed a funeral service.

“We had over 500 people ‘attend’ the funeral service for their friend who couldn’t have been there because they were following the governor’s advice and staying home.”

He’s looking to buy a camera to replace the iPhone that’s currently being used.

Boardman-based psychologist Dr. Nicole Rantilla was also at the park Wednesday.

“I’m seeing a huge increase in anxiety and stress,” she said.

Rantilla, who is now doing teletherapy sessions, had some advice for everyone:

“To be kind to themselves, to take care, to show themselves grace. Not to feel pressured to do a bunch of stuff because you’re home and also to be kind to yourself if you just want to take the day nice and slow, and focus on a task or two at a time.”

The communion wafers at Good Hope Lutheran Church will be handed out again Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to noon.

Mill Creek Park will be open again as well.

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