When You Thought You Couldn’t Bear It


Bears are found in the front doors of local residents.

Who would have though that a facebook post on March 27, 2020 would start a viral adventure? It is no secret that the recent pandemic, COVID-19, is changing the world we live in—right before our eyes. The town of Abilene started a cute hometown tradition to brighten the spirit of those who have lost their jobs, those who are risking their lives in the essential job field, and children who never thought they would miss school—but do. C

urrently the state is requiring citizens to remain home and practice social distancing during this very scary time. Many families have used their new found free time to enjoy nature. I have never seen so many families enjoying the walking trails at Browns park, biking around town, and playing tennis. It is amazing to watch the community “come together” during this time of social distancing.

Abilene Middle School bear hunt
If you look closely, you’ll see a bear in the window at Abilene Middle School.

Families even started putting stuffed teddy bears in their windows, in their cars, and on their front porch as a game for the town. Some families go on a walk and enjoy hunting for the different types of bears. While other families love the thrill of a competition. A parent sets a timer, and the kids take off in different directions hunting for the bears!

Don't Feed the Bears!
Local businesses are getting in on the bear hunt fun to brighten spirits during the social distancing order due to Covid-19.

The kid with the highest number of spotted bears is determined the winner! Even local businesses have joined the fun; with one displaying a sign reading “Don’t feed the bears!” This new tradition has reached beyond the boundaries of Abilene and even the state of Kansas. KWCH-TV Channel 12 out of Wichita featured this fun-in-games story on the local news, and it has grown into a fun activity during an uncertain time.  When we all are feeling a sense of loss with all the changes to our daily lives, it is refreshing to have something light-hearted to redirect our focus.  Thanks, Abilene!