Last weekend brought another example of Pawhuskans embracing safety measures that are elements of the effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but nonetheless refusing to stop enjoying their lives and social traditions.
Fewer than 10 members of the local Elks Lodge on Saturday afternoon, April 11, handed out bags of candy for Easter to families that drove through the Lodge parking lot in their vehicles for the distribution. Candy recipients did not get out of their vehicles. Elks Lodge members wore masks over their mouths and noses, and gloves, as they handled treat bags and approached vehicles.
The Lodge had checked beforehand with Osage County Sheriff Eddie Virden and District Attorney Mike Fisher about holding the event, and the Lodge members appreciated the attention that those authority figures gave to their plans.
“They went out of their way, with everything else that was going on,” Lodge spokesman John Brazee said, expressing thanks to Virden and Fisher. Brazee said the Lodge handed out about 300 Easter candy bags during its Saturday afternoon giveaway.
The idea was to offer candy to families to replace what their children would have collected at Easter Egg drops and hunts, had this been a normal spring.
“That’s a pretty good turnout,” Brazee said. “We even delivered some into town. It was a pretty good deal. Everyone was happy that we gave them (the candy bags) to.”
The candy bags contained items like Tootsie Rolls and Butterfinger bars, Brazee said, adding — “I think they got more this way than if they went out and chased the eggs down.”
Brazee added that the Pawhuska Elks Lodge even had a request from someone in Nowata for Easter candy, and intended to have a bag of candy delivered there, as soon as someone could be located who might be headed in that direction.
In the two weekends prior to Easter weekend, numerous residents of the Pawhuska area also expressed their desire to continue some form of public expression of their identity as a community by joining together to “drag Main” in their vehicles on Saturday nights, honking their horns and flashing their lights in a good-natured demonstration.
As of Monday, there had been 56 positive tests for the COVID-19 sickness in Osage County and seven deaths, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health. The Health Department has not publicly given any idea which portions of Osage County may be most affected by the spread of the novel coronavirus.