Social Distancing at its best

Social Distancing at its best

Adding a bit of levity to the social distancing issue, Christopher’s Garden in Lakeside beat everybody to the punch last week with his sign, way before the President and Governor “extended” the dictate.

WHITE MOUNTAINS – Prior to Pres. Donald Trump’s announcement to extend the social distancing guidelines on Sunday, March 29, and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s March 30 stay-at-home executive order, not many people in the White Mountains were practicing social distancing. People out and about last week posted on Facebook and shared with others in emails and in person that many in line at retail establishments were not adhering to the six foot separation rule, and were still gathering in crowds of more than ten.

This week, it is a different story and many Mountain businesses have taken steps to ensure their employees and the public are safe from exposure to and from the coronavirus.

Evidenced by the traffic and parking lots of local stores on Tuesday, a mad rush was taking place as people hurried to to get last-minute things accomplished before the Governor’s executive order was to go into effect at 5 p.m.

With many businesses doors closed and people working from home, the Independent reached out to businesses it could easily get a response from to find out what steps they have taken and/or are implementing to honor social distancing. The businesses are listed in alphabetical order.

APS – Already with an emergency plan in place, critical plant and operation centers have separated employees as much as possible for social distancing; their policy is only one employee per vehicle; employees are utilizing hand sanitizer and are allowing non-critical positions to work remotely; recommended guidelines by the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control are being implemented to keep employees, customers and communities safe; customer service is available by phone and Internet.

Car QuestAll locations – The company has their Pinetop-Lakeside, Taylor and Holbrook lobbies open but Springerville and St. Johns is curbside only.They are accepting orders via phone and Internet for outside pickup; employees have and will continue to be fastidious in wiping down doors, counters, credit card machines and even pens customers use to sign for their items. With masks unavailable, they are in the process of making masks for employees using shop towels until others are available; tape measures are used to ensure the six-foot rule; signs are placed on the doors advising customers of current protocols.

Cedar Ridge Veterinary Clinic -Snowflake — Clinic guidelines have been established. Clients are to call ahead for an appointment; on arrival, they are to call the clinic and advise they are in the lot and wait in the vehicle until an employee comes out to get then. Wait times may be longer as exam rooms are being sanitized before and after each appointment. Anyone who is sick or not feeling well should reschedule or see how they may be assisted by phone.

General Contractor Tod Clift – Tools and equipment are being sanitized with bleach and water and Lysol before and after work and right after lunch; employees are wearing gloves but have not been able to locate masks.

Hector’s Hay & Feed – Snowflake – Already adept at frequently sanitizing with Clorox wipes and using hand sanitizer, employees are social distancing as much as possible with customers; grooming and pet boarding have been temporarily suspended.

NEC – Lakeside – Lobby is closed to the public but Internet and phone customer service is available; non-essential travel has been suspended and employees are minimizing in-person meetings; each employee has a personal bottle of hand sanitizer and are following hand-washing guideline; employees with cold, flu or coronavirus-like symptoms are to stay home.

Sweetpeas CBS – Lakeside In a 50’s car-hop style, except for roller skates, customers may remain in their vehicles as employees deliver food/smoothies and CBD orders to the customer, while wearing gloves and maintaining strict sanitizing guidelines; questions can be answered at a social distance of six feet or persons can call.

The Underground Garden – Show Low – orders are delivered to the customer’s car or picked up after texting the store when they have arrived; gloves are worn and sanitizing practiced but no masks are used due to unavailability.

United States Post Office, Lakeside Branch – only four persons are allowed inside for counter service at a time; a table has been placed inside the entrance to help with social distancing; sanitizing wipes have been provided to employees as well as masks which are not a requirement. Plexiglas installation for separation of employee and customers is being explored.

West USA Real Estate – Taylor – realtor reports that prior to a showing, they bring sanitizer wipes and do not touch anything with their hands; they open all doors so clients do not have to touch them, the realtor stays outside while client tours the home.

Western Drug & General Store — Springerville – Pharmacy employees wash their hands each hour and sanitize anywhere they or a customer touch; employees are provided masks and are encouraged, but not required, to wear them; employees are given Echinacea, a popular herb people commonly take to help combat flu and colds, and employee temperatures are taken every morning before entering the store to ensure they do not have a fever.

White Mountain Radio – Lakeside – employees are sanitizing and disinfecting building and studios throughout the day; those that can are working remotely; having put an essential business work plan in place, and guests still coming in, social distancing is being adhered too as much as possible.

With more COVID-19 cases being reported around the state, and cases in Apache and Navajo counties, more White Mountain businesses are taking Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s Stay at Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected order seriously.

More information on the order can be found at

Reach the reporter at

Barbara Bruce is a reporter for the White Mountain Independent, covering arts and entertainment on the Mountain and the Pinetop-Lakeside town government.

(2) comments


"The poll showed that far more Republicans than Democrats were being influenced by Trump’s dismissive depictions of the virus and the comparably scornful coverage on Fox News and other conservative networks. As a result, Republicans were in distressingly large numbers refusing to change travel plans, follow “social distancing” guidelines, stock up on supplies or otherwise take the coronavirus threat seriously.

“Denial is not likely to be a successful strategy for survival,” GOP pollster Neil Newhouse concluded in a document that was shared with GOP leaders on Capitol Hill and discussed widely at the White House. Trump’s most ardent supporters, it said, were “putting themselves and their loved ones in danger.”


WOW, sounds like a true left winger to me. Another TRUMP hater. I support TRUMP, and believe it or not, actually think for myself. Where are you getting your info about we on the right ignoring all the guidelines?? Probably CNN (The Communist News Network) or MSDNC. Tell me where Trump has been dismissive on the seriousness of this Virus?? I know by what you say you HATE us on the right (because we are right and the left is wrong on everything). Especially murdering innocent unborn babies killing over 61 MILLION since 1973 Roe v. Wade. When you can come to terms with that and admit it is genocide, you will be on the road to recovery and switching to a Conservative, not a Dem or Repub.

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