Although restrictions are easing, we're still in a state of emergency in Montana. Terry Cunningham is back with more good advice as we transition "back" into our routines.

Daily Update / Tip: With some restaurants set to open shortly, here are a few tips. Call the restaurant first – or make a reservation online – because restaurants have strict capacity limits and some are operating on a reservation-required basis. Arrive on time and don’t expect to be able to wait for your table in a waiting area or bar counter; these types of congregation areas are being limited by the Governor’s guidelines. Your server will likely being wearing a mask and gloves, and trying to keep some distance; please honor that. There will be fewer tables and more space between them. Keep in mind that the restaurant is likely doing far less business than they previously did, so don’t linger longer than necessary after the meal (no “camping”) and tip generously if you can.

FAQ: Q: Are we still in a state of emergency in Montana? A: Yes. The highly contagious virus is still among us. The emergency order allows the governor to direct a coordinated response to an outbreak of communicable disease. This includes mobilizing all available state resources, such as emergency funds or personnel from the National Guard. It also allows the governor to take additional steps as warranted. It’s important to realize that the state and county’s emergency management structure is as active during the re-opening and recovery phase as it is during other phases of the emergency.

Pulling Together: I’ve been noticing charming, beautiful, hand-painted rocks – all shapes and sizes – around Bozeman lately: in gardens, on sidewalks and in parks. The decorations run the gamut from simple to highly intricate, but they are all works of art. Finding them as I walk around Bozeman is a source of delight and surprise for me; it indicates that someone took the time to create a thing of beauty and gave it away to the community for free. I found a Facebook group called Montana Rocks! They have over 10,000 members and their mission is “to share our art we make to spread smiles and happiness throughout our beautiful state.” What a wonderful reminder that we’re all in this together and that even in tragedy, there is beauty. There is always beauty.

What Can I Do? Don’t put off medical care for non-Covid-19 related issues. Your physician likely can offer tele-health visits where you don’t have to visit the medical office; it’s quick and easy. Don’t let a health condition go untreated, whether you might be experiencing chest pain, issues with blood pressure, or anxiety / depression. A recent study showed that patients who really needed care were putting it off so they don’t burden health providers dealing with Covid-19. Your healthcare provider can make time for you – give them a call.