The COVID-19 pandemic has caused widespread anxiety about what used to be common daily activities, like going to the grocery store and getting a haircut.
Now, Bowling Green area residents are using social media to share information about businesses that are using safety precautions, and others that are not following guidelines for masks or social distancing.
The public Facebook group is called 'Safe Places to Patronize in Bowling Green, KY.'
Retired engineer Tom Morris, who created the group, said it’s grown to more than 2,500 members in two months.
“Actually, it kind of started on a whim," said Morris. "Somebody had posted something about, you know, it would be nice to know where we can go that’s safe. And I said, ‘Well somebody ought to start a Facebook group about safe places to patronize, you know.’ And I said, ‘Well, heck, I’ll start it'."
Morris said he’s gotten positive feedback.
“The businesses that are doing things right really appreciate it, because we’re helping them survive this terrible time,” said Morris.
Morris offered one example of a business that had gotten complaints, and responded by making positive changes.
“Someone said that they weren’t being respectful of distance, they weren’t wearing masks and everything," said Morris. "A little bit later the manager came on and said, ‘We had a meeting today. We took care of it. You won’t see that again'.”
Morris said a few people have been removed from the site for posting rumors or political views, but he said the vast majority follow the mission of the group: to post first-hand experiences that can help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The 'Safe Places to Patronize in Bowling Green, KY' site has reviews of a wide range of businesses, including restaurants, grocery stores, auto services, veterinarians and salons.