Pandemic alters Bedlam experience for fans

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NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – Bedlam looked different this year because of the pandemic.

Some people wore masks, and some people didn’t. Some say they feel safe with safety precautions in place, while others say they’re not concerned about the virus at all.

Attendees say the pandemic has changed how the experience feels.

“It feels like a very dystopian game day,” Dalton Wood said.

“There’s definitely not the same electricity in the air this year,” Elexis Wood said.

Some restaurants saw less business compared to other years, but people still lined up outside.

“We didn’t expect it to be a regular game day and it’s definitely not a regular Bedlam. It’s been a slower start,” Jeff Stewart, manager at O’Connell’s, said.

He says he’s doing what he can to keep people safe, like reducing capacity and putting up barriers between booths.

“There’s always a risk, always a risk,” he said. “Inside, all we can do is our best and practice the social distancing as best we can.”

“If everyone stays safe and we take the precautions, that it’ll be alright,” Seth Truitt said.

“I do feel safe when I notice that people are taking— O’Connell’s is taking their precautions, we are so spread out from other people,” Elexis Wood said.

On Friday, Norman Mayor Breea Clark called police to disperse a crowd in front of Logie’s. On Saturday afternoon, the line was shorter.

“I don’t really have any at-risk family, and I’m going to be quarantining before I see my family at home so if I had at-risk relatives, I would definitely not be going out,” student Travis Kelly, who was standing in line, said. “All of my kind of friends have had it, and like I said, I’m not putting people at risk, just kind of chilling.”

A police officer told KFOR they’re only enforcing mask wearing and social distancing if they get calls about people not following the rules. They said they’d only gotten a couple of calls Saturday evening.

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