Walk the Dinosaur: South St. Paul woman's dress-up walks brighten spirits during pandemic

(FOX 9)

The isolation that comes with the COVID-19 pandemic response is tough on most everyone. Having limited and distant contact with friends, family, and loved ones is weighing heavy.

But, in South St. Paul, one woman is on a mission to make some people smile. Most days, Laurie Flatley is stepping off for her walk dressed head-to-toe in a dinosaur outfit.

"Because people are just so insulated and isolated," explained dinosaur walker Flatley. "And now this is something that gets us out of our heads."

"I do this pretty much every day, maybe once a week I’ll take a break just to get a little reprieve," Flatley added.

Flatley started her daily dinosaur walks through South St. Paul five weeks ago.

"The goal is to hit every street in South St. Paul, so we’re about, I want to say, maybe 80 percent of the streets now we’ve covered," she said.

Every day she posts Terri the T-Rex's route on social media so, people can expect her, though it still takes many by surprise. She is joined sometimes by Terrance the T-Rex, her daughter. Friday, she walked with Adrianna, a complete stranger.

Adrianna is turning seven, but couldn't have a birthday party due to the pandemic. But, with Flatley, she had a way to celebrate.

Back to Flatley, she says she plans to keep the walks up for as long as the stay-at-home order is in place in Minnesota, to give people a reason to step outside, even for a second.

"They’ll actually be in the middle of WebEx meetings, serious meetings for work, and they’ll run out with their iPads just to put me on their WebEx meetings with their co-workers," Flatley said.

"This is good for everybody," she concludes. "The way morale is right now, this is helping everybody."