After much frustration and missed emergency calls, I figured out that carrying the flip in my pocket was turning widgets on and muting the phone and dimming the display by itself because the double tap option was enabling input from the cover screen. The fix is to disable this option (which never really worked when I wanted it to anyway) by disabling double tap to turn screen on as follows:
1. Settings 2. Advanced features 3. Motions and gestures 4.Double tap to turn on screen
Hope this helps other frustrated users. Just use the side button to activate the cover screen.