Chilmark: Stay calm and wash your hands

Marie Larsen adds a new growing area to her garden to donate food for Islanders. — Valerie Sonnanthal

Daffodils, cherry blossoms, snowdrops, crocuses, birdsong, sheep, deer, turkeys, horses, fog, sunrise, clouds, sunset … these are some of the things I’m grateful to bear witness to in these uncertain days. I am grateful for my family, the company of dogs, celebrating our 10th anniversary (albeit not how we imagined), my Kaiut practice, cooking, baking, watching “Gilmore Girls” with my son, having a community of support online in so many ways only weeks ago none of us could have envisioned. Each day brings the beauty of nature and uncertainty. What is clear is the measures every one of us, no matter what age, must be taking.
At this point, which already feels late, I cannot understand why anyone traveling by plane or ferry is not having their fever checked first to minimize our exposure. It must be mandated that those traveling from off-Island should be required to self-quarantine for 14 days before being allowed to walk into a pharmacy or grocery store here. I can no longer comfortably go to bigger food stores because I live with someone immune-deficient, and have no idea where people are coming from, besides hearing “We came straight from the boat.”
I have seen way too many 20something-year-olds still hanging out, though I would urge them to please read Fiona Lowenstein’s (age 26) account of her COVID-19 experience that sent her to a hospital in the New York Times: If we still have a window to protect our community, mandatory quarantining for those arriving from off-Island must be adopted, or our hospital too will face dire decisions following the principles of triage about whom among the sick can be treated. People will die because reasonable steps were not taken to limit the spread of the virus when we had an opportunity to do so. I pray the authorities will impose a quarantine immediately.
If you need help picking up food, supplies, prescriptions, or other, please contact your local board of health, or go to the Martha’s Vineyard Community Services website. Volunteers can do the same!
If you need help or someone to pick up groceries, medication, mail, or anything else, call Marina Lent at the Chilmark board of health, 508-645-2105, and leave a message. She’ll get back to you.
Sadly, the Chilmark Women’s Symposium is canceled for the spring, but you can still put the Oct. 24 date in your calendars.
From Great Rock Bight to Lucy Vincent Beach, if the sun is shining the parking lots are crowded. We are lucky to have so much open space.
Jim Feiner wrote,”Gone Missing! Our 2 beloved stone birdbaths seem to have walked away somehow. Reward for their return. No questions asked. Just really want them back to enjoy the birds.” If you know anything about these, please reach out to Jim at 508-645-2658.
I started It’s a Chilmark Thing Facebook page to share up-to-date information about our town and Island, since I fear by the time we go to press, some of what you find here is already dated.
If you have a nonemergency related to COVID-19, you can dial 211 for community information and referral services.
Stanley Larsen and Menemsha Fish Market started call-in-only service. They’re also offering deliveries “to those in the age class that are most vulnerable to COVID-19.” Place orders between 12 and 5 pm at 508-645-2282.
Juli Vanderhoop and Orange Peel Bakery are taking orders; you can find her offerings from chickens to fruit on It’s a Chilmark Thing, then text or call your order in to 508-560-2307 and she’ll arrange a pickup time. She’s offering loaves of bread and some deserts twice weekly.
Grey Barn posted their bread schedule, with bread available Thursday through Monday from 8 am, except on Sunday when pumpernickel is ready at 10 am and brioche at 1 pm. Their spring bread program begins Monday, April 6. Learn which breads are available what days, about their bread program and other farm stand offerings (say cheese please) at
If you need help keeping your gut healthy, Nina Lisa Marie and Kulture Club Kombucha are offering free delivery with a minimum purchase of 12 bottles, any mix of flavors, including Purple Reign with elderberry (antiviral), echinacea (immune booster), and chaga (adaptogens). Text or call 508-693-2052.
The Chilmark library is now closed, but can be reached through email. Do not bring your returns to the library; they cannot accept returns until further notice. Library director Ebba Hierta has been working to add additional resources, like new movie and content streaming, RBDigital with Acorn TV, IndieFlix, Great Courses, and Stingray Concerts. Ebba wrote, “Email, put “digital help” in the subject, your name and phone number in the message, with a brief description of what you need, and someone will call you back.” For more info, see
Stay calm and wash your hands. Have a good week.