Edgartown: We’ll get through this together

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I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m struggling to know what day it is. As a result, I almost forgot to write my column this week. Thank goodness my phone shows me the date, or I’d be totally lost. Between my injuries, illnesses, and this pandemic, I’ve pretty much been in my house since Feb. 25, save a couple of trips to the store and some gimpy walks around town. 

Are you all practicing social distancing and sanitizing like crazy? My trip to the store was like a comedy show. I walked there, still wearing a boot on my broken foot, carrying the plastic bags I got the last time I was there. Because I walk, I never use a carriage because I want to be sure I can carry my groceries back. I roamed through the store, with a mask on my face, which caused my glasses to fog up, so I had to keep taking them off. But people kept texting me, so I had to put my glasses back on so I could read the messages. Anyway, I finally got what I needed, bagged it up, and walked it home. Then the disinfecting began. I disinfected all the groceries, washed the plastic bags in the tub, washed the clothes I was wearing, took a shower, and finally sat down. I felt like Mr. Bean, if you’re familiar with him. Everything has just become a little more challenging when trying to protect ourselves and others from the virus.

All of the teachers on the Island have set up classes and lessons online, so the island school kids can still have access to learning. It’s a whole new world for everyone, teachers and students alike. Kids have been able to borrow computers and iPads from the school if they didn’t have one at home, so they can get online. For many, it’s been the first chance to see their classmates in a week or more. Zoom, a video-conferencing app, is allowing free access for schools, and maybe businesses too, while we’re closed down. It’s a great way to run a class online, because the teacher can see all the kids and they can see her, and everyone can communicate. I’m working on my activities and assignments online too, but honestly, kids are learning so much about technology just by going to school online. If you have kids in the school and haven’t checked out their teachers’ websites or their Google Classroom pages, you should. 

There’s a lot of information out there. And don’t forget that your students can get a grab-and-go lunch if needed while school is closed. Information is on the school webpage.

Happy birthday wishes this week go out to our wonderful head custodian at the school, Dwight Kaeka, who celebrated on March 23, and to Ruth Nichols on March 27. 

Governor Baker announced today that people really need to be staying home. He stopped short of declaring a full shelter-in-place, as other states have done, but he made it clear that everyone should be staying home, except for grocery and pharmacy runs and medical appointments. You can still go outside, but if you go to parks, practice social distancing; don’t take part in pickup football games and the like. I’m trying to abide by the advice I heard last week. I act as if I have the virus and don’t want to infect others. We are being asked to think and care about those around us. Please, if you aren’t an essential worker, stay home and wash your hands. We all have family and friends that we care about. Let’s take care of each other. As the meme I saw recently said, “Our grandparents were asked to go to war to save the world. We’re being asked to sit on the couch and watch Netflix. We can do this.” 

Ten days sure goes by quickly when it’s the amount of time your kid is home on leave. It seems like we just brought Riley back home from boot camp, and yet he shipped out again today to Camp Lejeune. It’s not any easier this time than it was when I kissed him goodbye when he left for Parris Island. This time, we can’t even write letters, another side effect of coronavirus. It’s hard to let them grow up and do their thing. But he called from the airport, where he had met up with some of his friends from Fox Company, and he was happy. I can’t ask for anything more.

Have a good week. Stay home and stay safe. You aren’t just taking care of yourself. You’re taking care of everyone else too. We’ll get through this together. Stay healthy.