Tisbury: Sadly, we are just like all the world

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Heard on Main Street: This last week has felt like a lifetime.

Sadly, we are just like all the world, struggling to understand where this is going and how long it will take to get there. My English cousin is in her 80s, and quite put out with the British government. She was notified that all persons 70 and older must stay inside their homes for 12 weeks. She was horrified, telling me that meant until mid-June. She wasn’t sure if they meant she wasn’t supposed to go outside and sit in her garden. That just sounds awful.

Meanwhile I feel quite cared for. Friends are offering to fetch things needed from the store. Last week my glasses were repaired, some needed pain meds were delivered, and I even received some homemade bread. (It was a delicious treat.) In previous days I might not have realized what a big difference these things can make.

I do see a side benefit for me to all these closings. I find I am finally getting some things done that have not quite fit into my schedule. Now I am the schedule. I don’t do crosswords, but instead enjoy doing my favorite puzzles, figuring out obscure family connections in genealogy. I have to struggle to feel guilty if I spend too much time reading. I am enjoying old “Columbo” and Hallmark movies, because now I find lunch is more fun if I watch part of a recorded movie. It is almost like eating with friends.

I am learning how to Zoom to enjoy gatherings online. Well, I think I am. I’ll let you know if it works for me.

I did hear some good news about this situation. I understand that the ozone layer is cleaner than it’s been since 9/11. And especially the air is clearing up over China. Someone reported the canals in Venice are clear enough to see fish now that traffic has been halted. Although I don’t quite know why they are reporting that people are attacking the bicyclists training on the roads in Europe. Some things people do just never make sense.

The Vineyard Haven library staff can answer reference questions or help with access to digital resources. Email vhpl_mail@clamsnet.org or call 508-696-4210. Leave a detailed message so they can be better prepared with the right answer. They also ask that you not return any items until after they reopen.

When my children were under 10, I stayed home all day, but I certainly managed to spend a lot of time with them outdoors. Parents of kids out of school have to feel challenged when it isn’t nice enough to go outside. My son said his young teens were upset over the school closing before it even happened. Now they are spending all their free time texting friends. They do telecommute to school, and one actually had a very successful trombone lesson online.

Kids need socialization, as do we all. Even outdoors our children play more closely than seems wise right now. It is hard for all of us to keep our distance. After all, any kid knows that “don’t” is simply a challenge. That’s probably why so many college kids were crowding on the beaches last week.

Big bunches of birthday balloon wishes go out Saturday to Linda Unczur and Dale McClure. Sunday belongs to Kaleena Searle and Kathleen Madeiros. Happy birthday to Larry Sylvia and Marco Daniels on Monday. Maybe you shouldn’t share the cake if you blow out the candles.

Heard on Main Street: I suppose I should not admit that one day last week I was gargling with Scotch.