Here it is, August 2021, 18 months or so since everything shut down because of COVID-19 and, once again, numbers are going up and businesses are closing. Part of me is shaking my head incredulously, thinking that we can’t possibly be doing this again and the other part of me is, sadly, not surprised. My keen observational skills showed me that very few people have been wearing masks this summer and yet, only 50 percent of the people in the U.S. are currently fully vaccinated, so it’s reasonable to guess that unvaccinated folks were not wearing masks. Add to that the Delta variant and the fact that there are breakthrough infections happening and another spike really isn’t terribly surprising. Distressing, upsetting, tiring, yes. But not surprising. Please, be careful. Wear your masks, wash your hands, keep your distance. And with all due respect to differing opinions, at least consider getting vaccinated. It’s not a cure all but it’s the best we’ve got at the moment.
I forgot to wish President Obama a happy birthday last week. He isn’t one of my Facebook friends, which is where I get most of my birthdays, so I guess that’s why I missed it. That, and I wasn’t on the guest list for his party that has been plastered all over the internet for the last several days. There certainly are a lot of mixed emotions and opinions here about that party. While I’m not crazy about big gatherings, if I was invited to a big wedding or party, that was outside with proof of vaccination or negative COVID tests required, I might give it a whirl. I’m guessing that at least some of the people unhappy about Obama’s birthday party were at the concerts a couple of weeks ago, or have gone out to bars or other crowded establishments this summer. I would not go to a big gathering indoors and I generally shy away from crowds no matter what, but I think that the big birthday party stayed within guidelines that are currently in place, and even erred on the side of caution by requesting proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test. I think there was probably less risk there than at a bar in the summer on M.V., or concerts, or the upcoming fair. I don’t know. I sure don’t have all the answers, and life sure is difficult these days for all of us. I support just trying our hardest to be kind to each other and do what we can to take care of each other.
Other happy birthday wishes go out this week to Marna Waller on August 10, and to Jennifer Rose and Kiely Rigali on August 14.
This weekend’s drive-in movie offering is “The Green Knight,” in which King Arthur’s nephew, Gawain, heads out on a daring quest to prove that he is worthy of joining the Knights of the Round Table. He faces ghosts, thieves, and tricksters before meeting his true opponent, the Green Knight. Gates open at 7 pm. The film begins at approximately 8 pm. Click the website driveinmv.com for more information and to purchase tickets.
The All Island School Committee is meeting on Thursday, August 12, at 6 pm via Zoom. On the agenda is the opening of school and the mask policy. You can find the Zoom link on the Edgartown School’s calendar page, edgartownschool.org/calendar.html.
Barnyard Buddies continues at the Farm Institute this Saturday morning at 9:30 am. Spend your Saturday morning exploring the farm and meeting the friendly animals in this program for families. Some examples of activities could be egg collecting, feeding the goats, or a farm story time. Every program ends with a visit to the Friendship Garden to help water and care for the plants growing. Pre-registration required. Best suited for ages 2 to 4. Parents or caregivers with an additional child who is an infant and can be placed in a carrier, are free and do not require pre-registration. Activities change weekly. This is a weather dependent program and will not run in inclement weather. Head to their at thetrustees.org to pre-register.
Next week is generally the “biggest week of the year” here on Martha’s Vineyard. A modified Illumination Night is happening on August 18. There will not be a celebratory event in the Tabernacle this year, but houses will be decorated and lanterns will be lit at 8 pm. Anyone entering the Campground for the event must wear a mask. And of course, the annual Agricultural Fair begins on Thursday, August 19. Everything will operate in a socially distanced manner and at 50 percent occupancy per state rules. So eat, ride, admire, and be merry.
The only thing missing next week is the Oak Bluffs fireworks, which were cancelled earlier in the year. Again, just my opinion here, which has been plentiful in this particular column, I think it was a wise decision. Fireworks cost a lot of money and that event in particular has thousands of people close together for a couple of hours. It would have been terrible to spend that kind of money, only to have to cancel at the last minute. Maybe they’ll be back next year. Fingers crossed.
If you are over the age of 65 and in need of safety modifications for your home, the Edgartown Council on Aging may be able to help. The Home Safety Modification Program provides grab bars, handrails, and other equipment to help keep you safe. Participants pay on a sliding scale with some installations at no cost. Please call the Anchors at 508-627-4368 for more information.
That’s a wrap for this week. I’m sure I’m forgetting something. Have a great week. Please stay safe and wear your mask when you can’t socially distance yourself.
If you have any Edgartown Town Column suggestions, email Gail Gardner, email@example.com.