Letter From the Vineyard 11 April 2020 Into what world?

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It may have started in Maryland, the English countryside or in New Zealand. Regardless, all around the world, people are putting teddy bears in windows so children [and, I suspect, adults] can go on neighborhood teddy bear hunts.  As you can see, BearBear, my teddy bear, is doing his best for the cause, sitting in the window, waiting to be counted.

Saturday burst out of a week of gloomy days with sunny weather, the first real warmth of the season, a day when one could walk without a jacket, a warmish wind sifting through the trees, still mostly winter skeletal; a day to lighten the heart, which is in dire need of lightening, as the death toll mounts, isolated save for Zoom meetings, FaceTime cocktails, more Zoom meetings, FaceTime with folks I don’t normally do [Joe, you look good!], texting conversations, checking on friends everywhere, to see how they are coping, to make sure they are coping.

As things worsen, I find myself on the bottom of the pecking order of who gets a ventilator. Which, from what I am learning, is a good thing. The island is steady at 12 cases, none yet needing hospitalization.  The CEO of Martha’s Vineyard Hospital says they can handle eight or nine.  More than that… Figuring that out now.

New York is beginning to see a possible flattening of the curve, while deaths still rise.

The American handling of this crisis has been particularly American, disorganized, chaotic, slow to respond, then most stepping up.  States enforcing tight controls, as New York, which has doubled the lack of social distancing fine to $1000, are beginning to see some light at the end of this dark tunnel.  What happens in other states not forcing such strict measures remains to be seen, making modelling the crisis difficult.

Rural America, isolated for a time, begins to suffer mightily as cases increase in places with little medical infrastructure.

The daily press conference of Governor Cuomo has become “must see” television in states other than New York, a primer on how to lead in a crisis.  The NY Times stated the other day:  it’s the same Cuomo, we just like him this time.

A friend sent his comparison of Cuomo and Trump; interesting read.

Ordinary things feel like life or death decisions, grocery shopping or going to the Post Office, visited to mail off books for a gentleman who visits the Vineyard every summer, loves the bookstore.

Via phone, we shopped together for his wife, daughter and himself. He wanted to support us.  It felt important to get them off, especially the books we picked out for him to read to his daughter.  So I went, dutiful bookseller, protected by a homemade mask, modeled from a video my sister sent me.

Many mornings I fix myself a proper breakfast.  Today, I made the best scrambled eggs I have ever managed, spreading them on toast while a few nights ago, a pasta carbonara, from The NY Times’ Melissa Clark’s’ recipe,  a first.

It is hard for me, who so loves to read, to read anything other than short bursts of words.  It is hard for me who loves a good drama, to watch one.  I am finding time to edit a lengthy piece written long ago, satisfying the writing itch with something other than these missives.

None of us know when normality will return, if it .  There is so much unknown, danger in letting down our guard, undoing the good done.  With the reported death rate lower than expected, more people were out yesterday.  The reported numbers do not, I believe, match the real ones.

I just keep putting one foot in front of another; one day we will be on the other side, emerging from our cocoons to see in what new world we find ourselves.

Happy Passover.  Joyous Easter. Stay safe, well, don’t touch your face; I can’t believe how many times I do.

One Response to “Letter From the Vineyard 11 April 2020 Into what world?”

  1. CARAMEL Says:

    I don’t normally touch my face a lot (I don’t think so) but since the message to not to touch our face has been repeated over and over, I cannot tell you how itchy every part of my face feels!
    At work it is impossible to touch our face because of all the PPE we have…but those masks make my skin feel burnt by the end of the day.

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