Letter from the Vineyard 03 October 2021 Still emerging…

Letter From the Vineyard

03 October 2021

Still emerging…

The day has birthed cool but not chill, in the low 60’s, sun glinting off windows, the third or fourth day now when summer temps have yielded to ones more like fall, the scent of the autumnal season in the air, leaves showing signs of change.  October has arrived, with its pumpkins, Morning Glory Farm selling the last summer corn, soon to be a memory, like the summer of 2021, a time when hope and joy poured out of our skins as we faced the world, mask less.

            August was a jarring moment, as the Delta variant exploded among us, a viral grenade upending our expectations, sending us back behind our masks, grudgingly, crankily, unhappily.  Most of us did, most of us had bared our arms and got “the jab,” buying ourselves some protection even as breakthrough infections broke through and afflicted friends and neighbors, who did get ill, though rarely hospitalized.

            In some parts of the country, masks are hardly de rigueur and getting “the jab” meant a surrender to Bill Gates, who had planted tracking devices in the vaccine to control us all, somehow.  Or was it, Jeff Bezos?  Or possibly the entire pedophile cabal that QAnon believes is running the country?  Or what was the point? Coronavirus is a hoax, after all.

            Unhappy fact, voters for Trump are experiencing a mortality rate higher than those who voted for Biden as Trump voters are more likely not to be vaccinated as they move mask less across the landscape of America 2021.

            The brother-in-law of a dear, dear friend has succumbed to coronavirus, after self-medicating with ivermectin, a horse de-wormer, after five or six weeks in the hospital, intubated much of the time, dead anyway.  Some of his children think he was stupid for not being vaccinated; the others blame the hospital for his death.

            This is a scene being repeated across the country.  

            And I shake my head, finding all this hard to comprehend. A horse medicine as a cure for a deadly virus? Masks work: all the data shows it.  Why not believe the data points, which, after eighteen months, can hardly be disputed yet they are argued, frequently with frightening passion.

            As I sit here, curled in my little summer place, heat on, a mug of bold, dark coffee at my side, sliding into the day, scanning the headlines of the papers I follow, the death toll from Covid has passed 700,000 known deaths.  I wonder how many we have missed.  And I wonder how we got here, how we got to this much death without rallying around the science and taking care of ourselves.

            It is the deadly signature of our fraught times, all this death and the anger surrounding us, the chasm between two countries within one country, two towns within one town, a divide I have not been able to emotionally understand while having to intellectually accept it because it exists.

            Any wonder I relish curling up with a bold mug of joe on a sunny, cool early fall morning on the Vineyard, a mostly sane place in terms of respecting the science in virus matters, grateful I have had my booster shot, from a mobile vaccination facility parked at the high school last weekend, worth the one and a half hour wait.

            While grateful, I am not smug.  How long before the virus finds a way to pierce this line of defense is yet to be seen.  Given all we’ve seen, it will.  Grudgingly, we are learning to live with this disease though by all accounts we are woefully unprepared for the next pandemic around the corner.

            Such is the nature of humans, a race still emerging from evolutionary adolescence.

            In these times, good books, real books, paper books, are comforts.  Just finished “The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig, a delightful romp through time and unlived lives.  It took me away for a day or three from the madness of my fellow men.

            There are lots of good reads out there or coming out this fall.  Peruse your local paper’s book section – they’ll guide you to a winner.  Or send me an email and I’ll pop back with a suggestion, depending on your mood.  That’s what I do with customers.

            I love that part of being, as my godson says, the book monger of Edgartown, helping people find something to take home, to bring them deeper into a subject or further away from our strident realities.

            We cannot change those realities single handedly; little acts will nudge the world one way or another, but we can find relief in the pages of a book, while drinking in the peculiar, wonderful perfume of printed pages.

Photo credit: Paul Doherty, Islanders Talk

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