The tompostpile usually exists in a place that ignores most of the news and ignores politics. It often ignores real time to post about things in the past. This morning I’ll leave that place for a moment to make a brief foray into a few words about our suddenly changed world.
There’s a pandemic out there, the COVID-19 novel coronavirus. C and I are “old people” now, and although we are healthy for our age, if we get sick, we are at heightened risk of death, especially if hospitals are overwhelmed beyond their capacity.
The disease is not just “out there”. Here on Martha’s Vineyard, the first cases are appearing.
It’s not possible to pinpoint exactly how or from where Covid-19 arrived. Any number of people who live here travel extensively around the world, or are friends with people who travel and return. There is a great deal of close social contact. We are in a resort area that has thousands of summer homes. In the last few weeks, hundreds of those summer home owners have arrived, months earlier than usual, hoping to ride out the epidemic here. Many of these people have come from areas where the disease has first taken hold. Some of these folks will bring the infection here.
Our hospital is small. In the last week the medflight helicopter has taken a few of our first really serious cases to the big hospitals in Boston. Other cases are presenting daily. A few get admitted. Others are sent home to self-quarantine.
Throughout our community, preparations are underway for what is expected to be a large wave of cases in the next few weeks. Prayers are underway, entreating that the large wave not be a tsunami.
We have retreated to our home, to what we call “Wishetwurra Farm”, where we will be for the foreseeable future. We don’t anticipate going anywhere unless we have to. Our best contribution to dealing with this situation is to withdraw from contact with others.
We have enough food and supplies to keep going for a while. We have family nearby. We have plenty to do. It’s springtime and time to get the gardens going again. There are plenty of projects at hand. If we get stir-crazy there are places to walk where we will encounter few if any other people.
We have friends and family on the “front lines” of this epidemic, who are risking their own lives to care for others. We’re worried for them, and deeply grateful for their work.
With the internet and phone, it’s easy to keep up with the news, to be in touch with the outside world, to maintain contact with family and friends. We are incredibly lucky to be as safe as we are.
Here’s hoping that you who read this will come through this time as unscathed as possible.