To the Editor:
In troubling times like these, it is easy to feel put upon and alone. One of the advantages of running a small private charter boat business in Bar Harbor for 25 years is that I’ve had the opportunity to meet folks from all over the country and all over the world. Many of them have become friends. I’d like to share a passage from a recent letter from one of those friends who lives in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in which she describes her experience with the COVID-19 pandemic:
“We have just done five weeks of lockdown and it is going until at least May 9. As long as I can, I go to the big nearby supermarket once a week. You queue up 6 feet apart and they let you in as other shoppers go. There are paper towels and disinfectant to wipe over the cart handles. If I need milk, bread, etc. during the week, I go to the small supermarket near me. The pharmacy is beside it. I am very careful when I am out and wash my hands as soon as I get home.
Every Thursday at 8 p.m. all around the United Kingdom, everyone comes out to their front doors and claps or bangs saucepans to cheer for all our doctors, nurses, care assistants, etc. We can wave to our neighbors and it’s a nice feeling. Our healthcare workers are so wonderful!”
Whenever I start feeling down, I reread those two paragraphs and realize just how fortunate I am to be living in this area. Unlike my friend in Ireland, I live in a spectacularly beautiful, relatively sparsely settled area, as yet only suffering moderate health impacts from COVID-19. Summer, with all its wonders, is just around the corner. In fact, there is indeed much to look forward to despite all the difficulties and restrictions imposed by COVID-19.
Maybe we should all copy the tradition of my Irish friend and open the doors of our homes every Thursday evening at 8 p.m. and “…clap or bang saucepans to cheer for all our doctors, nurses, care assistants, etc. We can wave to our neighbors and it’s a nice feeling. Our healthcare workers are so wonderful!”
Sounds like an idea to me.
Capt. Winston Shaw