Not sure I have heard or seen this discussed publicly yet, but has anyone started to think we might lose the North Atlantic Blues Festival and the Maine Lobster Festival this summer?

I heard this morning they are actually thinking of rescheduling the 2020 Olympics because of the Plague, so it’s not too much of a stretch of the imagination to imagine the impact the Plague will have on our summer events here.

Think large crowds of people jammed together in a public space. Think also of the Fourth of July in Thomaston with no people.

Certainly there are a few crusty crabs in town who might wish we never had these festivals in Rockland each summer, but I am certainly not one of those cranks. If you are like me, read on.

If we are going to have a reasonable chance of the Plague being behind us by the time the Blues and Lobster festivals are normally scheduled, not to mention the Glorious Fourth as well, then we need to make darn sure we are all doing our best right now to prevent the spread of the disease.

July currently seems to hold some hope, perhaps, he said optimistically. Even the Blessed Lord Prez Trumpleton himself has begun to realize that everything will not be back to business as usual by Easter.

By the way, that “open for business again by Easter” comment the Prez made was not quite such an outrageous statement as many people thought it was; he told me he thought Easter was some time in June. I think he had confused it with my birthday.

But seriously, if we are going to save our two summer festivals, one in July and the other in August, then we all need to do our absolute best to make sure the Plague does not get a grip in Rockland or Knox County.

Obviously our best hope is to wash, scrub, keep yer distance – everything in fact that we can think of. Why, even the little wooden church out in far-flung Cushing is urging people to do this. And if we can largely keep the lid on this thing, there is the slight possibility of a hope of a prayer that our entire summer might not entirely go to Hades in a Handbasket.

I assure you, you don’t want to think of another winter in Maine without first having had a fairly good summer for the local economy.

Do you suppose there will be any cruise ships in port at all, this year?

* * * * *

It was quite disturbing to hear the CNN news report this week that an angry mob on Vinalhaven had cut down a tree to trap some people in a house, just because the tenants had New Jersey license plates on their cars.

Apparently they wanted to force the men to quarantine themselves.

* * * * *

Speaking of quarantine, the Four Seagulls of the Apocalypse are now each restricted to one corner of the concrete towers at the foot of Mechanic Street, where I am forced to live. Where I am forced to live with them, actually.

* * * * *

I wish somebody would repair the fences that have been broken for some time along the stretch of property between the Rockland Harbor YMCA and the Great Gazebo in the South End. It looks such a mess of wreckage.

No need to let standards drop in these times.

* * * * *

Speaking of dropping, the price of gasoline continues to fall, although rather more slowly in coastal Knox County.

Two Sundays ago, March 22, I saw it for $1.59 a gallon or thereabouts in Damariscotta, and this last Sunday it was $1.29 in Union. Still around $1.80 in the Lime City, he sighed.

The guy behind the counter at the Union store said they get their gas distributed from Augusta, which is why prices in his town were cheaper. Apparently Rockland gets its gas from somewhere more expensive. He sighed again.

* * * * *

It has been mentioned to me that the chief of the Maine Centers for Disease Control, Nirav Shah, has more than a slight resemblance to Mr. Bean.

These are truly amazing times.

* * * * *

People have been thinking very hard about ways to keep meeting each other socially in a time of Plague. Fashionable and Mrs. Bob suggested an outdoor drink party at some point fairly soon, with a regulation six feet or more between participants. Obviously we would need to bring our own bottles and glasses, or else some supernaturally long drinking straws.

Another friend recently told me she has been invited to a party that will be held electronically via the Internet, where people can gossip online and see each other on their computer screens, while drinking Quarantinis.

* * * * *

Here are some notes for a drama of our times.

SCENE: Outdoors after dark on a quiet street corner in Rockland. A solitary citizen is walking along the sidewalk when a dark figure emerges from a doorway.

MAN: Psst!

PEDESTRIAN: Oh, you scared me!

MAN: Hey buddy, I got some good stuff.

PEDESTRIAN: Like what kind of stuff, man?

MAN: Toilet paper.

* * * * *

On Sunday, March 15, the 200th anniversary of Maine statehood, I saw a woodpecker hard at work on a tree somewhere in Knox County. A few days later, I saw crocuses, tulips and daffodils beginning to sprout up from the earth.

Hopeful signs. I hope.

* * * * *

We had a mild winter, to be sure. Someone said this means the ticks will be out in force this year.

Indeed, I have already heard of people encountering these wee blood-sucking monsters. What unspeakable joy, I don’t think.

If only ticks could eat coronavirus.

* * * * *

An associate said she realized she had been driving a good social distance from the car in front of her when they were both stopped at the lights six feet apart. She couldn’t figure out why she was doing this, but assumed it was starting to become a habit.

* * * * *

The first geese have already been heard, presumably they are returning for the summer. I hope they are returning.

* * * * *

I recently learned a local restaurant lost a big wedding party due to the Plague. This was just days before we all realized that this was happening here, and not just in foreign parts.

At the same time, I heard a local real estate agent lost a house sale when the purchaser backed away from the deal. One can only suppose the downward dive of the stock market had created the jitters. It’s not just bars, restaurants and hotels that are losing trade, you know.

* * * * *

A local pharmacist mentioned the other week that some of his customers had begun asking for a three-month supply of their regular medications.

I suppose it was the same hoarder-stripper-shopper syndrome that has been keeping many supermarket shelves under-stocked. The pharmacist was able to talk his customer down off the ledge, explaining that there is no shortage of his prescription drugs.

David Grima is a former editor with Courier Publications. He can be reached at davidgrima@ymail.com.