Many things have changed around our little town in the past several weeks. Still, although there’s a somewhat different feel and appearance, we’re keeping on keeping on, side by side with coronavirus.

The enormity of the pandemic is still hard to grasp and I know I can’t really appreciate what a big deal it is. Big deal certainly isn’t an adequate label for it.

The Town Office, which has been closed tightly but ably staffed all these weeks, is purring along and now has a fragile hope to open in a limited way in a couple of weeks.

Maybe. We hope.

The town website is full of information and updates and, so far, seems like one good way to help people stay informed. We’d like to know about other ways our community is using to keep in touch and make sure everyone is doing all right. It will be good to establish a stronger system especially for those who don’t use computers and such. Email me with your ideas.

One of the good things that happened right away after the quarantine and distancing went into place was the formation of a group to try to check in on the whole community to make sure no one was falling through the cracks. They, the Washington Coronavirus Task Force headed up by Health Officer Brian Alves, did a great job of spreading the word about available help. The town website has a space for listing chores or errands anyone needs help with and also for people will help meet those needs.

For those who don’t use electronics and need assistance or updates, call the Town Office 845-2897.

Many people are reaching out to neighbors and friends to check on their wellness and needs, not to mention moods and coping tricks. I’m finding out how much can be accomplished right here in our little town, which is plenty for most people. Groceries, gas for the car, and many household needs are being furnished by our ambitious small markets and other vendors who are doing a yeoman job.

On a personal note, I can attest to the excellence of our medical response teams during this Corona Time, because my partner had a stroke March 25 and went through the whole range of critical services from ambulance, to ICU, to rehab and back home with home health aides.

In each case, well prepared, protected and responsive personnel did what they are supposed to do cheerfully and responsibly. Most importantly, they did all this without me along to tell them what and how to do it, since my presence was verboten.

Amazing and inexpressibly gratifying.

What I find easily overlooked with coronavirus so up close and literally personal, is all the “usual” happenings – accidents, crazy politics, garden weeds, laundry and such are still happening. The virus is too much with us. I have daffodils!

The mail is still delivered (Thank you!) and many service calls are still being done. By the way, home service people should be observing the safety rules with masking and distancing.

Again, from my own experience recently, a service man came to my door (by appointment). He was obviously not prepared to enter my home. When I asked if he had a mask and gloves, he replied, “Oh, I’m not worried. I’m young and healthy.” I was nearly speechless for half a breath.

Then said, loud and clear, “Well, I’m old and healthy and I want to stay that way. Without protections you can’t come in.” Although I could have given him mask and gloves, I didn’t, on general principles and from exasperation.

Not incidentally, of course, I contacted the company which informed me I contacted the wrong office – but they’d send my message to the right place.

Nada, aerus, over a week now.

Most of the town’s organizations suspended meetings-in-person. Many have taken up alternative get togethers on media like Zoom, Skype, and others – jumping or being dragged into the cyber world. The telephone for friendly hello calls has come back onto use somewhat, as well. School staff are arranging lessons for home use and delivering lunches. People on furlough are doing home repairs. People unemployed are hoping to get back to work and wondering when the checks will come. Some people are lonely and may be frightened. If you are, call me.

Remember, the Town Office has resources to recommend to individuals.

The Washington Food Bank is open twice a month right now. Deborah Vannah at 409-9247 can fill us in on the schedule which will probably change from time to time.

I’m happy to be back in the Courier mix. Congratulations and thanks to the whole Courier/VS team for pulling their act together to keep putting out the news and supplying abundant community support, communication opportunities and encouragement.

See you next week.