The Covid-19 pandemic that started before the end of winter, refuses to leave, even with the arrival of summer. It has changed the way we do even the most basic of things like going shopping, exercising and even attending church services (we now have to make reservations to insure that no more than 50 people are in the church at the same time). Still we refuse to let it prevent us from participating in all those things that make life worth living. We are willing to wear masks while shopping and in other places where required. We have adapted our exercise routine from what we were used to at the fitness center to what we can do at or near home. And yes we go on-line to make sure there will be room for us in church. We started out with a couple of sock masks and a hand-sewn mask that I found a pattern for on-line. Now Don has a couple of Stormy Kromer masks and, just this morning, I ordered three new masks for myself from a retailer in Colorado. We have accepted the fact that this “new normal” likely will last until a reliable vaccine becomes available.
We are lucky in that we live in a neighborhood that is much less densely populated than most. We live on a nine mile long lake in Maine about 10 miles from the nearest grocery store and 15 miles from a major city. When the coronavirus restrictions were announced back in the middle of March, we were blessed by living in a neighborhood where many of the houses (or camps as they are often referred to) were unoccupied. Now the summer has arrived many of the seasonal residents have begun to return. A good percentage of them have year-round homes in states like New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut where infection rates are much higher. We do worry that they may bring the virus, albeit unintentionally. Our governor has passed a 14-day self quarantine on any visitors coming to Maine from out-of-state to try and alleviate the threat of undoing the progress we have made toward “flattening the curve”. At the same time we look forward to seeing old friends and reconnecting in a place where there is plenty of room to practice safe social distancing. We just want to do it safely.
All that being said, summer is a beautiful season in Maine and I certainly understand why it draws so many tourists. It’s one of the reasons we decided to retire here 14 years ago. In spite of the mosquitoes that enjoy the water every bit as much as we do, there are so many ways to enjoy this season. There are birds that are only here in the summer and animals like bears (who hibernate in winter), deer, and moose who can be seen nibbling on the fresh branches, leaves and berries that arrive along with the change in season. We often plan our weekly adventures in the hopes of discovering animals in the wild or unfamiliar birds in the trees. Although this year many of the festivals, concerts and sporting events have been cancelled, golf courses have reopened, boating and water sports are readily and safely available, and uncrowded hiking trails are plentiful. We spend some time each week exploring national, state, and local parks and conservancy areas. Rather than bemoan the precautions that the virus demands, we try to make the most of what summer has to offer and do it in a way that keeps us and others as safe as possible. I hope others will do that as well.