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Letters: My Mask Protects You and Me
A visiting cruiser, taking the pandemic seriously
April 11, 2020

isiting cruiser Emily Greenberg wrote in recently regarding some folks apparent cavalier attitude towards coronavirus concerns.

Reader Andy Dixon responds:

Dear Emily,

Let me apologize that we left you with the impression that we were disparaging you for wearing a mask. We actually applaud you for your concern.

One of the trademarks of the hardware store is our jovial banter with our customers. You weren’t the first “bandit” to come in the store that day, and you weren’t the last. In fact, a couple of our regular customers wearing masks jokingly told us that it was a stickup. It’s just the nature of the store and most of our customers expect it.

I realize that our demeanor may project an air of unconcern or even a cavalier attitude toward this emergency. I assure you that’s not the case. Only one of the employees is under 60 years of age and he’s a cancer survivor. Where a customer comes into the store and is exposed to only several other customers, we are exposed to a couple of hundred every day we work. We are high risk individuals in a high risk environment. I assure you that those thoughts never leave our minds from the time that we open until the time we close, and speaking for myself, they go home with me too. Our devil-may-care attitudes belie the fact that underneath we are just as worried as you are but our positive, and sometimes irreverent, attitudes are what get us through the day.

Again, my apologies.
Andy Dixon
Village Hardware
April 13, 2020

reader writes in, supporting Emily’s concerns (see below). Amron (Wagoner) Myers moved west almost a year ago, after spending the first three decades of her life in Oriental (she was born in the family home). Amron was well known as The Bean manager & barista. She writes from her new home in Colorado.
To the Editor,

I am writing in after reading Emily’s letter to the editor. It saddens me to know that some in my home town are not taking this virus seriously. Last year I moved to Colorado to the beautiful town of Silverthorne, where my little family and I have embraced the community here and have been welcomed into this mountain family.

About one month ago everything in this area changed, COVID-19 had made it here to Summit County. All of the ski resorts closed, hotels and Airbnb closed, dining in restaurants was no longer allowed, and then schools closed. The marina here had to shut down which meant Evan would be out of work indefinitely, and I would now have very limited hours at Red Buffalo Coffee and Tea because business hours were now limited and everything had to be take-out only. For the most part everyone here in Summit county saw the severity of this and started doing their part to not spread or make this any worse.

Whether people want to accept it or not life has changed as we know it and we don’t know for how long. I worry about my sweet home town and the people not taking this seriously. I worry about my parents and in-laws, the many people I have grown up around that I love who are older and at higher risk that are there. It is clearly evident that this is something that needs to be taken seriously, case in point New York, Italy, and China. If this weighs no significance on you, look into what is happening in those areas.

To everyone in that beautiful sailing community that I grew up in and raised my daughter for the first 7 yrs of her life, please be safe. Wearing a mask and washing your hands is not that hard to do.

Be smart and stay well!
Amron (Wagoner) Myers
Silverthorne, Colorado
April 12, 2020

mily Greenberg is a cruising sailor visiting Oriental on her 28 ft sailboat. She has been here for several weeks, planning to stay now for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic.

To The Editor:

I’ve come through Oriental by boat each year for the last three seasons. This time, I’m sheltering in place on my boat, per the Governor’s orders. My plans were to head to the Long Island Sound, an epicenter of the virus, by way of the Chesapeake Bay—but under its shelter-in-place ordinance the state of Maryland has banned cruising. So I’m staying put in Oriental.

I find it odd that as a fit and healthy 30-year-old woman, I’m taking the corona virus pandemic more seriously than some of Oriental’s older, more at risk, permanent community members. About a week or so ago I went into the hardware store wearing a bandana over my face and gloves. There were snickers from the people standing in line behind me, and the cashier’s made references to me looking like a bandit. All in good fun, I suppose. But I told them, “I don’t want to get this virus, and I don’t want to give it to you.” A week later, the CDC officially recommended people wear masks in public.

Because of my health and age there’s a good chance that if I were a carrier, I could be asymptomatic. Which is what I tried to explain to another resident who laughed about me wearing a mask. I told him why I was wearing it, to protect him and myself, and that I didn’t think him laughing at me was appropriate. A mask can protect you and everyone you come in contact with.

I still see cruisers coming and going and socializing with each other. Climbing on each others boats for cocktails and boat tours. Even if they did self isolate on their vessels before going to shore, they aren’t wearing masks now that they can freely go to land. I don’t really understand. Shouldn’t we, as sailors, be well versed in the art of social distancing? Is your yacht trip up the ICW really “essential travel?” If we could all be a little more socially responsible by sheltering in place, staying home, and wearing masks in public, not only do we save ourselves, we can save others.

It’s nice to live like there’s no tomorrow, until you’re putting other people’s lives at risk.

Emily Greenberg
S/V Sohund
April 11, 2020

Sign at the Provision Company

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