Well, something’s getting better. After reaching Phase 3 about three months ago, Covid-19 on Whidbey Island is beginning to abate. It is too soon to tell if that’s because summer is closing, we’re past Labor Day, or the apparent increase in the number of people wearing masks. (Washing hands is harder to notice.)
Summer doesn’t end for about two more weeks; but Labor Day usually is the effective end of the summer vacation season. Kids go back to school, so vacationers go back home – but this year they may remain. Working from home, learning from home, existing online makes it easier to decide to stay home by staying on the island. Undoubtedly, some families are redefining home. City home and country home may switch which is dominant – for those with the option.
Masks are increasingly useful for other things. First, they were only for the virus. Then, some realized they were handy fighting hay fever. Now, smoke from wildfires is another incentive to mask up. In typical island fashion, creative people are creating fashionable masks. Shop around for a variety of styles and prices. (Personally, one made by Whidbey Made? has become a favorite because it looks good, doesn’t slip, and doesn’t fog my glasses.)
While there are good reasons to be in Phase 3, and aiming for Phase 4 and beyond, we can at least celebrate that there have been no Covid-19 deaths on the island in about three months.
As for progress in Phase 3, the Key Metrics are looking good. Whether the county applies for Phase 4, well, several surrounding counties are delaying changing phases to be cautious.
A short note about the fires in Washington State: If they continue another week there might be a separate post about them. In the meantime, while there are no large fires on the island, we’re experiencing smoke from Eastern Washington. Fire season is being recognized as a yearly event, with smoke coming from in the state, down south, up north, and even from Asia. We’re all looking forward to the rains returning. Until then, mask up!