Whidbey Corona Virus October 8 2020

Another month? Yep. Despite our progress, the island’s small population means doesn’t take much to keep us from progressing to the next phase; a small group, maybe including someone who passed through an infected zone, and instead of one person being infected a few could be. But, there’s good news.

The majority of the confirmed COVID-19 positive cases in Island County have recovered or are recovering at home. A small number have been hospitalized. Of those hospitalized, some have recovered, some are still in the hospital, and a few have resulted in fatalities.” – Island County Public Health

On October 6, new statewide guidelines were released that loosen restrictions on: weddings and funerals, real estate, bicycling, running, mini-golf, swimming, libraries, restaurants and bars, theaters, and sports. As for Island County, we’re still in Phase Three, sometimes meeting many of the criteria for the next phase – and then a few cases put us back firmly into health defense mode. So it goes.

Without any data, anecdotes fill in gaps. Typically, the summer crowds leave for home after Labor Day so kids can get back to school. October is when the storms arrive, and another set of folks leave for a while. This is 2020. While there’s less traffic than in August, shopowners are mentioning less of a slowdown. Granted, some shops may still close because they missed the main revenue season of summer. And, even with relaxed guidelines, there may be more people dropping by, but the limits may be below profitability. Another reason to Shop Local.

Fewer folks on the island may mean more progress. Of course one way to completely eliminate the virus would be for everyone to leave, but that’s a bit drastic. Great numbers, though.

Summer weather has probably said its good byes, for now. A small-ish storm is coming on this weekend. It will feel more significant than usual, but probably won’t seem like much compared to our November storms which are only a few weeks away. Rainy weather will keep more people inside. Locals will still do things outside; lawns must be mowed, gardens harvested, summer furniture cleaned and stored. Getting back indoors may help us a little bit more. Hopefully that’s enough to let us all healthily relax in time for giving thanks.

Until then, wear a mask, wash those hands, and be social but at a distance. 2020, what a year. Hang in there.

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