Memorial Day weekend is three weeks away.
In another time, in another world, most of the East End towns would be preparing for “the season” with both trepidation and anticipation.
No one likes the traffic and noise at night, on the streets or in the air. But most of us understand we are part resort community, and the summer visitors are our lifeblood — the difference between boarded up Main Streets and prosperity. There are jobs as well, for ourselves and for our family; in fact, the second-home market fuels the economy.
Most important, it is a chance to showcase anew the world-class beaches and abundance of nature’s gifts. Who among us doesn’t lavish the opulence of the local farms and waterways? Imagine a table set with the freshest goods, and the gilded guest list of authors, writers, composers, and the like. This is the image we have cultivated, and the life we live. Those of us who are locals are blessed to call this paradise home.
But we’ve reached a slippery slope. People pay millions to come here and buy one of our ancestors’ homes so their little ones can have the same chance we had — to grow up here, at least part-time. How unwelcoming we must sound to turn away well-meaning day-trippers who wanted just a few hours in the sun.
Blame it on the pandemic.
We are afraid, and that is certainly borne out by the statistics — there is a much higher infection rate to the west and that’s where we’d prefer to keep it.
We don’t want a closed airport, closed nightclubs, and stringent regulations. These are reasons to stop coming here. We don’t want ghost-like teenagers wandering desolate streets, or a generation of able tradesmen with no jobs to offer. We want our lives back. All of us.
So, to get there, what we need is communication and understanding, not incendiary remarks that make neighbors recoil from one another. Summer is coming. It’s a dance we do every year. Let’s not let this novel coronavirus stop the music.