Fri, 03/20/2020 - 9:15am


Block Island can be a carefree place, the most carefree place. But we are in a time of unprecedented seriousness — the first at least in the last 75 years — and it is good to see Block Island take the threat of COVID-19 the way in which we should.

We have to heed the impeccable advice from Dr. Mark Clark, the Director of the Medical Center. He wants us to be diligent about social distancing — a phrase that has become embedded into everyone’s vocabulary in just a few short days. We all know what it means now. Avoid any unnecessary human interaction. Do not congregate in groups larger than 10 people.

If you are coming to Block Island from the mainland, please be diligent about self-isolation. Dr. Clark said that anyone coming from the mainland from anywhere — whether it’s Wakefield or Florida — should practice “heightened self-isolation.” Even though the weather is getting warmer, this may be easier to do than we think. Almost nothing is open. Bars, the Island Free Library, town departments, all closed. The Block Island Grocery is directing the flow of traffic to minimize unscheduled clusters of people, and has set aside an hour exclusively for people over 60 to shop. All good.

We just need to stay vigilant and respectful until we hear word from responsible parties that the crisis is easing. Until that time, all of these new social norms need to remain in full force.

Rigorous discipline, respect, and a little luck will see us through.