From the Mayor

From the Mayor January 11, 2021

Whatever made any sane person among us think that the as 2020 was in the rearview mirror that things would instantly improve when 2021 was upon us.  For most of the people I know,  the shift from one  year to another was to add new energy and hope as we look ahead to a new year.  I do think that all of us, with the vaccine(s) arriving and being administered, that there is good reason to hope that as we roll into the months of 2021 we will see decreases in infection rates and fewer deaths due to covid-19.  I think more and more of us are also getting the message that the disease is sneaky and deadly; that we must be vigilant and take care of our community and ourselves by taking care and keeping distance.

It doesn’t help any of us to have seen the assault on the US Capitol and mobs rampaging through the building.  Until Jan. 6, 2021, only British soldiers, when they invaded Washington in 1814, had ever entered this seat of democracy with the intent to topple the government.  This group,  carrying weapons, Trump flags, and, in some cases confederate flags into the halls of Congress, were intent on overturning the bona fide and certified 2020 election results.  They were incited to some of these behaviors by Trump himself, who in the act of doing this violated his own oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.  After the rampage, the perpetrators simply walked out, free to go.  It is devastating to see this happen.  It is horrifying when one compares the treatment of Black Lives Matter protesters in mid-2020 to the ease of entry and the crude and violent behaviors of these thousands in the Capitol for several hours.  It seems that this is one more example of the rule of racism in this country and the lack of equality before the law.

As we look down the road that stretches out before us in 2021, I know that we see, still, many hazard signs and very few indications that we are approaching the “return to normal” markers that we would all prefer to see—and approach.  How can we avoid “pandemic fatique?”  I perhaps there are many things we can do that give us energy to hope and plan.  Of course we can always bake, cook, clean, plan our spring garden, order seeds, rediscover crafts, or, of course, read.  We can exercise both body and brain.  And never forget that walking or other outdoor exercise can be a real life saver.  We are fortunate that we live in a place where we do have a lot of space and many charming places to experience and re-experience.

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On Sunday I was out walking for about an hour.  I think I saw more people—at a distance than I have seen in the last few weeks.  Maybe there were so many out because it was a sunny afternoon.  Yes!!  This was the second sunny day, count Saturday, in about two weeks.  The adrenaline rush was great, once I realized that the disc in the sky was not a UFO.  Stay safe and healthy in Alfred’s open spaces and fresh air, albeit somewhat short of sun.