Notes from Jane
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” a sentiment that is so true in our life at the moment. The worst goes without saying. But we can find some of the best of the human race right in our community. We are seeing people walking and biking in our neighborhood that we have never seen. It is such a relief to be able to get out of the house and stretch our legs. We can say hello and chat from across the street. It saves us from the feeling of isolation that is so depressing. If you need groceries, markets are offering delivery service, senior hour, touchless pay options and really going the extra mile to keep us all safe. If you do go into the store, cover your face and stay apart; be sure to thank the employees that showed up to work to make your visit possible.
Commerce is adapting to the home or work environment with remote work schedules and curbside pick up. People are checking in with their neighbors by phone, video chat or simple window cards color coded to ask for help or let you know they’re ok. Teddy bears are showing up in windows so kids can “bear hunt” on their walks. Drive-by birthdays are taking hold. Can you imagine what it must have been like in these situations before technology? Even if we can’t see our friends and family, we can virtually visit. There are virtual cocktail parties, church services, yoga classes and office meetings. You can apply for an absentee ballot for the primary or November election at absentee@Charlestoncounty.org or call 843-744-8683. Check with your local voters info center if you live in another county.Universal internet seems to make more sense these days. Maybe that will be one of the changes for good to come out of this. And what we take from this situation, the changes we want to keep will surely make our post Covid-19 world a different place, so let’s choose wisely. The shortages we are experiencing are the same world-wide.
There’s a mass shortage of toilet paper, for instance. How did that happen? The newspaper in Sidney, Australia actually devoted several pages in one edition to have no newsprint on it so that it could be used in an emergency. Well, that surely caught the world’s attention! If you have shopped for bleach, hand sanitizer or antibacterial wipes you know this frustration. Imagine trying to get hand sanitizer in bulk for a hospital? Anticipating a day when their stores may run low, MUSC pharmacists thought outside the box and reached out to local distillers for help to preempt any shortages. The first to answer the call was Traxler Littlejohn of Nippitaty Distillery. He had been watering down the Grain Neutral Spirits that went into flavored vodka and making sanitizer for friends. When MUSC called he was able to donate 40 gallons.
Our hats off to them for their help! It’s during desperate times that we step-up with innovation and solutions to the immediate problems. Sure there are many scientists that are working on protocols and vaccines That’s way beyond most of our pay grades though. What’s heart warming is seeing people step up and do what they can. Milliken & Company has pivoted its textile manufacturing to prioritize production of an antibacterial fabric, BioSmart, to be used in medical protective equipment. The product uses chlorine bleach-activated technology and molecular engineering to kill up to 99.9% of viruses and bacteria it touches. From Nascar to high school robotics classes to folks sidelined at home, people are pitching in however they can. One of the amazing innovations of this pandemic is the use of 3D printers to make ventilators, face shield and shield holders. Nascar recently directed its R&D group to get into the face shield business. Technique Inc is now producing 20,000 face masks a day.
Woods Bros. Racing is donating hundreds of tablets to nursing home residents so they can “visit” with their families. People are sitting at home sewing face masks. There are virtual tours of just about every gallery, museum, aquarium, zoo and park ranger tours of the state parks. People are coming together to help home schooling parents deal. Did you hear about the teen taking flying lessons? He used his flight hours to deliver medical supplies to rural hospitals. The 93 year old woman in Pennsylvania who posted a sign in her window saying she was out of beer got a big surprise. Not only did Coors drop off 150 cans but many neighbors joined in. How about the mailman who offered help to those on his route who were unable to get to the store. He was able to get them groceries, medicines and other necessities while delivering the mail. Musicians are holding virtual concerts and raising money to help the many people impacted by the virus. Restaurants are suggesting picking up curbside or ordering directly from the establishment instead of using apps. This way the restaurant gets all of the much-needed revenue.
Neighbors are singing with neighbors balcony to balcony, giving impromptu concerts for all to enjoy, projecting movies on building walls, and spelling out notes of cheer and hope and thanks in the lights of large buildings. These are only some of the clever cheering moves, people to people, heart to heart. I know that mother nature can try our patience with tornados, but we’ve got this!