Everyday, I walk my dog around the Village Green, right in front of the Rye Free Reading Room. The library doors are locked. There are no lights on and the parking lot is empty. It has been closed to the public since March 15 th when the coronavirus put normal operations “on pause.”
What’s not apparent from looking at the building is all that’s happening behind the scenes. I’m fortunate to be able to continue working part-time, remotely for the library. I am able to see the dedicated staff actively working to maintain support services for the community and creating new and innovative ways to deliver entertaining and educational programs for its patrons. Even though no one is inside the landmark building, they are hard at work making a virtual library experience.
I appreciate that I live in a town that has the resources to provide its citizens with so much. You may work a little harder to get groceries, but there are many good possibilities and lots of takeout choices. Local merchants have gone out of their way to accommodate customers as safely and as conveniently as they can – with curbside deliveries, services by appointment, or mailing people much-needed items. And, in this town, we have the privilege of access to quality medical care with dedicated healthcare workers who inspired us all.
Our unprecedented situation is not without its stresses. I have an immune suppressed sister who lives next door to a hospital that is essentially a Covid-19 hotspot. She has not left her apartment in months. My dear friend lost a loved one to the virus. I realize how lucky I am. My one daughter came home from Manhattan to stay with us, and the other is safely ensconced nearby and has managed to launch a timely new online healthcare service.
Right now I have more time for cooking, reading, and streaming. I’ve learned to accept socializing on Zoom. I wear a mask when needed. I’ve started trimming my dog’s hair. But like everyone else who’s sheltering-in-place, I look forward to phasing back into a new normal. And, seeing the doors start opening up to welcome us back: retailers, restaurants, businesses, schools, and of course, the library.