Social (distancing) studies

These are unprecedented times, surely. The vast majority of us have had to change our daily routines and many of us are homebound. (Take the staff at ACK•Now, for example. We continue to work on projects together and see each other every day, but only through a 400 x 600 pixel window on our laptops.)

Many of you who are not on-island, and perhaps a few who are, are likely wondering how we are doing here. You may be asking the question that is on a lot of people’s minds: What does such a social place — a safe haven for family and friends, gatherings and interaction — do during this period of social distancing?

We will be honest. It’s not easy. But the one thing that you can bank on about the Nantucket community is that we know a thing or two about challenges and we usually find a way to overcome them.

The challenges Nantucket faces are similar to what’s happening on the mainland. But in some ways, these challenges are magnified by the boats, the isolation and the fact that the community is not used to having its innate resilience tested in such a way.

But still, we are adapting.

A volunteer group called Nantucket Neighbor sprang up last weekend and quickly grew to 84 volunteers who are on call to help their community around the clock for free. Supta Yoga Studio, and others, are offering free classes on Instagram. Facebook has become an even more important way for people to connect. Many folks have been taking walks and enjoying the open air, meeting many familiar faces (separated by a minimum of six feet, of course). And since the regular Thursday night open mic at the Nantucket Culinary Center could not meet in person, the host has taken the show online instead. With 14 live performances and 30+ people watching. 

This small island community will always find a way to overcome a challenge — and remain social — even from a distance.

Have a safe Sunday. 

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