Community Voices in the Quarantine

April 22, 2020

Tom Clemmons, Circulation Supervisor at Pawling Free Library

 

How has the Coronavirus quarantine affected your life?

There are five of us at home now. We’re mindful of the gravity of the current crisis. We wear masks and gloves and insist on social distancing when we go out. Everyone at our place is working or fulfilling school obligations remotely.

 

How will the library move forward as this situation continues?

Though the Pawling Library and Library Annex buildings in the village are currently closed to the public, at least until May 15, the library has a rich array of online resources, including virtual programming, contemporary and classic movies, eBooks, audio books, language study, online courses, and much, much more. Patrons are encouraged to visit the library website at PawlingLibrary.org to learn more. They can also reach me directly by email at Circ@pawlinglibrary.org. (Anyone who lives in Pawling or Holmes who doesn’t yet have a library card who would like to register online for a temporary account, just visit the library website and click on “About” to get started.)

 

Can you recommend a book, movie, television show, or hobby that might help everyone pass the time? 

You can’t go wrong with JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Also: anything by Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, or Jack London. I can always drift away a few hours with favorite children’s books, or stories for younger readers, including The Wind and the Willows by Kenneth Grahame or Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. I also like just about any illustrated book by Tomie DePaola or any of the spirited Olivia books by Ian Falconer. For poetry to inspire and entertain, I recommend verse by Emily Dickinson and E. E. Cummings. In addition to online reading available from the Pawling Library, two good sources for free access to poetry and world literature include the Poetry Foundation (PoetryFoundation.org) and Project Gutenberg (Gutenberg.org). 

 

Please provide some encouraging words to our readers to help everyone in these difficult times!

Be safe. Be active. Above all: Be kind.

 

 

Mark Chipkin - President of Pawling’s  Hurd’s Corner Civic Association,  member of the Protect Pawling Coalition.

 

How has the Coronavirus quarantine affected Hurd’s Corner Road and Civic Association’s life?

The members of the Hurd’s Corner Civic Association have become even more supportive of each other during the Coronavirus quarantine. Several residents have offered to go shopping for those who might need it, some continue to make sure the road remains clean of trash (using safe practices), others have helped us to find a recently lost cat and dog.  We are seeing the best of people as more neighbors are helping each other with home projects, some help us to find out about environmental issues and road repair plans. More neighbors are checking in with each other. Some are offering emotional support by calling or greeting each other while walking at safe distances apart on the road.

 

When I look out my window now, I can see neighbors, friends and other Pawling residents enjoying walking, biking and jogging along Hurd’s Corner Road using safe distancing. I see more people coming to Hurd’s Corner to travel on the open space footpaths of the Appalachian Trail and Pawling Nature Reserve properties. I have seen an occasional kayak on top of a neighbor’s car heading for an expedition into The Great Swamp.

 

The neighbors who I pass on the road have told me how fortunate they feel to live on Hurd’s Corner Road where they can just step outside their door to

enjoy its scenic views, beautiful ponds, gardens, sheep and cows grazing on the bucolic rolling hills and meadows of our Greenway.

 

We are happy to report that even during this quarantine the wild turkeys continue strutting, frogs are still singing, and flowers blooming within the Hurd’s Corner Critical Environmental and Historical Area. Our wildlife habitats provide us with a breath of healing fresh air and a beautiful dose of nature.

 

During this Coronavirus Quarantine many of the Hurd’s Corner Civic Association members have become more aware of the importance of preserving these open green spaces for ALL Pawling residents. There seems to be a greater commitment to protecting our natural area from commercial development so that people can walk among nature free from pollutants of noise, chemical and lighting that commercial development brings. Some of us have found new places to meditate and explore, undisturbed by others. Nature and the wildlife around us have been our teachers, while schools are closed. The Hurd’s Corner Civic Association and Protect Pawling Coalition will continue to take any actions necessary to support the 425+ residents who signed a petition asking the Pawling Town Board to protect the Route 22 North Greenway from changing any part of  the residential zone to commercial.  Please sign the petition and join us at www.Hurdscorner.org  It is free.

 

Can you recommend a book, movie, television show, or hobby that might help everyone pass the time?

Braiding Sweet Grass by Robin Wall Kimmerer -  If you love exploring nature and science, as I do, and want to learn more about how ecological principals and indigenous teachings support each other, this book is for you!  “Robin Wall Kimmerer, braids strands of indigenous ways of knowing, scientific knowledge, and an Anishinabekwe scientist's hope together to show ways to serve the earth through essays that create a richly textured whole.” A fun family activity would be taking pictures of the return of spring flowers, birds etc

 

Please provide some encouraging words to our readers to help everyone in these difficult times!

There have been some positive things: neighbors have met new neighbors walking the road, many have time to clean up and organize stuff at home that they say they would not have gotten to; other neighbors have shared that they are learning how to ZOOM and use Tele-medicine; many have expressed their appreciation for the support coming from the Community Resource Center, Pawling Recreation, The Chamber of Commerce-local businesses, Pawling Radio, Nurses, Doctors,  first responders, local organizations, town government officials and all who are reaching out to those in need. A few neighbors say that with all the extra stay at home time, their gardens will be the best ever.

 

There have been difficult and dangerous times in past generations. At those times, people have demonstrated their abilities to face and endure their hardships and eventually overcome their adverse situation. They could be examples for us to remind us of how resilient we can be; each of us connected together in supportive ways through our community.

 

 

Chris Andrews - Executive Director, Akindale Thoroughbred Rescue

 

How has the Coronavirus quarantine affected your life?

For the most part our daily lives have not changed much, running a horse farm, our team is part of the essential workforce. We sadly had to close the farm to volunteers and tours and have implemented social distancing into our daily chores to keep our employees safe. Our biggest concerns are the loss of income due to cancelled fundraisers and loss of donations to our program. We have cut every penny we can without compromising the care of our horses but depending on how long this lasts it could create a huge financial burden for our program. 

 

How will your organization move forward as this situation continues?

We will continue to care for and love our horses, providing them everything they need to be happy and healthy in retirement or to prepare for a second career. We are continuing the training for our adoptable horses and we are hopeful we can go back to our normal adoptions program once we can open our doors to the public again. 

 

Can you recommend a book, movie, television show, or hobby that might help everyone pass the time?

We would recommend everyone visit our website at www.AkindaleHorseRescue.org or our Facebook or Instagram accounts to enjoy the fun videos and farm tours we have been sharing to try to bring the farm to the community since we cannot bring the community to the farm right now!

 

Please provide some encouraging words to our readers to help everyone in these difficult times!

Stay strong, we all need the love and support of our family, friends and community to keep positive and get through this together. 

 

 

Matthew Hogan, Executive Director of the Akin Hall Association and Director Akin Free Library

 

How has the Coronavirus quarantine affected your life?

No face to face interactions other than my two cats.  Human contact limited to email, texting and rare telephone conversations.  Passing my neighbors as they walk along.  Occasionally binging TV shows, reading and trying to keep up with Library work.  My wake – sleep cycle is off. The isolation was acceptable at first.  Now I am in my fourth week and appreciate how I miss authentic interactions. 

 

How will your organization move forward as this situation continues?

That is an open question. I can speak only for my thoughts.  A social-economic and generational shift is in play.  An opportunity to change, to break the patterns that constrain the way organizations fulfill their missions is in play. The challenge to ensconced familiar ways may not be accepted. Can old and often dysfunctional patterns and the power brokers stand back and allow change to begin?

 

One example already in play is how libraries delivery information and education on virtual platforms.  I hope that the Akin Free Library will begin to create virtual galleries viewable the world over.

 

Can you recommend a book, movie, television show, or hobby that might help everyone pass the time?

There a many of series on Netflix, and other streaming platforms.  Ozark and Berlin Babylon grabbed me. Gardening offers solace and pulls me out of my daily distractions. Walking encourages me to wander through my memories.

Please provide some encouraging words to our readers to help everyone in these difficult times!

 

In conversations I have had over the past months I hear people talk about returning to normalcy.  I hear about fear of loss of control and of the unexpressed sadness of lives lost.  I hear anger at incompetence and lack of empathy. Gregory Bateson asked, “what is the difference that make a difference?”  Normalcy and control are rhetorical devices – what we know or think about the world is only what others tell you it is? Be fearless and let go of your assumptions.  Disconnect if you can.

 

 

Lisa Kelsey - Freelance Art Director/Designer/Writer

 

How has the Coronavirus quarantine affected your life?

I would have had to commute into lower Manhattan for my current job, so my 4-hour + commute is down to less than a minute. Many more hours to play with, so that’s a good thing. Like many other people, I’ve spent a lot of that time cooking and baking. My house is cleaner than its ever been and I’ve perfected a lot of baking techniques (bagels and soft pretzels, anyone?), but now I can’t have anyone over! My daughter and husband are enjoying it, though.

 

How will your business move forward as this situation continues?

I’m not sure when I’ll have to start commuting to work, but when I do, I’ll try to avoid rush hour if I can. I’ve done a lot of work from home in the past and when my contract at People magazine is up, I’d like to continue doing that. My hope is that more employers will begin to see how much more productive their employees can be working at home at least part of the time.

 

Can you recommend a book, movie, television show, or hobby that might help everyone pass the time?

I’ve been spending a lot of time sitting on the couch with a glass of wine and a stack of cookbooks to peruse—I find just looking at the photos is inspiring. I’ve also been reading my way through Alexander McCall Smith’s No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, a “cozy mystery” series that takes place in Botswana. Not the usual type of thing I would read, but under the circumstances I do enjoy a charming escape from reality. My husband and I have been watching the second season of My Brilliant Friend. My mother grew up in Italy close to that time period, so it reminds me of her. She really would have enjoyed watching it.

 

Please provide some encouraging words to our readers to help everyone in these difficult times!

Take advantage of this time to do some things you’ve been putting off for lack of time or were afraid to try in the past. I have always wanted to shave my head but was afraid to take the plunge. After a couple of weeks not getting a haircut I finally asked my husband to do it for me and I couldn’t be more thrilled with the results!

 

 

Susan Stone- Board Member of the Pawling Resource Center, Pawling Library and Pawing Rotary.

 

How has the Coronavirus quarantine affected your life?

Where does one even begin to answer this question?   My husband Jeremy and I are seniors, and recognize that exposure to Covid 19 could be quite serious, so we began to cocoon at home the week of March 10th, all the while knowing that our son’s wedding was fast approaching on March 21.  Needless to say, due to government regulation and common sense, this was postponed one week before 180 guests were to gather in New York City for this long planned and much anticipated event. When the new date given by the venue this June began to also look dubious, our son and his fiancé chose to take back control of their lives and married in a private civil ceremonywhich only immediate family attended…via ZOOM!. And yet…though not exactly the way we had always imagined the wedding of our first born would be, Jeremy and I were thrilled that they moved forward. It was truly a life affirming decision in this time of Covid 19.

 

How will your organizations move forward as this situation continues?

I can honestly say that each organization in which I participate has found truly meaningful ways to continue to serve the community.  Terry Ariano, Executive Director of the Resource Center, along with her team of employees and volunteers, has continued to meet the increasing needs at the food pantry, as more and more members of our community require assistance during this very difficult time. Brian Avery, Library Director, along with his staff have done a remarkable job of providing services, even though the library has been required to close. Most recently, his team has provided reading and educational materials to students of every age in the community, through a partnership with the school district and the PRC.  Rotary is now meeting regularly through Zoom, and continues to plan ways to be of service to the community, and hoping that the Fall Fest, scheduled in late September will be able to take place and provide a way  for the community to celebrate together while raising money for all the organizations that support Pawling’s youngsters.

 

Can you recommend a book, movie, television show, or hobby that might help everyone pass the time?

Jeremy and I have been watching old Cary Grant movies. .Charade, An Affair to Remember, Arsenic and Old Lace, North By Northwest… They are feel good, sometimes funny, sometimes suspenseful and always entertaining they don’t make ‘em like they use to films.  Additionally, we became real fans of Schitt’s Creek, available on Amazon Prime, but at least 5 of the six seasons were available on Hulu, Netflix and You Tube.  This is a remarkable Indy project from the father/son duo of Eugene and Daniel Levy.  It is incredibly funny, full of pathos and wonderfully entertaining. Centered around a wealthy family who loses it all and takes up residence in a one-horse town where they learn the meaning of acceptance and community.  The characters are engaging, quirky and lovable.  Highly recommend.

 

Please provide some encouraging words to our readers to help everyone in these difficult times!

I have always believed that when a door closes, a window opens. Looking back over many years, it is clear to me that this has always been the case. One never knows what the universe has in store for us, but, I can honestly say, that the adventure has always been worth the uncertainty.  Look for the window and breathe deeply!!

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