Week 87 — COVID-19 RANDOM NOTES WHILE SHELTERING

Featured, Human Interest, The Buzz

By Phillis Merriam

Children ages 5 to 11 are now eligible for vaccines. Some parents cannot wait to have their children vaccinated. Others are still leery. Epidemiologists and scientists are urging vaccines for this age group. 750,000 Americans have now died of Covid. Wasn’t it just last week the number was 500,000? Unvaccinated are the hardest hit.


The trenches along the South Main Street RR tracks that rattled every vehicle that had to cross have finally been paved. With apologies to Jerry Lee Lewis:

“Great Balls of Fire”

You shake my nerves and you rattle my car
Too many potholes drives me insane
You hurt my alignment with not enough tar
Goodness, gracious, great balls of fire!

The decades long neglect of Lindsey Brook by our city caused such flooding Oct. 31st in a dozen Rockland homes that furnaces and electrical systems have been damaged beyond repair. The city’s fire chief has declared an emergency and is posting appeals to plumbers and heating technicians to help. Impacted homeowners pled with city council for help. Council’s “plan” is to kick the can down the road to postpone any decision til 2022. Maybe homeowners should file a class action suit against the city?


Just discovered our new young cat, Mango, loves YouTube videos of squirrels, cats, birds, bugs and chipmunks. This works well to calm Mango when his energy level accelerates to ramming around the house non-stop. He would probably sit in my lap for hours looking at videos on my laptop. I have to be careful, as Mango is fascinated with the keyboard. Who knows what keystroke combos he could improvise?


Reading the Washington Post, I was surprised and pleased to learn that museum staffs are forming unions. Among the museums are The Whitney, the Guggenheim, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The Art Institute of Chicago is unionized by AFSCME, the union I belonged to. My husband, always a man ahead of his time, tried to start a union for museum workers decades ago. The idea was so radical he was featured in the NYT’s.


The first frost has caused the yellow leaves on my two ginkgo trees to drop all at once. This dramatic seasonal event could be alarming unless one knows this is completely normal– not an arboreal catastrophe. The species are thought to have originated in China 150 million years ago. When we moved back to Rockland, I noticed some ginkgo trees on Main Street and got the idea to plant two in our yard. Their golden fall foliage is lovely and brightens overcast days.


This story was first seen in The Buzz newspaper. The Buzz printed version is distributed in Rockland Maine each week at these locations:

Good Tern Co-op • Dunkin’ Donuts • Jensen’s Pharmacy • Rock City Cafe • Southend Grocery

The Buzz online version is available each Friday at www.TheBuzz.me.

If you’d like to contribute an article to The Buzz or be an announcer or volunteer at WRFR.org, email steinberger@gwi.net or call Joe at 596-0731.

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