This is certainly a difficult time for all of us to be going through. Yet here we are at a place where no one could ever imagine we would be in the 21st century.
It’s troubling, disquieting and a little bit scary. But the fact is, we’ll get through this and the Atlantic Ocean will still be breaking on the beautiful beaches of the Outer Banks. Overhead seagulls and osprey will still soar through the air. The sun will rise and the sun will set and we’ll get through this.
One of the things that happens when tragedy strikes our homes is that we discover there is a remarkable capacity in the human spirit to reach out to others, to offer help in whatever way we can.
The Outer Banks is certainly such a place. We think more so here than perhaps any other place, although we will admit to a certain amount of hometown boosterism.
Still, there are some great things happening on the Outer Banks that speak volumes about what our community is all about.
Feeding Every Child
All North Carolina schools are closed, the children taking classes online.
Certainly, the primary function of our schools is the education of our children, but increasingly schools have become an important place to get breakfast and lunch five days a week for many kids.
Dare County, does not have nearly as many students qualifying for free or reduced fees for their meals as our cities and poorer areas do, but there is a substantial number that do fall into those designations.
There is another consideration as well. For a number of kids, regardless of the family’s income, school lunch is a regular part of their day. For the older kids, especially high school students—they’re adjusting. But with all North Carolina students going to school online right now, for the younger students, it’s a harder adjustment and a school lunch represents something that is normal.
Looking the situation over, Dare County Schools decided they were going to feed any child 18 and under for free. No questions asked; just show up at any of the 17 sites scattered around the county and ask for breakfast or lunch.
Even though the youngest children are not yet in school, the decision to make meals available to them as well was the right one according to Kelleta Govan, Dare County Schools Nutrition Supervisor.
“If I have three children and two of them are in school, I’d hate to give two kids bags and then the third kid not have anything,” she said in an Outer Banks Voice article.
Keeping the Lights on for Hope
Maybe it was serendipity; perhaps divine intervention; or maybe just that Carla and Paul Borzellino are a little older and they didn’t quite get around to getting all of their Christmas decorations down from their Southern Shores home.
Whatever the reason may have been, as the concerns and fears grew, the couple decided that leaving the lights on and making the night sky bright in their 7th Street neighborhood might lift some spirits.
It does. It’s a small gesture, but it’s nice.
The couple did put a sign in the front yard reading, “A Message of Hope and Healing.”
According to the Borzellino’s, we’ll know things are getting better when the lights and sign come down.
Wash Your Hands Wash Your Hands Wash You Hands
For anyone who has ever worked in food service the modern mantra of “wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands…” is old hat.
Old hat or new mantra, it is a proven and very effective first line of defense in the spread of any pathogen, virus or germ.
The guys at Outer Banks Distilling in Manteo know this since rum making is part of food service and everyone there has worked in restaurants in the past.
They had a batch of 160 proof alcohol ready to go, distilled from sugar—that’s what makes it rum. But add a little glycerin and some hydrogen peroxide to the alcohol, and you’ve got a hand sanitizer, and one that works very well.
That’s what they did.
They didn’t stop there, though. After making it, they put the word out that anyone who wanted a bottle, all they had to do was stop by the distillery and the bottle was theirs for free.
They do run out of glycerine from time to time, so there are delays in availability. Still, it’s a wonderful way to say to everyone, “Be safe. Be smart.”
It also gives us a chance to mention their rum is wonderful. When life returns to normal, pick up a bottle of Outer Banks Rum. You won’t be disappointed.