I’ve been experiencing a whole new way of living in Friday Harbor. Until recently, I was so much about community… on and on I would rant about how important it is for community members to support their local businesses and organizations, and help one another at a one-to-one level.
Now Friday Harbor feels so strange. I completely avoid the two major grocery stores, and the food co-op for that matter (of which I was an active board member for many years). Changing those buying habits brought the realization it’s just as easy (and much less offensive to some people) to just avoid going into the local shops. I do still enjoy walking around town and seeing people I know if I can recognize them.
I used to hand-deliver my bills, which created a great opportunity to say hello and see people’s faces. Instead, most of my errands are now done through the mail or internet, which completely eliminates the opportunity of these valuable human contacts.
I’ve been ordering much more from Amazon, from which I’ve always tried to keep a solid “social” distance. We’ve even been getting our groceries delivered from an on-line service; once you get into the routine it works very well, although it’s not nearly as fun, and it does nothing to build our local economy.
I feel no lament for my actions, opinions, or beliefs; my lament falls upon what has become of our community, despite my actions and best attempts to keep the glue adhering. I’m glad we are all still healthy and living safely in our little island bubble, but I’m sad the community has deteriorated to the degree it has. It’s like we’re all infected with a chronic disease that has affected our sensibilities…
We’ve seen businesses close, employment terminated, friends move away, friends and family being split at their axis (or at least no longer be allowed to come over to share a visit)… all in the name of “safety” and “helping each other.”
I just have to ask the question… is it really worth it?