Letters, Dec. 1
Losing the best coffee shop
Medford is losing a unique culinary gem which will be difficult to replace for all of we coffee devotees. The Limestone Coffee House will close Nov. 30.
Clint Orchuck is the self-taught roaster of extraordinary skill who has served for eight years. He renovated a National Register building on Main Street. There is still time to get a variety of exotic beans for the holidays.
My new friend in the aisle
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday when family and friends gather for a three-day extravaganza of cooking, laughing and good company. This year is different due to COVID-19 and, like many, because of profound personal loss.
As this year winds down and with the holidays upon us, I so want to see friends and family. However, like many, we’ve planned the recommended small household gatherings instead. I am fine with this, but one thing I like best about Thanksgiving (and holidays in general) is the spirit of generosity and sharing; as such, I realized that this spirit can extend to the greater community through food donations.
Later, at Safeway, I met a woman in the aisle and, conscious of my heaping cart, I told her my plan. We had a lovely, brief, “masked” chat. When I went to pay, I found $40 tucked in amongst the canned goods, potatoes, eggs, flour, etc. To top it off, the manager extended discounts.
With my heart full from others’ generosity, I dropped off 190 pounds of food to the Food Pantry and distributed food to homeless downtown. Happy holidays and many thanks to the generosity of my new friend in the aisle.
Virus is very successful
As I live with the loneliness and worry of this pandemic, I am also awed at the capacity of SARS-CoV-2 to achieve nearly unbridled success.
Success of any living being is defined simply as its ability to live and to procreate. In the case of a pathogen, factors that assure success include its ability to overcome its host’s immune system and availability of plentiful hosts.
This second factor highlights SARS-CoV-2’s most impressive capacity: SARS-CoV-2 takes advantage of human behavioral vulnerabilities. Most obvious is our innate social need to gather with family and friends. Others include aversion to unwelcome changes to our lives, denial of facts opposed to our held beliefs, dedication to individual rights and independence despite the cost to society and other individuals, resistance to authority, and addiction to instant gratification.
As we wait for science to eliminate the ability of this virus to thrive, our only hope to curb the relentless illness and death of ourselves, friends and family is to change our behavior. Can we summon the strength, creativity, generosity and humility that has brought us so far as human beings and follow the guidelines: masks, distance, wash hands? Or will we let this tiny organism win?