Excerpted from Gazette town columns this week.

Aquinnah is much quieter than the usual winter solitude. A few seasonal residents have arrived to spend their social distancing time in a place of serenity. Happy spring.

One would never imagine that we would have such an aggressive pathogen affecting people around the world. The news each day is devastating.

I am busy practicing social distancing and isolation after spending a week at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital and doing absolutely nothing. (And no, it is not because of Covid-19!)

I send thanks to the many people at the hospital who helped me. I had the best of care and for now I am resting comfortably at home being cared for by my Paul, Theresa and Noah.

Thank you one and all.

My great friends from Station Menemsha surprised me with a visit at the hospital, including Joel Behr, Joshua Boytek and his son Logan, Justus Christopher, David Galan, Tanner Poe, Jacob Waters-Maciel and Brian Wood.

Joel Behr will report to the Polar Star following the summer. The Polar Star is the Coast Guard Cutter that makes an annual trek to Antartica. Joel is looking forward to serving aboard.

Justus Christopher recently received his coxswains certificate.

Sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Sherman Burnham who died this week. Sherm assisted our family in several building projects over the years. He had a great sense of humor and was a man of honor along with his partner the late George Magnuson.

Condolences to the family and friends of Rosalie Humphreys Powell. Rosalie and her family enjoyed their summer homes at Lobsterville over the decades. She was a homemaker, teaching skills to many people over the years including sewing, rug hooking, cooking through private lessons as well as in her roles as the Dukes County Extension Service coordinator and a 4-H leader.

Happy 38th anniversary wishes to Michael and Carol Mayrand on March 26.

And happy birthday to everyone who celebrated this week.

— June Manning, Aquinnah

In this troubling time, I find myself recalling a favorite Wendell Berry poem, The Peace of Wild Things, which includes these beautiful lines:

When despair for the world grows in me, and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

Here on Chappaquiddick, it is quiet, as always, but it seems that a few more houses have lights on and a few more neighbors are out walking the roads and trails. My family and others are finding comfort in the outdoors. We walk the trails to the Outer Islands, to Quammox, to Brine’s Pond. We visit East Beach, following the meandering boardwalk from the bridge to the open ocean. We stop at Mytoi to sit for a few peaceful moments in the tea house. On warmer days, we ride our bikes to North Neck, up to Cape Pogue Bay and all the way out to the windswept views of Wasque. A few moments outside settles my mind and body and reminds me that all will once again be well. I am relieved to see the first green shoots emerging from the earth, bringing the hope of spring. I have spotted the first daffodils, appearing in their usual warm pockets around the Island. At the farm, we have tulips beginning to bloom in the greenhouse, purple and pink and red petals lifting up from their green foliage. In an effort to spread joy and give a little warmth to your home, I will be putting free bunches out at the end of the driveway a few days a week while they last. Please take just one per family and leave the rest for others to enjoy.

My daughter and I planted the first seeds in our greenhouse this week. We filled Juna’s pockets with peas which she handed to me one by one to place in the furrow I made in the bed. Inevitably, some slipped through her little fingers onto the ground at her feet where they will germinate and attempt to grow. We also sowed baby greens, dreaming of eating our first salad as we tried to drop the tiny seeds by hand in thin lines across the bed. Juna helped water the new crops and the tulips before we drained the hose once more in preparation for another cold night.

— Lily Walter, Chappaquiddick

Who would have ever predicted our community would feel the effects of a storm unlike any hurricane or northeaster that has passed along our shores and through our fields laying a wake of dismay in its path. But, like weathering any storm, our community bands together, rises up and cares for one another.

With the schools, town halls, libraries, many eateries, the YMCA and more shuttered for the next few weeks, I, as a member of the Chilmark board of health, can assure you that we, along with various emergency management agencies are working tirelessly to be informed, spread updated information and coordinate efforts on behalf of our townspeople and our Island as a whole.

In order to help flatten the curve, we ask that you please do your best to practice social distancing. Many have asked what exactly is social distancing. In simple terms, it means lay low.

If you would like to volunteer to pick up groceries, medications and other essentials for our community members please call, Marina Lent at the Chilmark board of health, 508-645-2105. Leave a message and your call will be returned as promptly as possible. Additionally, if you are in need or assistance, please call. Your friends and neighbors are here for you.

Although the library is closed, Ebba Hierta, along with her superior staff, has expanded online services as an opportunity for you to continue your enjoyment of many titles — ebooks, music, video streaming and more are accessible. Call 508-645-3360 and leave a message or email chil_mail@clamsnet.org.

Among other birthdays this week, celebrating quietly on March 19 were Marshall Carroll and Patrick Jenkinson. Born on the same day of the same year in the same hospital, these two spent many of their years side by side as both friends and classmates. After 51 years these two still share a bond and, inevitably, try to outdo one another with that wish. I’ll report back next week with who got the birthday call in first. Happy birthday to Kathie and Emmett Carroll and Joannie and Pat Jenkinson. The four of you earned the right to celebrate as well.

If you have an Instagram account and would like a little guided stretching each day, be sure to follow Caitlin Cook. Just type body.snack into the search bar.

Sending love to you all. If you need anything, I am here.

— Katie Carroll, Chilmark

Well I think we all know what the news is all about and all the closures and what we can and cannot do. This is definitely going to be a challenge for many people. But it may do some good for some families.

This is such a different life when mom and dad work, the kids are busy with their different activities. Now everyone is home together at the same time. Electronics is a big part of the schooling done at home. There are many apps and sites you can go to for activities. Many museums are putting their sites online so you can walk through as if you are really there. I went to Kenya this morning and visited with the elephants. The Metropolitan Opera house has put their shows on lines, along with Playbill and Broadway plays. There are also sites for educational activities for all ages.

At any rate, whatever you choose to do with this whole situation, please be safe. Follow the basics of washing your hands, and stay home if you are ill. We are all in this together and we will make it through.

Happy birthday to all who celebrated this week.

Have a good week and keep the home candles burning.

— Kathie Case, Edgartown

What to do while under house arrest? Here is one of my favorite quotes by

Erasmus: “When I get a little money I buy books. If any is left over I buy food and clothing.”

Another of my favorite writers, Kurt Vonnegut, famously said: “Go into the arts. I’m not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Participating in an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake.”

So here I sit with a large stack of to-be-read books, my sketch pads and charcoal pencils, my art gum eraser. Any music I need at my fingertips.

Some neighborhood kids I interviewed by phone said they are sorry they are not in school. Many are trying to keep up with their online assignments. Two of my dear friends, Melaney

West and Jeremy Dunham, are now homeschooling their boys, as many of you are with your kids. Resiliency is the way to go.

Our kids and grownups now have free access to tours of museums, art galleries, aquariums, and other significant places on line. No reason to be bored. Every reason to stay safe.

So far the biggest disappointment of this week, something that will take me a long time to get over, is the announcement from Tom Brady.

Happy birthday to everyone who celebrated this week.

Stay warm, stay safe, keep your distance! Book reports are due by my next column.

— Nancy Gardella, Vineyard Haven