There is plenty of data to mine in the 4,901 responses the Gazette received to its recent online survey on summer plans, but one strong takeaway: people want guidance.

Homeowners want to know if they will be welcome; renters want to know if they will be safe; businesses want to know what restrictions they will be under. Everyone wants to know whether — and how — we can go to the beach, eat out and count on an adequate food supply. And we all want to be treated with civility and respect.

Memorial Day, the traditional start of summer, is right around the corner, and yet the outline of the next few months is still foggy at best. Yes, the coronavirus pandemic has turned the world upside down. Yes, Gov. Charlie Baker has not yet detailed his plan for reopening Massachusetts. And, yes, Martha’s Vineyard has six towns, one county, a hospital, a ferry service and an airport — each with different governing structures. But can’t we agree on one message?

It could start something like this: We the people of Martha’s Vineyard love and depend upon our seasonal homeowners and regular visitors, who we understand share our deep affection for this Island and who contribute in so many ways to its economic, intellectual and cultural life.

Then it could talk about our health concerns, our aging population and how, despite the Island’s encouraging record to date of minimizing transmissions of Covid-19, our hospital could quickly become overwhelmed if everyone does not continue to exercise great care.

It might ask people to exercise due caution if they believe they have been exposed to the coronavirus to avoid exposing anyone else.

Then it might talk about our economy, which is heavily dependent on tourism, and the toll that the pandemic has taken on hardworking businessmen and women, tradespeople and service workers.

It might note that most large public events have already been canceled. And it might outline a few basic, shared guidelines for public health: maintaining social distancing and covering one’s face if that can’t be done. It might spell out which beaches, trails and other outdoor spaces will be available for recreation and with what limitations. It might even be transparent about what isn’t known until the governor acts — what restrictions might be placed on restaurants and other non-essential businesses, for example.

This simple message, as several survey respondents suggested, could then serve as the basis for a public education campaign. It could be posted at the Steamship Authority and the airport. It could be distributed in flyers to people boarding the ferries. Nonprofits could send it to their donors. Rental agencies and hotels could send it to past and prospective visitors.

There are some who would prefer that the Island close down for the summer. There are some that want it to open right up. Neither will happen. People will come, and the Island owes it to them and itself to start saying, clearly and kindly and with as much unity as possible, how they will be received.