Southport Column: Precautions, the bridge and more

Tue, 03/24/2020 - 7:15am

News arriving too late for last week’s column is the decision for our Southport Memorial Library. It closed to patrons as of March 17, but you can return your books through the drop slot to the right of the front door and phone the library (633-2741) during their normal hours to ask for a book. The librarians will then leave the book outside on the bench for you to pick up. Reading is one thing we can do solo as long as we put our book down occasionally and get some exercise.

Also, to help you stay occupied, Carole McCarthy sends news that there are two bins outside the Thrift Shop in Boothbay Harbor, one with puzzles and one with games, which are available to take away for free to keep you and your family occupied. They have all been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, so help yourselves and enjoy.

Southport residents who need some help for themselves or their families in covering essential needs can contact the Southport Island Association (SIA). The SIA is also willing and able to assist with picking up groceries or medically related items for those concerned about being out in the community during this difficult time. Residents should contact Carole Zalucky at 207-841-0577 or via email her at for assistance.

Anyone from the ages of two to eighteen is eligible to pick up breakfast and lunch food from 11:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at the Southport Central School. If you cannot get to the school, check AOS 98 website for home delivery information or call Carole Zalucky, an SIA, coordinator, and ask for pick up and delivery.

Some summer residents have returned early to our quiet and less populated island. I had a good visit with Joel Reck, while staying six feet distant. He and Rachel are here escaping the more populated Boston area. We agreed conversation over a six-foot distance above ground was much better than finding ourselves six feet underground!

Mini Havinga is here with her daughter Anne and grandchildren, Sylvia and Peter. Tom is also here at least for a short while, but being a doctor, he will probably need to return to Boston. Although we cannot visit each other, the view of the Sheepscot River and the company of family is much better for Mimi than being confined to her room at Thornton Oaks in Brunswick.

Those pilings for the support of the new bridge are now in place and encased in concrete. So far the bridge workers seem to be still at the job, but although Robinson’s Wharf managed to stay open through St. Patrick’s Day, it is now closed until further notice.

Workers are also digging holes to begin the placement of solar panels on the town property off Cross Road. Burning brush on that property created lots of smoke this past week. Perhaps such smoke will drive off virus particles, though I have no scientific basis for that assumption.

Some scientific info is available at the Island Store, coming from North Carolina State University. “CDC, FDA, and USDA are not aware of any reports at this time that suggest COVID - 19 can be transmitted by food or food packaging.” So there is no current risk from obtaining food from takeout, a drive through facility, or delivery as long as you maintain distance. Of course, those sources need to monitor their staff carefully to be sure no one preparing the food is symptomatic, and to be extra cautious you can wash your hands or use sanitizer after handling packaged food. The research also shows that you run little risk if you ingest food contaminated with coronavirus as your stomach acid should inactivate the virus. For more information read the print out at the Island Store or type into the website,

Hendrick’s Head beach is a popular place for folks to get fresh air and some exercise. Sunday when Kit and I were there a toddler was having so much fun he entered the water up to his knees and then seemed almost bewildered by the cold. Another little one, after visiting Kitten Island, was chasing a long piece of kelp pulled down the beach by his mother. Keeping a distance away from others at the beach and walking in the area is quite possible, although the dogs do tug on their leases to greet you and be patted.

Stay well, dear readers.