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The summer people are back

There is a surprising regularity to spring this season, which is rolling along predictably, while everything else seems to be on coronavirus hold.

There is bird song in the air. The daffodils are in bloom. There are buds on the forsythia. Best of all, the days are longer.

And yet there is one strange anomaly in the rollout this year, which is throwing things out of sync for me.

It's not even April, and already some of the summer people are back.

I don't have any statistics for this, and there is no one to call and ask. But I see a lot of signs of it, like the return of so many expensive cars with New York license plates. From Stonington at night, across the Sound, you can see lights on again on the east end of Fishers Island, which is usually largely dark until Memorial Day.

I have heard some anecdotal accounts of New Yorkers deciding to get out of the city, where social distancing is a lot more challenging and infection rates seem ready to spike.

Let's say you live in New York City or even surrounding suburbs, where more cases are being reported. The kids are out of school. You're working remotely via the Internet. The subway and even crowded sidewalks suddenly don't look so appealing. The apartment walls are closing in.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday told New Yorkers to stay indoors as much as possible.

Why not decamp to the summer house in the country or at the beach, if you have one?

I would.

And, of course, we have a lot of summer houses here on the eastern Connecticut shoreline.

The good news in all of this is that eastern Connecticut seems like an enticing place right now to weather the coronavirus storm. Given the lack of full-scale testing, we can hardly say we are virus free.

But we can hope that we are ahead of the curve. We seem well locked down anyway. And our way of life is less conducive to it spreading than in crowded cities.

Another good reason for a city resident to seek refuge here is that our medical resources are less likely to spread too thin too early, as they might well in larger cities.

We have lots of hiking trails and long, wind-swept beaches. Being outdoors seems especially welcome and healthy right now.

So, make room. Keep everyone at a safe distance.

It will be a while before we see hydrangeas, roses or even tulips. But some of the summer people are back, and I suspect more are on their way.

Welcome home.

This is the opinion of David Collins.


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