Hatteras Handles the Lockdown by Diane Lea

Photo by Mary Byrum Styron of Hatteras.

Looking for good news in these virus-stricken times might require adjusting our perceptions. For example, following  a school bus on NC Highway 12 is usually cause for a few grumbled epithets, but then I read in the Island Free Press that the school buses were delivering breakfasts and lunches to pick-up sites for our out-of-school children. The item I read was dated March 16 and it was followed a few weeks later by another news bulletin noting that the meal delivery schedule had been adjusted to provide more effective social distancing for the volunteers and families. The start-up date was April 9, and the locations for the “Grab and Go” meal distribution on Monday through Friday are the Avon Food Lion, the Tri-Villages Community Building, the Cape Hatteras Elementary School in Buxton, and the Hatteras Village Civic Center. Let’s hear it for our county schools and all those who support them.

The next item to catch my attention reported on the innovative effort of a non-profit organization based in Salvo. Lifeline Outreach OBX is organizing a service called “Windows of Opportunity,” a clever way for friends and neighbors to keep track of each other while observing proper social distancing. The Reverend Wade Weigel, who administers the Lifeline Outreach OBX food pantry, saw the idea on Facebook and adapted it to the Tri-Villages area. His group has created kits of colored signs that can be placed in the windows of homes to inform folks driving by to check on the occupants. The sign colors are Green meaning “I’m okay,’ Yellow indicating “I need help with an errand,” and Red signifying “I need Help.” Lifeline is making the kits available to all who want to participate, and Reverend Weigel says he sees the effort as a “pebble in the middle of a pond that will ripple outward.”

Perhaps the most delightful thing to come out of our current situation was the first ever Hatteras Island “Car Safari” that rolled on our streets and highways on the weekend of March 28-29. Participants were encouraged to place a stuffed animal, or even a drawing of one, in a prominent location on their property visible from the street. Then kids, parents and caregivers could drive by and try to spot them. The idea, promoted to our Hatteras Island community on Facebook, was designed to provide a safe and interesting activity, a way to keep in touch, for housebound kids and parents. Heck, I bet even grown-ups and retired people enjoyed it. The best part for me was seeing how creativity people put into their offerings. I even saw a tea party of stuffed animals set up on a lawn. What fun!

So despite hard and uncertain times, there is always something to spark our interest and show the good will of our neighbors, the people of Hatteras Island.

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