By Wanda Fuca

Roundabout is our inaugural items column, an ongoing collection of local observations and anecdotes that seem worth sharing.  The idea is to connect, learn and hopefully amuse each other. To suggest items, see “Send in articles.

We’re all here….:  For what it’s worth, folks under the rain shadow  appear to be staying home. At least that’s a tentative conclusion from the Covid-19 Community Mobility Report, which uses volunteer cellphone users to track their locations via their Google accounts.  The idea is to get a sense of who is sheltering in place. The stats indicate that that Jefferson County users are taking 58% fewer trips. That’s compared to 59 percent fewer in King County, 37 percent in Clallam, 34 percent fewer in Island County.  Ferry-dependent San Juan County leads the state with 82 percent fewer. To learn more, go to  https://www.google.com/covid19/mobility/

Because we’re not all there:  We’re relieved to see pot stores among the essential businesses allowed to do business during the shutdown.   At least one of them even offers a substantial senior discount on Sundays.

Covid Indulgences:  Despite the shutdown, addicts can still get their fixes around town.  For example:

Morning fix: Seal Dog and Velocity (at the Maritime Center) are among the coffee shops open weekday mornings for takeout espresso.

Afternoon fix: The brewpubs – Port Townsend Brewery, Discovery Bay and Propolis – are all open for growler and keg sales.

Dinner fix:  You pick ‘em.  Dozens of eateries ranging from Waterfront Pizza to Khu Larb Thai and Alchemy Bistro offer takeout. 

Evening fix: (See afternoon fix.)

New Covid PPE – Photo by Al Bergstein

Up Where?:  Our informant swears he didn’t make this up.  During an online video checkup with his Jefferson Healthcare provider, the doc extended his index finger toward his camera until it filled the laptop screen.  Why?  Virtual prostate check.

Sure winner:  Emiliano Marino, the local sailor, rigger and writer, was dismayed when the Maritime Center decided to cancel the Seventy-48 — the 70-mile rowing race from Tacoma to Port Townsend.  He had planned to row his 15-foot dory in the race, as he has the past two years.  So, what the heck, he’s going to do it anyhow.  He plans to launch June 1 from the Maritime Center’s boat ramp, row to Tacoma, then row back – all to celebrate his 70th birthday.  In his wooden rowboat, the artful sailor was never a threat to win the race.  But this year, he’s a damn good bet. Follow his progress on theartfulsailor.com.

Just Being Sarcastic: Folks in Cape George have become accustomed to the four-foot-high metal “chicken” next to a driveway on Sunset Drive.  OK, it actually appears to be a rooster, but either way the bird now sports an M-95 mask and a sign reading: “Don’t Lie to Us!”

Paella to Go: Covid-19 came close to shutting down production of paella, barbecue and other favorite eats at the PT Farmers Market. Market Kitchen, the rental facility where these and other local comestibles are prepped, faced a financial crunch as caterers and other clients were idled by social distancing. March revenue was down 75 percent from last year, reports Kelli Winter, who runs the business with her mom, Suzen Maxwell. But a three-week GoFundMe campaign drew contributions from 48 donors to meet its goal of $8,888, “enough to cover almost five months of regular expenses,” Winter says. Meanwhile, Paella House is offering takeout from Market Kitchen by pre-order at www.paellahouse.com. And the Saturday Farmers Market is back!

I think that I shall never see:  Copper Canyon Press, the award-winning poetry publishing house based at Fort Worden, is closed.  But poetry aficionados can get their fixes with online “virtual readings,” including a Thursday evening event called “Shelter in Poems.” Details at coppercanyonpress.org.

Just don’t drink it:  Remember a couple weeks ago when hoarders cleared the grocery shelves of toilet paper?  Ancient history.  Our Safeway informant reports not only that the shelves are full, but the TP is stacked high in the backroom storage.  But if you’re looking for bleach, you’re out of luck. Could all that Clorox be a substitute for dwindling Lysol?

 Onward and Upward:  Like high schools everywhere, Port Townsend graduates won’t get a conventional graduation ceremony amid the plague.   But it appears that they’re taking the news in stride.   Their new class T-shirt proudly proclaims “SENIORS 2020: Class of the Quarantined.”

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