Fewer cars on the road, and I’ve been driving less than usual — in the age of COVID-19 I attend meetings without leaving home — but I still scored two plates: North Carolina near the beginning of the month and Alabama near the end. North Carolina played hard to get this year, but finally the East Coast is complete. Except for Delaware, of course. Delaware is almost always the last Atlantic coast state to show up. Alabama is always a welcome find.
The West Coast is taking longer than usual. Since it’s only three states, it usually fills in quickly, even though those states are a long way off. C’mon, Washington!
That makes 35 states for the year so far. Both March and April have been behind the usual pace, for obvious reasons, and I wouldn’t be surprised if 2020 turned out to be a less-than-impressive year in the license plate game.
The summer season is, as you might guess, completely up in the air. Many high-attendance events have already been cancelled, including the annual Ag Fair. No word yet on Edgartown’s Fourth of July parade, but I’d be very surprised if that went on as usual. The state’s stay-at-home advisories include a ban on short-term rentals that aren’t for urgent uses, like housing health-care workers. The standing guideline that incomers should self-quarantine for 14 days would seem to preclude visits of less than that, never mind day-trippers.
The island economy is so dependent on the short summer season that there’s huge and widespread trepidation about this. Plenty of people and businesses here are close to the edge even in good times, and these times are emphatically not good. I am grateful that my income as a freelance editor isn’t seasonal and that so far I’ve got work — and my non-work life is busier than ever.