Focus on...

How To Stay In Business During A Pandemic? Move Outdoors

By: Debra Lawless

It turns out that opals do not fare well when moved rapidly from indoor warmth to the outdoor cold of winter. They may even crack. It was 27 degrees one morning last week, so the staff of Forest Beach Designer-Goldsmith at 436 Main St. in Chatham did not include the opals on the outside display tables. “Everything else is hardy,” says Steve Wardle. The sensitivity of opals is one fun fact about gems that Wa...

Local COAs Help Seniors Get Through The Holidays

By: Debra Lawless

Nine months ago when the coronavirus pandemic began, few could have predicted that medical experts would recommend that families not travel or get together during the holidays to avoid spreading the virus. “For nine months we’ve been seeing increasing isolation,” says Emily Mitchell, director of the Harwich Council on Aging. “There’s no worse time to be isolated than at the holidays.” “This is hard, this is...

Outer Cape Health Welcomes Midwife Jodi Belson

By: Kat Szmit

HARWICH – Since 2006, Jodi Belson has been serving the women and families on Cape Cod. Now she's bringing her skills as a certified nurse midwife to Outer Cape Health Services, and Belson couldn't be happier. “I live on the Outer Cape,” Belson said. “This is my community. This is my home.” Prior to signing on with OCHS, Belson practiced in both private and hospital-based settings, most recently with Cape Co...

The Addison Art Gallery in Orleans is celebrating its 25th anniversary this November with an unusual twist: For one month it is donating to the nonprofits its clients choose when they buy an artwork. “Since the pandemic started, for months, we chose various nonprofits as recipients of the donations,” says gallery owner Helen Addison. “As I was trying to decide on the organizations to receive funds during Novem...

Firefighters, COA’s Work To Keep Seniors Safe At Home

By: Alan Pollock

It’s no secret that most seniors want to remain at home as they age, but it’s important to make sure that home continues to be a safe place as the years pass. To that end, local fire departments and councils on aging are collaborating to provide home safety assessments, even during the pandemic. In Chatham, the assessments are part of a community risk reduction program, and residents or concerned family member...

Ayanna Parrent And Y12SR Bring Yoga And 12-Step Recovery Together

By: Jennifer Sexton-Riley

When an approach to a challenge works, people tend to stick with it. When two different approaches to related challenges work, sometimes they create a harmony that enhances or even surpasses the benefit of either one alone. Such is the case with Yoga of 12-Step Recovery, also known as Y12SR, a donation-based program that offers 12-step recovery meetings combined with yoga. In combination, yoga and 12-step reco...

The Blue Economy’s Expedition Blue initiative will be showcased through four “front porch” waystations in Chatham — but the question remains where those waystations will be placed. During its meeting on Oct. 27, the parks and recreation commission is expected again to discuss possible sites for Expedition Blue’s eight-cubic-foot modular cube. The commission rejected Oyster Pond as a site for the cube during it...

Julie Witas, social services coordinator at the Harwich Council on Aging, has spent exactly half of her first year on the job working in challenging coronavirus pandemic circumstances. “Almost all services at the council on aging are done in person,” Witas said during a telephone interview last week. “It was a challenge to go remote, but we’ve done very well.” A major portion of the COA’s function lies in b...

Health: Food Insecurity Sows Seeds Of Health Problems

By: Alan Pollock

Not knowing where one’s next meal is coming from causes more than just a rumble in the stomach. It turns out it can cause a host of health problems, some of which take years to manifest. Known as “food insecurity,” it’s a problem that typically afflicts around 10 percent of the population on Cape Cod, or around 28,000 people. This year, because of the pandemic and economic disaster, about 650,000 people in eas...

A local restaurateur is looking to marshal forces to advocate for a bill that would help restaurants survive the pandemic. Massachusetts Senate Bill 2655, stalled since April, requires insurance companies to pay out business interruption insurance even during a pandemic. The issue goes back to the 2002-2003 SARS outbreak. A clause added at that time excludes insurance companies from paying out on interruptions...

CHATHAM – What a time to start a new job — during a pandemic. But that is exactly what the Rev. Tracy Johnson did when she joined the Unitarian Universalist Meeting House of Chatham as its half-time minister on July 1. “It has been interesting getting up to speed with the technology to hold people together in community when we can’t be physically together,” Johnson said during a telephone interview las...

Back-to-school anxiety is perfectly normal. But this year, it’s the parents who are worried about sending their kids to classes, while the kids are anxious about not going back to school – or at least to their normal school environment. It’s more evidence of the world gone topsy-turvy thanks to COVID-19. “I would say that probably more than 50 percent of my caseload is kids and parents with anxiety, anxiety th...