There is a lot of hope invested in 2021. Hope that the pandemic comes to an end. Hope that the economy picks up. Hope that schools can return to in-person classes. Hope that the turmoil and bickering in Washington, D.C. ends.
Just a week into the year, it's hard to see signs those sentiments will be realized. A lack of federal leadership resulted in a botched rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine. The situation in Massachusetts has not been as dire as elsewhere, but most people still have no idea when the inoculation will be available to them, risking confidence of a recovery – both freedom from fear of the virus and a return of jobs and the confidence people need to travel and thus boost our local economy. We only hope that people take advantage of the withdrawal the winter encourages to hunker down and prevent the present surge from worsening.
Locally, we see a few signs of hope. A bit of Chatham history may be returning to town in the form of the Stage Harbor Coast Guard boathouse. With more and more of our built heritage being lost, it's heartening to see the effort being made to save this slice of local lore. It is also encouraging to see investments being made in the future, with the proposal in Orleans to acquire the Gov. Prence Inn, perhaps for much-needed affordable housing, as well as Monomoy students' effort to honor veterans with hidden wounds by renaming a bridge over Route 6.
More hopeful, perhaps, was the response by Chronicle readers to this season's Helping Neighbors campaign to raise funds for the Family Pantry of Cape Cod. Hundreds answered the call, contributing more than $101,000, far beyond the $65,000 goal. The money guarantees that there will be a cushion for those for whom hope has not yet materialized, that no one will go hungry while this crazy world we're in sorts itself out. The generosity of those donors is perhaps the best sign of hope of all.