As the Corona virus has taken over the headlines, life has turned out to be quite bizarre. After our usual doggy walk I was heading out across the border to Calais to rent a floor sander to finish our guest bedroom. Unfortunately, the rental company refused to rent it "across the border". I had rented such a machine several times from another company which now had given up their rental business. So what to do? I called 2 companies on the Canadian side but they had no rental equipment at all. So I ended up bying just sanding paper. I figured I would have to use my own little machine and taking small pieces of the floor at a time.
On the way to Calais I had noticed the lack of traffic. The town center itself seemed to be quite lifeless. At 10 EDT there had been an official announcement by our prime minister that Canada had now closed the country's border to the U.S. Everyone which had non-essential travel reasons would be refused entry. A mutual rule would apply for entry into the U.S. Trade and workers would be exempt from the new rule. So was also the population of Campobello Island, as the island lacks a lot of basic services and as such is depended on U.S. entry. Along with that came an order for closing of restaurants and bars.
I already saw a Tim Hortons - locked up and businesses in the process of closing. It was weird to say the least.
Coming back to Campobello a couple hours later, I asked the border officer about whether our numerous summer residents would be allowed onto the island. I was told that even if people owned vacation homes on the island it would not be deemed "essential travel" and they would not be permitted to go through to the island. Campobello probably has about a 100 summer homes. They would now stand empty for the time being. People who have their work with preparing those homes for their owners would go without work. Restaurants would stay closed and servers without work. Our provincial campground would stay closed and the Roosevelt Park would be with no visitors at all, meaning park personal would go unemployed over the summer. The very popular local whale watch tours would not be starting and our beautiful lighthouse would remain closed. Passengers from 5 scheduled cruise ships would not be allowed to step ashore either.
Even the fishermen are gonna suffer as their lobster catches won't find many buyers.
The future has never looked that bleak. Even after 9-11 there were some tourists coming.
Clearly, this is the prelude to a corona summer. As the current state is just the beginning of the pandemic here in Canada (New Brunswick has now 11 cases) the real run-up will follow within the next 2 months. That is the time for most people making plans and do their bookings. Even if rules should change in June it would be too late to save the season.
Without bookings I will concentrate on fixing up things around the house, making more firewood and sitting on the porch watching the sun go down.
It'll be corona summer for us.