pandemic

Something special happened in Middlebury last weekend. Folks in Buttolph Acres and at EastView were drawn out of their homes and into the streets by an old-fashioned traveling show. Created by Town Hall Theater’s Courageous Stage and performed on a mobile platform, "Doc Lyle Sol's Medicine Show" encouraged pan-banging, music-playing, and cheering from audiences — who were appropriately spaced out and masked — along its route. The original work is a modern twist on the 1800s medicine show, as Doc Sol, a classic “snake-oil salesman,” pulls out all the stops to sell the crowd a miracle cure for...

LOCAL ROCKER CLINT Bierman (right) recently wrote two humorous songs about remote learning, and shot music videos for them. Bierman’s sons, Ty (left) and Sam, sang on the chorus for “Home School,” which is told from a home-bound parent’s point of view. Video screenshot
When Clint Bierman writes a new song, he tests it out on his sons, Ty and Sam. “They’re the first people I go to,” the guitarist and vocalist for The Grift said in a recent phone interview.  Fourth-grader Ty and second-grader Sam attend the Bridge School in Middlebury, where Bierman drops them off and picks them up every day — when there’s not a pandemic. “After I write something, I’ll play (a recording of it in the car) on the way home (to Bridport) from school, and I can really tell if something’s good, based on their reaction,” Bierman said. How can he tell? “They’ll sing it. If we get out...

FIVE-YEAR-OLD Emmett and his family are prepared for bathroom emergencies when away from home by keeping essentials in their minivan.
I was on vacation with my husband Bryan, and 5-year-old son Emmett camping in Florida when the pandemic rapidly unfolded. We managed to ride out the rest of our trip, easily social distancing in the Ocala National Forest in a very low-use, primitive campground. As it got closer to the return trip home we knew that we would once again drive through the night as we did on our journey down. Although this time we definitely would not be using any public restroom facilities between Florida and Vermont. The virus was in full swing, and some states had already closed their rest areas. Signs blinked...
It’s Week Ten of The Quarantine and I am obsessed with bread. I apologize in advance to anyone who doesn’t tolerate gluten, you may not enjoy this column. Back when things were regular, when a trip to buy groceries didn’t feel life threatening, I wasn’t much of a bread baker. I mean, I could knock out a pretty decent challah on a Friday afternoon, but for the most part I was perfectly happy to buy bread that someone else baked. But I always admired people who could keep a sourdough starter alive, people who understood the basics of no-knead, hot-oven bread making. I had made a few attempts,...
Lucy Poduschnik, a seventh grade student at Middlebury Union Middle School wrote these two poems, Her words reflect the experience that she and many of her peers are having during the COVID-19 pandemic.    Housebound   I glance out the window hoping to see somebody, The games are spread across the ground after being played over and over again, I will myself to stay sane, I pinch myself to see if maybe I am just dreaming, Someone I hardly know stares back at me in the mirror, A terrible bedhead, pajamas with baggy knees after being worn all day, square eyes from so much time on the computer,...

RUTH ROSS, YOUNGER daughter of Dr. Jacob and Hannah Ross of Middlebury, did not survive the Spanish flu pandemic that encircled the globe in 1918. Archive photo/Henry Sheldon Museum
As Middlebury and the nation struggle with coronavirus, death and the changes to our daily lives, I am reminded that my grandfather Jacob Johnson Ross, M.D., joined the U.S. Army in 1918 and left his family in Middlebury to serve as the Flight Surgeon with the 17th Aero Squadron. War was waging in Europe and the Spanish Influenza was raging in much of the world, including Vermont.  In the Sheldon archives are the letters exchanged between Dr. Ross and his wife Hannah Elizabeth Holmes Ross. They had met at UVM, from which they both graduated. Jacob Ross was from Huntington, Vt., where his...

MAUSD EMPLOYEES DRESS in costume as they help out with the MAUSD meals delivery program.
Editor's note: This is a project of the Mount Abraham Unified School District's Community Engagement Committee (CEC). The Addison Independent is hosting this content as a service to the community. Names of the interviewees have been withheld in accordance with the commitments made by the CEC for the project. (Click here to read more about this project.) Part 5: Is there anything else you’d want people to know about what this shift has been like, so far? Kindergartener It’s been sad and also exciting. It’s been exciting because in the wintertime, when we go to school in the morning, we have to...

STAFF FROM THE MAUSD Essential Persons Childcare Program show off their masks.
Editor's note: This is a project of the Mount Abraham Unified School District's Community Engagement Committee (CEC). The Addison Independent is hosting this content as a service to the community. Names of the interviewees have been withheld in accordance with the commitments made by the CEC for the project. (Click here to read more about this project.)   Part 4: What have been the biggest surprises or discoveries you’ve made in shifting the way you work? Kindergartener Well, at first I didn’t even know what the coronavirus was. I thought this might be something good. Now I know it makes...

TWO MAUSD STUDENTS write Two Way Postcards as part of a program connecting students and the elderly during the pandemic.
Editor's note: This is a project of the Mount Abraham Unified School District's Community Engagement Committee (CEC). The Addison Independent is hosting this content as a service to the community. Names of the interviewees have been withheld in accordance with the commitments made by the CEC for the project. (Click here to read more about this project.) Part 3: What have been the most helpful supports for you so far in shifting the way you work? Kindergartener My mom and dad help me — they say, “You can do it.” My teacher says, “Keep doing your work and your brains will grow.” Second-grader...

STAFF FROM THE MAUSD Essential Persons Childcare Program wear masks.
Editor's note: This is a project of the Mount Abraham Unified School District's Community Engagement Committee (CEC). The Addison Independent is hosting this content as a service to the community. Names of the interviewees have been withheld in accordance with the commitments made by the CEC for the project. (Click here to read more about this project.)   Part 2: What have been your biggest challenges or concerns related to your work during this time?   Kindergartener   Reading is hard because I’m not really good at it. I’m not really having so much fun because my friends aren’t...

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Addison County Independent