A Beaconite who is now in the United States for an extended stay is finding that hurricane season seems to be chasing her. When she left the Virgin Islands, she took the first ferry to St. Thomas the day after the passage of Tropical Storm Fiona (later Hurricane Fiona). The boat was packed with people whose earlier trips had been cancelled, as well as others seeking to avoid travel through devastated Puerto Rico. Her next destination, after catching a delayed flight from St. Thomas, was Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Of course, a couple days later, that state began making preparations for Hurricane Ian, with residents in low-lying areas evacuating to shelters or leaving entirely as the storm, expected to become a Category 4, bore down. At the time of writing, she was watching the hurricane preparations on television at a safe distance, ensconced inland in Minnesota, where such a storm has never, to her knowledge, managed to hit. Otherwise, she guesses she’s on her way to the Arctic.
A Beaconite can’t stop thinking about the 9-month-old baby who was among a group of migrants found recently at Great Thatch Island. A few weeks earlier, more than a dozen migrants perished while heading through the waters of the Bahamas. Across the Atlantic, dozens of migrants fleeing Syria and Africa — including children — have died by drowning. It’s a global problem, and one that may not be solved anytime soon considering the ongoing rise in inflation. As for the Great Thatch baby, one can only imagine how risky the trip must have been for the child and others in the boat. He hopes the baby will grow into an adult who can one day tell their own children about a trip to greener pastures across the rough seas of the Caribbean.
As the Virgin Islands observed World Alzheimer’s Month in recent days, a Beaconite was reminded of the time shortly after her college graduation when she travelled to Florida to take care of her grandmother, who was suffering from the early stages of dementia. She knows personally how difficult, saddening, and sometimes frustrating it can be for caregivers. The most heartbreaking thing she encountered was how alone her grandmother seemed in Florida, away from the rest of her children and grandchildren in Connecticut. During the recent Alzheimer’s Month activities, the reporter was happy to see the VI community coming together to take care of its elderly. Much of this credit goes to the many VI Alzheimer’s Association members who have worked so hard to gather people together each year and keep awareness of Alzheimer’s and dementia fresh in everyone’s minds. It isn’t easy work, but it’s important.