MontClairVoyant: Social Media Group Offers Solace Amid Social Distancing

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
The coronavirus has infected four Montclair residents; caused our schools to start remote learning; temporarily closed parks, the library, and many other places; postponed events; and had numerous other impacts. Anything to say amid this scary, depressing pandemic?

Sincerely,
A. Larmed

Kudos to those who Mr. Rogers called “the helpers” — including heroic health professionals, exhausted employees at packed local supermarkets, and Toni’s Kitchen people providing food to at-need students and at-risk seniors. Meanwhile, “The Helpers” heavy-metal band provides music to fans also at risk…of losing their hearing.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
No such band. Other entities are involved in the food effort, too — just as various people deserve credit for the Township Council’s proposed rent-regulation ordinance and for generally trying to keep some Montclair housing affordable.

Sincerely,
Dwelling Bee

Among them are three of these four people: Council member/mayoral candidate Dr. Renee Baskerville, Ahava Felicidad of the Tenants Organization of Montclair, William Scott, and Jane Eyre.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Meanwhile, the great “Share Montclair” Facebook group is providing an important virtual community at a time when there is far less face-to-face interaction because of the coronavirus. How did you miss Share turning five on January 25?

Sincerely,
60 Months, Not ’60 Minutes’

I was thinking about other things: heated Board of Education meetings, the furnace that keeps BOE meetings heated, why there are two “u’s” in Faubourg, and the one-month anniversary of Christmas.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Let’s continue discussing Share — founded and skillfully run by Colleen Daly Martinez — for a while to briefly think about something other than the coronavirus. How many members does the group have?

Sincerely,
So Happy to Gather

Nearly 8,000, meaning MANY people in Montclair read it. Heck, the popular group could theoretically get a third liquor license when it reaches 9,000 members, giving long-suffering residents a chance to use another Facebook drink emoji.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

Also, Share members respond with lots of helpful advice when people seek recommendations for doctors, restaurants, apartments, car-repair places, etc. How useful is that?

Sincerely,
Crowdsource Force

On a scale of 1-10, the usefulness is…um…could you recommend a good scale?

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

Then there are the poignant lost-pet posts, which often end happily — sometimes after Share members help find the critters.

Sincerely,
Animal Instinct

That’s one reason why my cat is a Share fan. He even commented under a Share post by walking on my laptop keyboard. I felt his statement — “xbyp gjrqmvt wszncd” — said a lot about the human condition.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
And some Share members post terrific photos of Montclair. Speaking of that, what’s the most camera-friendly spot in town?

Sincerely,
Picture Perfect

Perhaps Edgemont Park. The obelisk, the pond, the weeping willow that started crying when Nauna’s closed…

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
There were even Share posts earlier this month about moving clocks forward an hour. A welcome reminder?

Sincerely,
Clockwork Angels

Yes! I manually changed two clocks, although of course my laptop and phone shifted automatically — as did the name of a Montclair State class from “Psychology 101” to “Psychology 201.”

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Getting back to the coronavirus, Share of course has news about that as well as a history of featuring content such as event notices, links to meeting stories, and a video of the Magna Carta being signed in 1215 at the (appropriately initialed) MC hotel.

Sincerely,
When News Breaks, Repair It

I think you drank too much mead at The MC’s rooftop bar.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
There are also plenty of opinions expressed on Share — about Montclair’s coronavirus response, overdevelopment, our schools, local politics, national politics, social issues, etc. Is the discussion cordial?

Sincerely,
Opine Street

In most cases, yes — no matter which of the five seasons it is. (Winter, spring, summer, fall, and brunch.)

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
After seeing your bogus mention of that non-season season, I can’t believe you were once a newspaper and magazine staff reporter!

Sincerely,
Journalism Schism

It was engrossing to report about staffs, which are quite the useful walking aids during Mills Reservation hikes.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Can a walking stick beat back the coronavirus in Montclair and elsewhere?

Sincerely,
Cane and Able

No, but I hope ignorance about the pandemic can be quarantined within the Oval Office.

 

Dave Astor, author, is the MontClairVoyant. His opinions about politics and local events are strictly his own and do not represent or reflect the views of Baristanet.

 

 

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