The Hull is Breached: Covid at Twin Oaks
Twin Oaks has been quite conservative with regards to the pandemic. On March 16th, San Francisco was the first city in the US to lock down. Twin Oaks would lock down the next day, before California or the rest of the nation. For the last two years, the commune has done a surprisingly good job of keeping the pandemic outside of our peculiar island.
But with increasingly virulent variants, it was only a question of time before covid cropped up inside our borders. Yesterday that happened, our first two cases were discovered on the main campus of the commune. To be clear this is not the first Oakers to get covid. One of the members who attended the horticultural trade show in Mobile Alabama came down with covid earlier this year, but they discovered this before they returned home and they quarantined at Casa Peaches in Washington DC until they were asymptomatic and testing negative.
I have written very little about the pandemic at Twin Oaks, because for most of the pandemic and all of the communes lock down, i was on leave and did not have direct experience. Now it is more personal and direct.
Intentional communities have to make hard decisions about quarantines and vaccines which many entities can avoid. Twin Oaks decided pretty early on that we would lock down hard and try to get everyone vaccinated as quickly as possible and almost everyone agreed to this requirement. We created a restriction requiring everyone who visits to be vaccinated and show their vaccine card to their host before they arrive. We shut down our visitor program for months (which resulted in a collapse of our population, because we did not replace members who left through attrition). We stopped our weekly Saturday tours and have still not restarted them.
I wish my fellow communards a quick recovery and i am pretty confident we will take good care of them while they are quarantining. And i take some pride that we were able to keep it at bay for so long.