TIDE BITES: What FHL Means to Me by Beth Brainerd

Friday Harbor Lab in the summer of 1985 was both heaven and hell for me. It was mostly heaven: for the first time I was in a community of people who were as passionate about organismal biology, and marine organisms in particular, as I was. And further, we were all surrounded by stunning natural beauty and astounding organismal diversity. The hell came in my lack of self-confidence and how brilliant and talented these other people were. Sure, I met a lot of smart undergraduate students at Harvard, but they nearly all wanted to be doctors. FHL that summer was the first time I was among the top students and faculty in my chosen field of study, and I found the experience rather intimidating! Summer at FHL was, and is, the most intellectually vibrant community I have ever been a part of, and also among the most supportive of student peers. It's amazing to me how much summers at FHL have remained the same. Many of my students have subsequently taken summer courses at FHL, and more than once I have had to talk them off the ledge when they were feeling overwhelmed by the brilliance of their peers. Heaven and hell for all of us!


Letter from the county EDC Director

These are challenging times. We know that you are facing extraordinary difficulties right now and we want to help.

Local non-profits such as ourselves, and government agencies at all levels, are working to create programs to help businesses, employees, and the community as a whole. Right now, we wanted to let you know that we are also providing free business counseling to help you weather the current situation.


Cohen: What Country Is This?

Those of us in a certain age bracket remember the cold war and its many atrocities. Most infamous were the Stasi, the brutal East German Secret Police who adopted the Nazi’s psychological warfare tactic of using citizens to spy on, then report their neighbors and friends to the government. It was the communist autocrat’s way to use fear and intimidation to control the citizenry.


Horoscopes March 30-April 4: Mars Enters Aquarius Tuesday, Venus enters Gemini Sunday. Mars Conjoins Saturn, They Simultaneously Trine Venus, Square Uranus in Taurus. Doublets Bring Good Balance of Earth, Air, Fire and Water

Believe it or not, things are looking up behind the scenes. Yes we have another month of physical distance and stay at home orders but I’ve been watching and keeping an ear to the ground…

Mars moves into Aquarius and Joins Saturn. On a personal level this is terrific because this pair forms a beautiful alignment with Venus, moving into airy Gemini on Sunday. This brings the element of air necessary to expedite great minds coming together to find solutions to this pandemic and the fallout from is; I expect to see a tangible result in about three to four weeks in terms of successful treatment and/or a workable vaccine (treatment more likely). On the collective level, the Mars/Venus conjunction is in a difficult angle with Uranus in Taurus. This has the effect of an irresistible force meeting an immovable object; bad cancels good, good cancels bad; no forward movement in terms of the collective. Stalling out. Mind you, this is all part of a global crisis and you can bet your hand sanitizer that Pluto is beneath, working its way through the cracks and finding the weak links in everything.


EDITORIAL: ALL TRAVEL is NOT Prohibited; Here's what is allowed

It's vital that the information being shared about the COVID 19 pandemic is clear, accurate and not misleading. Unfortunately a poster created by the Emergency Operations Center doesn't meet those criteria. 

In big red, bold, capital letters it states: ALL TRAVEL IS PROHIBITED. While the intent was to discourage anyone from traveling on a whim, it actually creates confusion.

Here is a list from San Juan County's FAQ page about the  San Juan Islands and Washington State Stay at Home Orders


Message from King's/Marketplace to the community

Dear Customers,

Thank you for your support and patience during this time of COVID-19. We continue to work hard to ensure that you and our employees stay safe and well stocked during this period. We have already discussed many of the measures we’ve implemented in this regard but will be initiating more – and could use your help:


Letter to the community from Peace Island Medical Center

Dear friends and neighbors of San Juan County,

The COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly changed the world around us. It’s disrupted our way of life and created new realities for each of us. It’s understandable to find it all unsettling and concerning.

On behalf of PeaceHealth, I want to assure you that we are working purposefully to promote the health and safety of our patients, caregivers and community members during this difficult time.

First and foremost, I’d like to acknowledge our caregivers—both at the bedside and behind the scenes—for their unfaltering dedication to providing safe, compassionate care, 24/7, even in times of great hardship. They are the true healthcare heroes dedicated to serving our community.

Here are some of the steps we’ve taken to ensure we are prepared to meet the current and anticipated surge in COVID-19 patients:

Restricted visitors and non-essential individuals who enter the medical center to reduce the risk of transmission.

Implemented temperature screens for anyone entering our buildings. Those with a temperature or other COVID-19-related symptoms are turned away, including employees.

Cancelled or postponed all elective procedures to conserve hospital resources for critically ill patients and curb the spread of the virus by limiting the number of otherwise healthy people in our facility.

Worked in collaboration with San Juan County, EMS, PeaceHealth and other community partners to initiate a communitywide response to the anticipated surge in the number of COVID-19 patients needing hospitalization, including combining resources to meet the growing need for supplies.

Readied internal areas to triage larger numbers of COVID-19 patients because ED and hospital volumes have declined. Presently, caregivers can safely triage the low number of patients in our Emergency Department using appropriate PPE and precautions.

Proactively prepared for an external triage site for patients with respiratory symptoms. Applications have been submitted, the testing unit is in place and infection prevention standards will be employed to open the unit when patient volumes exceed our internal capacity. Implemented a Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) conservation plan, consistent with CDC PPE conservation strategies utilized in hospitals across the nation to ensure that we are adequately stocked with the resources our caregivers need to remain safe. It isn’t business as usual with regard to PPE practices and caregivers are adapting to these changes. We are not in short supply of PPE at this time.

Prepared for inpatient telemedicine visits for our Emergency Department providers. Links to the platform have been provided to ED physicians and we are ready to implement this step when needed. Outpatient telemedicine for the clinics is coming.

Home assessments were discussed with the county, but we made a decision not to pursue this given our internal focus. While important, at this time, PeaceHealth must keep staff available as part of our surge plan.

We continue to be limited in our ability to test people for the virus and receive timely test results. There are inadequate numbers of test kits and test analyzing capabilities nationwide, and we are actively identifying new sources. Quest laboratories is prioritizing processing COVID-19 tests for PeaceHealth inpatients and results are expected within 24 to 48 hours. Testing opportunities through UW will be implemented soon and should be another option for testing and timelier turnaround. Both options will likely result in an increase in the number of confirmed cases in our facility.

The COVID-19 situation changes quickly, often by the hour, and we will continue to swiftly make changes and adapt as it develops. I want to stress that implementation of a preparedness plan is a staged and coordinated process. We will be ready to meet the need when patient volumes demand it.

We know that many of you are sending us your support, and we can feel it. We’ve been moved by the outpouring of generous offers to help us with maintaining our PPE supply—whether by sewing surgical masks, donating unopened boxes of N95 masks or simply asking how to be of service. Please email Dana Van Every at Dvanevery@peacehealth.org if you wish to donate. And thank you. Every community donation is valuable and so greatly appreciated.

We are all in this together. We value the trust you place in us to navigate these challenging times, and we are honored to care for this community.

--Merry-Ann Keane, Chief Administrative Officer, PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center