Of all the gifts that New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has given our city, the greatest might be three little words: Do your job. I write these words in capital letters at the top of my legal pad every time I start a new novel. The pandemic has changed what “do your job” means for many of us; it has changed where we do our jobs and how we do our jobs — even if we are able to do our jobs. For our essential workers, these three words have become a battle cry, especially 30 miles out to sea on the island of Nantucket, where I reside. So here’s a shout-out to you, essential Nantucket: the ferry workers; the staff at the USPS; the third or fourth most important man in my life, Thuy, who has delivered my UPS packages for more than 20 years; the people who stock the shelves and bag groceries at Stop & Shop; the police and fire departments; every single person who works at Nantucket Cottage Hospital; the forces behind the Community Foundation for Nantucket, who are providing food, fuel, and rent relief to the most vulnerable among us; and restaurants such as Island Kitchen, which is living up to its name by providing staff and a food truck to facilitate meals for our public school students. I also want to laud the citizens (young and older) who are making themselves heard so that our island eliminates systemic racism and works toward a bright and equitable future. All of you are keeping Nantucket afloat by not only doing your jobs but doing them with strength, courage, and ingenuity in these unprecedented times. On behalf of Nantucket, I want to say thank you. We are grateful.
Elin Hilderbrand’s latest novel is 28 Summers.