Editor: New Canaanite Monthly Coffee Canceled for January


Because it’s the type of gathering that doesn’t work with masking, NewCanaanite.com is canceling its monthly community coffee at New Canaan Library.

Scheduled for the first Thursday of each month, the coffee will resume in February.

After taking 20 months off following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the coffee re-launched in November and was held again in December. We had fun.

The December 2021 monthly coffee at New Canaan Library. Credit: Terry Dinan

Free and open to all, the coffee is held in the art gallery at the library. We sit in a large circle (on chairs) and discuss whatever local news topics are on the minds of attendees. The discussion is moderated by me. It’s civil. The brew is provided by Zumbach’s Gourmet Coffee on Pine Street (thanks, Doug).

Given rising infection rates post-Thanksgiving and unknowns about fallout from the recent Christmas and New Year’s holidays—or the full extent to which infection rates will yield hospitalizations and deaths—the only way to hold our cozy coffee safely would be to ask attendees to wear masks. That is the case despite New Canaan’s high vaccination rates, since vaccinated people can still carry and transmit the virus, and suffer “breakthrough” illnesses.

Because we sip coffee, talk out loud and signal our disgust by making faces when attendees say something crazy, masking is impractical.

I also dislike Zoom for this type of friendly gathering, though it works well for government meetings, allowing attendees to message others through emojis, chat and profile picture updates.

The community coffee is presented in partnership with New Canaan Library.

We will plan to resume the monthly coffee Feb. 3. 

I also note here that the decision to hit pause for January was reached in about 10 seconds—a blessing of working at a sole proprietorship like the New Canaanite, and I’m deeply grateful to the news site’s readers and advertisers for continuing to let me continue to do this.

In closing, I note that many of our coffee regulars are older people who have been shown to be more susceptible to serious illness as a result of contracting the virus. Some of our regulars from years past, including some who are immunocompromised, decided to forego the gatherings in November and December due to the risk of transmission—we miss you and hope to see you soon.

Please put our next coffee on your calendar. I look forward to seeing you in person then.

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