Ridgefield, let's be a community

This is a scary time. It is one our children will be learning about for years and remembering where they were when it happened.

Much of what we rely on as stable and consistent has been upended. We must all hunker down at home. We are social people and right now, when being in the company of friends and family usually comforts us in uncertainty, we don’t even have that.

We are lucky that this is occurring at time when technology is reliable and extremely useful. FaceTiming our loved ones is at least some kind of connection. Our children, kept home from critical education hours, can access much material online and reach teachers if they need to for questions.

For many of us, thankfully, much of this time will be inconvenient and unsettling, but not deadly or disastrous. For those of us privileged enough to come out on the other side of this situation feeling that way, we should be grateful.

However, there are many for whom this time is not only unsettling and inconvenient. There are many who are in the vulnerable state for whom exposure to the virus could be deadly. That includes many on the older side — who now have to stay home and avoid everyone. Not only is this scary, it is isolating. Especially if seniors are in assisted living or in medical care — where there is currently a no visitor policy.

For others, the challenge is less physical and more financial. While some of us are allowed to work from home, some of us don’t get paid when our business is forced to shut down during the crisis. Some of us might be living paycheck to paycheck and supporting ourselves or our families and are now faced with a bleak few weeks with no end in sight. Leaders a the federal level are attempting to help, but the effort will imperfect and assistance is likely to not enough, late in coming and ealrly in running out.

Some of our neighbors own small businesses in Ridgefield that are hard enough to keep going these days, anyway — never mind the coronavirus keeping so many people at home. Many of the restaurants Ridgefield is renowned for can still provide curbside pick up, takeout, or delivery. First selectman Rudy Marconi has been urging townspeople to use these services. “Please give them call,” he said. “They need your support.”

So we have many in the community facing tough times. People stuck at home have a lot they can do. Try some eLearning, catch up on home projects. Spend some time bonding time with family — in person if you live together, by electronic means ranging from a phone call to Skype if you’re apart.

Let’s make the best of it. Let’s try to balance the scales. If your children are already getting cabin fever, why not encourage them to send a cheerful card to grandparents?

Check in on your elderly neighbor, or your neighbors with many young children to manage, that would make a grocery store trip difficult. Why not add their needs to your list?

If you don’t want to order take out from local restaurants, now is a good time to buy gift cards for yourself or your family now — they need the business. Or give them to other local families that could very much use a take out order right now. Get a gift card to any of your favorite local businesses, whether they are dining related or not. All of the town businesses need a hand right now with foot traffic at a slow down.

We can keep social distance, and still be a community.