Wilton editorial: Life carries on

It’s been three weeks since the first presumptive positive positive test for COVID-19 was announced in Wilton — the first in the state — but for many if may feel more like months. A few days later the schools were closed, we became familiar with social distancing, senior citizens got special shopping hours, shops closed, restaurants went to take-out only, and we learned what businesses the state considers essential. Arguably, every business is essential to the person who owns it, works for it or patronizes it, but we as a community understand the need to reduce everyone’s personal exposure.

Telecommuting, telelearning, tele-everything seems to be the norm. There is little to do but stay home looking at all the projects that have been put off, hang out in the yard — more projects — or go for a walk taking care not to get too close to others doing the same. People are and will find imaginative ways to cope.

But some things have not changed. While Connecticut’s presidential primary has been put off until June, there has been news that the local political landscape is changing. After 10 years, Wilton will lose Gail Lavielle as state representative. She will continue to serve out her term, which ends in December, and says she will remain here. Before being elected at the state level, Lavielle sat on the town’s Board of Finance, giving more than a decade of public service. It’s time, she said, to move on to other things.

Wilton RTC Chair Chris Lineberger has said a candidate to run in Lavielle’s stead will be announced “in due course” and Norwalk’s Stephanie Thomas, who ran on the Democratic ticket in 2018, has already announced her candidacy. Whoever wins that race will have very large shoes to fill.

In the same week, Wilton learned there will be a robust contest for the state Senate seat as two Republicans have announced their intentions to challenge Democrat Will Haskell, who is in the second year of his first two-year term representing the 26th District. One of those candidates is Wilton resident Kim Healy and the other is Will Duff of Bethel, who previously served one term as state representative for the 2nd District.

It’s impossible to know what the campaign landscape will look like, even months from now, but it’s a contest to look forward to as the work to be done after this virus subsides — and it will — will be daunting.

Fairfield County is on the front line of this pandemic precisely for the reasons that make it a great place to live: close proximity to New York City, a myriad of social activities in which to partake, and wonderful shopping opportunities here and in nearby towns — all of which bring people closer together, the exact opposite of what is needed now.

The best, quickest way to move past this crisis, to get back to whatever will pass for normal, is to follow First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice’s advice.

Keep a distance of six feet between you and another person, inside or out.

Go shopping only when you absolutely need to and try to combine as many stops in one trip to minimize the numbers of days you leave home.

Take advantage of the delivery options offered by many Wilton businesses.

Follow a fitness routine you can do yourself.

Spend time outside but look for places that are not crowded. Beyond the 127 miles of town-owned roads and three miles of sidewalks on state roads, there are numerous trails in town — many of which people might not be familiar with. Check out the Conservation Commission’s web page at https://www.wiltonct.org/conservation-commission/pages/trail-maps and you will find a guide to nearly two dozen parks encompassing miles of trails.