Whether you believe the COVID-19 pandemic is overblown or not, we have a new set of rules to live by. For some there will be hardship for sure, for some inconvenience. For all of us, opportunity.

Let’s look at the hardships first. People who come down with the disease will obviously be most negatively affected. But finally, testing is approved for seven Connecticut hospitals: Bridgeport Hospital, Bristol Health, Danbury Hospital, Greenwich Hospital, Stamford Health, Waterbury Hospital and Yale-New Haven Hospital. Anyone seeking to be tested must have a prescription from their doctor and make an appointment in advance. This will help start those who are ill and the rest of us on the road to recovery.

On a local level, small businesses and the people who work for them will take the biggest hit and many are making an effort to offer services that take into account the need for social distancing, a phrase that has become one of the watchwords of this experience. If you normally patronize a Wilton business, please continue to do so. Restaurants are offering take-out meals, some with great creativity. Delivery is generally available either by the restaurant itself or one of several third-party delivery services. Some will even bring your order to your car if you request it.

Of the shops in town, many are limiting the number of people inside at any one time.

Nonprofits are also at risk of having to curtail services as their efforts to raise money are seriously impacted. We have seen this with Wilton Library having to postpone one of its major fundraisers, its 125th Anniversary Gala. The Wilton Woman’s Club, a juggernaut of fundraising for local organizations, is unsure of the state of its annual fashion show that was scheduled for early next month. This event was expected to raise thousands for three vital Wilton nonprofits: Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County, Stay at Home in Wilton and the Wilton Community Assistance Fund.

The status of Minks to Sinks, planned for early May, is unknown at this time. It benefits Family & Children’s Agency in Norwalk, which provides needed services to many people of all ages.

Circle of Care, which provides support to families dealing with childhood cancer, is still helping its clients by processing applications for financial assistance. But the well is not deep and a big fundraiser planned for early April will likely have to be rescheduled.

Wilton’s food pantry has put out a call for much-needed non-perishables that may be brought to the lobby of the police station, which is open all day every day, at 240 Danbury Road.

The American Red Cross is sending out an emergency appeal for blood donations. Appointments may be made by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

No doubt, there are many nonprofits that will find the coming weeks challenging, and if it is within your wherewithal to help them, please do.

On the positive side, for those of us working from home, or finding our usual means of entertainment shut off for now, there are many things we can do.

We can check to see if any of our friends or neighbors need help. Some who live alone may just need a friendly phone call.

We’ve been lucky the weather has been mild and we are more fortunate still that there are many opportunities to get outdoors. Although playgrounds and playing fields and the high school track are off limits, there are many beautiful trails maintained by Woodcock Nature Center, Weir Farm, the Wilton Land Conservation Trust and the Conservation Commission that are open.

You may still ride your bike, begin spring cleanup outdoors, or use the time you save on commuting by tackling one of those many projects you’ve been avoiding. And if you are working from home, remember, work is work and home is home. Don’t let one bleed into the other.

We’ll be doing this for a while. With a little effort we can all stay safe.