To the Editor:

I hope this finds everyone and their loved ones well and safe. The unbelievable truth is that we are fighting a very unique war against a very infectious microorganism. We can’t see it, hear it, but we can unfortunately put our finger on it or breath it in. It is here and, according to the experts, unfortunately it is here to stay. We are presently living with other viruses at this time but conquering this one is challenging to say the least. Our very mobile society has enhanced this bugs life, longevity and widened its path of destruction. My personal observation is that the local populous, we the people, are being very diligent and are making a difference by continuing to be socially distant and vigilant about cleanliness and protecting our personal space.

Our children will, hopefully, someday appreciate the heavy burden we are taking on spiritually, physically and financially to win this war in 2020. The plan to assist those on the front lines is simple, do not get sick and/or spread the virus and if you are ill (stay home), stay out of medical clinics, hospitals, ERs, nursing homes, etc. if you can. Call your physician, clinic or 211 for assistance before you venture off to any medical facility. Our very educated and brave first responders, hospital employees and other healthcare staff are able to provide comfort and care to those who do become infected, however, we need to keep the number of cases, especially difficult/serious ones, as low as possible to effectuate people getting better quickly and completely.

Remember to follow the basic simple guidelines you have heard so many times to protect yourself and others, wash your hands even more frequently, wash clothing exposed to places other than home daily, clean home surfaces regularly, keep social distancing, and only go out when necessary. It is a good practice to check on the elderly and/or medically compromised persons. Even those who are safe alone need some TLC and attention. Telephone, social media, email and text are your first options with personal visits only when necessary. Being unable to visit these special relatives and persons is a larger burden on most of us than the social distancing and other restrictions we are living with or are asked to accomplish. I am sure they would like to hug, kiss and be able to connect with us and their grandchildren and friends. I know one elderly person who is not only self-isolating but having to do it 3,000 miles from their personal home and family members in the valley. The human touch and closeness we normally enjoy but don’t always appreciate at the time is a natural one which we can all relate to. Again, social distancing is our most important and strongest weapon in our collective battle to win this war.

Shelton City Hall is working with a limited staff. I hope everyone can appreciate that these very hardworking staff members will answer your calls for information and directives on any matter from tax payments to marriage licenses. Utilizing your computer or the USPS will assist in protecting everyone and help to facilitate accomplishing many tasks we had done in person only a week ago. (cityofshelton.org)

School closings are especially difficult for many parents at this time and I would have to believe younger children can be more exhausting than most. I am sure many of you can now more easily appreciate your children’s instructors, coaches, paras and administrators, etc. as you wait for schools to reopen. Supporting their structured distance learning programs at this time and school rules later are more important than you can imagine. I was asked to think up a distance learning program to assist parents who are home with younger and challenged children. It was not such an easy task and I was not allowed to pass it on to the SPSS by my wife so it does not have the SPSS stamp of approval. I was told to remind everyone and emphasis that every parent/guardian who is supervising children, especially outside the home, must be very vigilant to avoid any accidents or injuries no matter the activity or learning program they are involved in.

Distance learning suggestion: (Parents should assist but let students work through problems and difficulties as much as possible on their own)

* Students are to begin preparing a simple scrapbook with one page dedicated to each of the letters of the alphabet.

* Students should be supervised outside in their own yard, city trails or parks to search for items in nature to match with one alphabet letter on each outing

* Students should, when possible, bring a sample of the item home and secure it on the page it matches with. i.e. F - feather or draw the item and if possible, use color crayons/markers to make it more realistic. (There should be enough time, even with inclement weather days, to prepare a full scrapbook before school is called back into session if they are out three to four times each week looking for items)

* Students should be requested to learn to correctly spell the item on each page in their own writing.

* Students should utilize the scrapbook to prepare and practice a presentation for their classroom when schools are reopened

I will donate one prize to the best and most complete scrapbook at each elementary school, Perry Hill, SIS and for a student who enjoys and studies in Rm. 390 of SHS.

I hope this will be of some assistance to parents and caregivers. To borrow and twist a phrase from a comic book hero, we must fight the never-ending battle for education, health, and safety the American way.

It is very heartening to see so many people, children and adults, walking, running and “strollering” on the Shelton trail system. Our trail workers and the many volunteers and persons and companies who donated time and materials to maintain them should be very proud of everything they have accomplished. The many people out walking on the roads should remember to use sidewalks where available and the rule of walking facing traffic and when riding, bikes, etc. do so with the flow of traffic. Drivers, please slow down or stop and give them room as you drive by and definitely stop to let pedestrians cross the roads safely.

Please don’t forget to patronize our local restaurants, businesses for car service, tires, repair/parts along with local establishments that are offering food shopping and delivery service. As much as we are aware assistance is on its way from Washington, maintaining and pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps will be quicker and less painful in the long run.

Best to one and all. Stay well and be safe.

Anthony F. Simonetti

Board of Alderman