To the Editor:

First, I hope each of you is well and safe, and if you have suffered a loss due to the coronavirus, my sympathies and prayers to your family.

The Valley is coming back to life and Shelton is ready for the return to a new normal. I, like many others, have made a few visits to the Shelton transfer station, and it was very easy to see that many of us have completed some big home clean-outs. Every station/bin was filled to over flowing. I also observed that the parking lots of Home Depot and Lowe’s were also overflowing, while the drive-ups were busy from KFS to McDonald’s, BK and Wendy’s.

Please make it a point to order out from you favorite restaurant if possible once a week to show your support until we can return to dining out and as our local shops and stores reopen, make it a point to stop in and give them your business. I promise you they will be glad to see and assist you.

The city of Shelton is functioning very well during this very unexpected shutdown. Our city hall employees are working to continue to provide services, and our boards and commissions are meeting to assure the business of the city can move forward even on a limited schedule. We are all trying to get used to being in virtual meetings and to date everyone is putting their best foot forward. Shelton, for all practical purposes, is a place where surviving financial crisis is not a new thing and we as a city typically are able to weather these storms better than most. The battle with the coronavirus elements has, however, given everyone a new perspective. It has been and will continue to be a battle for some time to come, more difficult for some than others. Our first responders, medical personnel and all those who care for us and those who kept our cupboards and fridges filled should be commended.

The true mettle of our little town is being tested, our resilience will be seen in how we treat the most vulnerable of our population going forward and adapt to living in a new world where the smallest cell has immobilized the whole world when it escaped half a world away. I know from experience the people of Shelton will overcome this pandemic.

So what has changed? I have noticed that people are being more gracious as you move about town. Driving is a lot less stressful without everyone rushing about and I hope that will become a part of the new normal. Fewer accidents and lower insurance premiums are a good thing. We should be able to care for ourselves better, eating more healthy, exercising, mastering Zoom and other apps and virtual meeting programs with the help of our teenagers. Our thoughts on family should be that of more respect and admiration for those who lived through world wars, conflicts, depressions, droughts and plagues that lasted for years without the modern medicines, methods, computers, iPhones and talented medical teams we have today. We have to rethink and change our purchasing habits and read the labels to promote Made in the USA going forward. And don’t be shy about contacting our elected officials in Hartford and Washington to get our country open sooner. I would bet that if the government workers paychecks and benefits were suddenly stopped, you would see a more serious effort on their part to start our economy sooner rather than later.

Our city will need new sources of income and that comes with the establishment of new business, upgrading properties, expansion and more business and commerce in town that will create a larger tax base. These things will not come quickly and will be done with the oversight of our citizens, along with the boards, commissions and committees who over see them. Please join in and encourage those who are ready to move forward and see opportunities to bring research labs, clean production capacity for medical equipment and supplies to Shelton. If you have a suggestion or idea for a new venture, share it with others and brainstorm it to assist in bringing back manufacturing to the area.

Schools, unfortunately, will not reopen this year, however all Shelton public school students and those who attend Trinity Academy are eligible for free meals, no matter their income status. Meals can be picked up in the Shelton High School bus loop from 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday. Use the Constitution Boulevard access to the school as the Meadow Street entrance is closed during these times.

The Shelton High track is open for walking exercise daily, as is the trail system and the dog parks. Please get out and enjoy the good weather that is coming. Remember to wear a face cover, for nose and mouth, when you are out, wash your hands regularly and keep social distancing when you shop and move about.

The new normal will be an adjustment for everyone, not easy but very doable.

Please do not forget to complete the 2020 Census, it is easily done online.

Best to all. Stay safe and well.

Anthony F. Simonetti

Alderman, First Ward