Westporters: We’re ‘still trying to live our lives’ amid coronavirus fears
WESTPORT — Despite the blossoming of restrictions in reaction to the novel coronavirus, many residents of Westport are taking the matter in good-humored stride and not letting things become too intense.
“We’re cautious, but we’re still trying to live our lives the way we normally do,” said Debbie Prister, of Westport, who recently returned home with her family from the Turks and Caicos Islands to find things had taken a dramatic turn here.
The town’s first positive case of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, was confirmed by the state Public Health Laboratory on Thursday, according to the Westport-Weston Health District.
The patient is a woman between the ages of 40 and 50 and is recovering at home. It remains unclear how she contracted the virus.
“We’ve got some provisions at home,” she said Friday, following a lunchtime stop at the Rye Brook Deli downtown, but the family intends not to buy into a panic mindset.
“I’ll Purell when I get back to the car,” said Lucy Berman, of Westport, who drove downtown to make a quick purchase at a local shop. “I’m trying to stay home as much as possible,” in part to spend extra time with her mom.
“From what I’ve heard, it’s going to be fine if anyone gets it, but I don’t want to contribute to the spread,” she said, particularly as she doesn’t want to add to any overcrowding at health care facilities.
“The concern is the indefinite aspect,” said Bob Fox, of Westport. “You just don’t know how long it’s going to be and you don’t know how widespread.”
Feeling cabin fever, he and his wife Lois decided they would take a trek to Main Street on Friday, despite warnings for older residents.
“It’s hard to believe this would really happen,” Lois said, but then added, “How many board games are you going to play?”
“We just came out of hibernation to see if the rest of the world still exists,” Bob said, noting options for activities, such as the library, were closed.
“It feels good to be out in the air,” Lois said.
Westporter Mark Muller, likewise, was enjoying the outdoors while seated on a bench in the library’s former Needle Park, at the corner of Main Street and Post Road.
“No,” he said, he wasn’t worried about the coronavirus, as symptoms probably wouldn’t be that severe for most people if they ultimately get it.
“Economically, I feel sorry for people,” he said, especially those who may not be able to afford losing time from work.
Otherwise, he said, he’s going to take it as it comes.
“If something shuts down, I can’t do it,” he said, “but I’m trying to have as normal a life as possible.”