Woog's World: Sending 2020 off with a poem

‘Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the ‘Port
Each student was huddled in a tiny cohort
In-person and online, hybrid education
Was the way they all learned (it was not a vacation)
They logged on, they Zoomed, they studied and scrolled
At Staples and Bedford (not Coleytown – mold)
And even the wee ones – elementary schoolers
Had no days off (they’re not Ferris Buellers)

So though COVID came calling early last spring
Our scholars prevailed through near everything.
So did our parents, now stuck in their houses
(In sweatpants and PJs – no jackets or blouses)
They forsook the office – no New York commute
No longer a slave to the Metro-North toot
Instead they’re remote, work-from-home employees
But don’t think it’s easy; it’s surely no breeze
To lead meetings by laptop, and study those spreadsheets
And respond to all emails and Slack chats and tweets
While cooking and cleaning and going berserk
As a substitute teacher – it’s all so much work!

Who knew back in March that the virus would stay
We thought (like the Donald) it would just go away.
It didn’t, of course, so traditions were scuttled
We had nothing to do; the town was befuddled
No marching so proudly Memorial Day
No welcoming summer the last Monday in May
No fireworks or flags on the 4th of July
(Well, in Westport it’s earlier – please don’t ask why)
No Winslow Park Dog Fest or Saugatuck Slice
No Levitt, no Playhouse – that was the price
We paid for the spread of the COVID-19
A pandemic unlike the world’s ever seen
It’s lethal, insidious – it’s really the worst
And we were a leader – it hit Westport first
We became super-spreaders (and begged the state’s pardon)
Long before that day in the White House Rose Garden.

But soon we were all masked up to the gills
To ward off the cough, the fever, the chills
Keep your distance! we heard – It’s six feet at least
To fend off and conquer this virus, this beast
We socially distanced, did curbside and takeout
We bumped elbows, did air hugs – can’t even make out
No Thanksgiving dinner, no visits with Granny
The world was surreal; it felt so uncanny
To see shops so uncrowded, and restaurants half-filled
Our town changed so much; we were saddened and baffled
To think that a bit of invisible dust
Could render the entire economy bust
(Well, except for one sector – when the rest of life fizzled
Sales went through the roof – real estate sizzled).

But all was not dark, nor gloom and despair
Some bright lights shone if you looked here and there
For families together, the time was not wasted
We gathered for meals; kids helped (cooked and basted)
We played board games and music, went out on our bikes
We took road walks and beach strolls and even long hikes
We sat on the sofa (together!) and chilled
To Netflix and Disney; our lives were so filled
With movies and of course binge-watching TV
Who knew there was so much good stuff we could see?

But don’t think that the lockdown was all hunky dory
The past nine months were a whole other story
Of sadness and badness, and so much we’ve lost
Corona exacted a terrible cost
Yet right there amid the struggle and grief
Westport has stood tall; we’ve offered relief
We’ve run all kinds of errands, gone to the store,
Made meals, sewn masks, and done so much more
We drew signs, rang bells, and banged all those pots
Alone it was not much; together, ‘twas lots
When the days seemed their darkest, we rallied as one
Now the race for the vaccine at last has been won.

So as we look back on the year 2020
With hindsight we see it’s delivered us plenty
It tested our town’s grit, guts and resolve
We had no idea we could grow and evolve
Come together and face such a fierce faceless foe
With potential to bring such unspeakable woe
But face it we did, from March through December
And today as we look on the year and remember
All we went through – we did it! And did it together
(Not to mention Isaias – we weathered the weather)
So now as the calendar turns a new page
It’s time for some words from this Westport News sage:
“We’re ready to welcome the year ‘21
May it bring health and happiness – and way way more fun!”

Dan Woog is a Westport writer, and his “Woog's World” appears each Friday. He can be reached at dwoog@optonline.net. His personal blog is danwoog06880.com.