The Tuckers, Laura, David and their three kids Lili, a college freshman; Avery a Staples sophomore and Eily a 3rd grader at Long Lots, have lived in Westport just over 7 years. They celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary on April 22nd.
“Today is our 20th wedding anniversary. We are on on week six of quarantine.
David and I were planning to celebrate our anniversary in Amsterdam, where we first met in 1994. Instead, we are home in Westport. I am disappointed that we are not able to go on our anniversary trip, but if I have to be quarantined somewhere, Westport is a nice place to do it. We are lucky to have a house with enough space for five people. We have a backyard and we are trying to spend as much time as possible outdoors. We are planting a garden, hiking and enjoying the sun when it is not raining (we have had way too much rain!). Westport is a beautiful town to ride bikes and walk our dogs.
I think our family is reasonably well prepared to cope with this situation. We have lived in different places/countries and have adapted to many new situations. This is just another new situation. We also lived in New York City on 9/11. My first child was born 6 days before that awful day. I learned quickly that things can change in an instant and sometimes you have to change as well to get through tough times.
Every family has their strategies for getting through this. What do the Tuckers do to survive? We get more animals! We have two dogs and they bring us so much happiness. They have been great quarantine companions! We added a hamster to our family and we are getting a puppy on May 16. The kids are begging for chickens too! If quarantine doesn’t end soon, we are going to end up with a zoo!
There have been lot of changes to our daily lives. Our kids are now homeschooled, there are food and toilet paper shortages, we have to wear masks in public, we are only seeing our friends and family over Zoom…and the list goes on. I think I am handling most of our “new normal” pretty well, but I must admit I am having a hard time with all the disappointments. Everything we were looking forward to has been cancelled. Lili has to complete her freshman year of college at home. Avery made it to the World Championships for cheerleading, and now that isn’t happening. Eily worked for months to be in her school play and it was cancelled two days before they were supposed to perform. We were going to visit my husband’s parents in Australia this summer, but now it will be postponed until next year. The Australia trip is probably the hardest one for our family to deal with because my kids have not seen their Australian grandparents in a long time. A lot can happen in a year and the thought terrifies me.
I am usually a very optimistic person, but I have found the longer we are in quarantine, the more I worry. I fear the aftermath of the quarantine is going to be worse than the Great Depression. I look at our beautiful downtown and almost everything is closed. How are we going to come back from this? If we do, how long is it going to take? The longer they stay closed, the more likely the stores will not re-open. What will happen to those people who own or worked in those businesses? Will they be able to keep their homes? Will they be able to feed their families? So many people are losing their jobs. Not everyone can work from home. I love the idea of Westport’s slogan “You are not stuck at home, you are safe at home.” This is true for many, but what about the people who are not safe at home? We can’t forget about all of the other problems in the world just because this virus reared its ugly head.
There have been many beautiful moments that have made me proud to live in Westport. I am impressed with the way the community has come together to help others. So many people are volunteering and donating to local causes. Unfortunately, there have been some ugly moments too. I have seen people fighting in CVS (over which direction to walk), shaming others on social media and in person. Someone screamed from their convertible at my teenagers (she thought they were riding bikes too close to each other). We should not be turning against each other in this time of crisis. When this is over, we still have to live in the same town. These are our neighbors, our friends and their their children.
I am impressed with the way the community has come together to help others
We were listening to the “Dear Evan Hansen” soundtrack while making dinner the other night”(music written by Staples grad, Justin Paul).
The words to the song “Anybody Have a Map” really hit home.
Does anybody have a map?
Anybody maybe happen to know how the hell to do this?
I don’t know if you can tell
But this is me just pretending to know
So where’s the map?
I need a clue
‘Cause the scary truth is
I’m flying blind
And I’m making this up as I go…
None of us have been through a pandemic before and I think we are all doing the best we can. We don’t have a map or any kind of instructions to follow. Everyone is struggling with this in their own way. So many are experiencing some kind of disappointment and fear. I think if we show kindness to one another, it might ease some of the pain. If we show compassion toward our neighbors, hopefully our community will come out of this more connected.