In response to the spread of the coronavirus, Connecticut has effectively shut down business in the state and asked that almost every person stay in their homes as much as possible.
The purpose is to ensure that everyone is practicing the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) protocol for social distancing, where citizens are asked to stay at least six feet away from any unknown individual for an extended period of time to avoid the spread of the highly contagious and dangerous virus.
While keeping this in mind, many Cheshire residents are continuing to do their daily routine, whether that means walking the dog or taking a stroll outside.
“Unfortunately, my life doesn’t just stop because of the quarantine,” said Devin Cranmer, who was outside last weekend walking her pitbull named Kawaii. “I still need to go to work and walk my dog. I’m just not going to stop and talk to anyone, or let her pull me into any groups of people.”
Like many, Cranmer has been heeding the warnings of the CDC and the Chesprocott Health District to stay indoors, although her job is currently considered “essential” and she has been reporting to work regularly.
“I work in a vet’s office out of town and, if the dogs are sick, someone needs to take care of them,” she adds. “I shower immediately when I come home and throw my scrubs in the laundry. What else can I do?”
Those who work in the healthcare industry, food service, and grocery stores are still expected to report to work, while Governor Ned Lamont called for all “non-essential” businesses, such as retail or salons, to close by 8 p.m. Monday evening.
Recently, the Town of Cheshire announced that it would keep local parks and open space areas open, but encouraged all using the spaces to remain committed to social distancing and not congregate in large groups.
During a recent interview with The Cheshire Herald, Chesprocott Health Director Maura Esposito mentioned that getting outside and enjoying nature while adhering to all recommended safety protocols can help those who suddenly find themselves at home more often.
“We have some wonderful areas around town (to hike) so now would be a good time to take advantage,” she said.
For some, having the ability to get outside is paramount during this time.
“When work gets me stressed out, I have been coming out here to just take a walk, clear my head,” noted Komail Hasan, who has been working from home since the beginning of the month. “I try to stay away from anyone, but if someone passes me I’ll give them a little head nod.”
“We’re all trying to stay sane together,” Hasan continued.
Though outdoor spaces remain open, Crammer hopes that the behavior of some doesn’t force the Town to take further action. She’s already witnessed people not practicing the type of social distancing being encouraged by public health officials.
“I was going to go to the dog park the other day and I pulled up and saw like 20 people out there all huddled together,” recalled Cranmer. “I turned my car around and opted to just walk her on the trail rather than risk it.”
The Town of Cheshire, along with Chesprocott, has advised against gathering in groups of 10 or more people during this period of social distancing, regardless of whether the group is outdoors or not.