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Scarsdale Demonstrates Resilience in Time of Crisis

BRPSundayMany are enjoying the Bronx River Path and other county trails.This week brought even more dramatic changes to Scarsdale. Just when it felt like our entire world had closed in, it narrowed even further. School was originally cancelled for two weeks and now we don’t know if and when they will re-open. The Scarsdale Bowl, scheduled for April, has been moved to September. Many in the Village were focused on the election of three members of the Village Board on March 18, until we learned that even an election had to be postponed until the end of April.

On a personal level, birthday parties, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, showers and weddings are all being put off. Airline and hotel reservations have been cancelled. Spring sports and after school activities are on hold. Children are discouraged from playing on playgrounds. Will high school seniors be able to travel for spring break? The chances look dimmer each day. Some are deeply concerned about their jobs, the long-term health of their companies and the effects of the steep downturn in the economy.

At home, we’re plundering the freezer and the pantry unsure if food deliveries will continue and if we will we be able to get what we need. We’re buying what we can find and keeping an eye on consumption.

Reading so much about signs of the virus, friends report they are experiencing psychosomatic symptoms like dripping noses, dry throats and coughs. Anxiety is running high and thermometer batteries are running low as we continually check for fever. Plastic gloves, face masks and scarves are in fashion. Everyone is being extra cautious for fear of spreading the virus to someone else.

But it’s not all bad. Each day brings some encouraging surprises.glovesPlastic gloves are de rigeur.

Children are now doing their schoolwork online, an amazing accomplishment by the schools, given the sudden onset of the crisis. The Scarsdale School Board has scheduled a meeting using ZOOM, and the community is invited to participate online, Wednesday night at 6:30.

The Village is maintaining essential services with police and firefighters on duty and sanitation on a regular schedule. We are fortunate that our Village leadership had the foresight to begin preparing for this crisis and started ordering supplies in early February.

Many are doing their work from home, networking with colleagues, holding conference calls and online meetings. Homes have been converted into virtual offices, a trend that may grow after the crisis abates.

We can no longer make plans so we’re learning to greet each day and make the most of our time at home. Many are outside enjoying the beautiful path along the Bronx River Parkway and county trails and parks. Packs of kids are out on their bikes. Those strolling the neighborhood stop and compare notes with people they usually pass on the street. Danny’s Cycles on Central Avenue had a flood of business as people bought bicycles.

In the Village, we found Michelle and Chuck Anderson from La Dentelliere keeping their store open on Sunday. Michelle reported that she was pleased that people were coming in and calling up to order items to freshen their homes. She invited anyone to give her a call to order for themselves or a gift for a homebound friend which she can deliver.

LaDentelleireMichelle and Chuck Anderson outside La Dentelleire.Local restaurants are also offering takeout, pick up and curbside delivery for anyone who needs to practice social distancing. Take a look at our list of where to order and help to keep our local businesses afloat. Local residents have organized a campaign to raise funds for food delivery to the emergency medical workers who are battling the virus on the frontline at White Plains Hospital.

For now, the community is demonstrating resilience and finding the silver lining to perhaps the biggest challenge we will encounter in our lifetimes. Families are enjoying their time together. College kids and young adults have returned home and generations are learning how to live together under one roof again. In our house we’re lucky to be sheltering in place with my eight-week old granddaughter who doesn’t seem to realize how unusual a time it is.

Residents are checking in on the elderly and others are volunteering to shop for the homebound. Stores have set up special hours for senior citizens and the immuno-compromised to shop and avoid the crowds. We’re all doing what we can to support our local businesses, and everyone is respecting rules around social distancing to keep the virus at bay.

Given that Scarsdale shares a border with the scene of the largest outbreak of the virus in NY State, at least so far, Village residents are doing a great job of staying healthy. Most I have spoken to are fully cognizant of how serious the consequences of infection can be and are doing everything they can to protect themselves and their neighbors.zachysMichael Chayes makes a necessary trip to Zachys.

We don’t know how long this will last or how dire it will be. But we do know that we can count on our neighbors, our community government, our school district, the county and the state to do everything possible to keep us safe.

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