Roundup: Masks, Vaccines, Backpacks …


The Delta variant is causing concern across Connecticut. Late last night, 1st Selectman Jim Marpe issued this statement:

“As you know, Westport has already re-instituted the requirement for everyone, vaccinated or not, to wear masks indoors in public buildings as recommended by the CDC and the State Department of Health.

“Westport residents have been very diligent in getting vaccinated, with full vaccination rates approaching 90% for the eligible population.

“Nevertheless, the COVID virus knows no municipal or county boundaries, and a significant portion of our workforce commutes into Westport every day from areas of the state that may have had less success in vaccinating their population.

“As a result, I will be working with our COVID Emergency Response team, which includes the Westport Weston Health District leadership, to consider what additional steps our community should take within the Governor’s Executive order to further limit our residents’ exposure to the virus through masking requirements.

“I will be meeting Friday morning with my counterparts from the Western Connecticut Council of Governments to better understand our options, and to attempt some consistency of masking guidelines across the region.  In the meantime, I encourage everyone to wear a mask indoors, particularly in any crowded setting and, for those who are eligible to be vaccinated and have not done so, to please get vaccinated.”


1st Selectman Jim Marpe encourages everyone to wear a mask indoors.


Speaking of COVID: Test lines are getting longer.

This was the scene yesterday, in Westport train station parking lot #8, off Riverside Avenue next to I-95 northbound Exit 17:

(Photo/Matthew Mandell)


Back-to-school time means many things. Including: It’s time to help youngsters in need go back to school.

Each year, Westport’s Department of Human Services helps local families who lack the financial means to purchase back-to-school supplies and/or provide reliable after-school childcare for their children.

The pandemic has exacerbated that need.

Family program coordinator Annette D’Augelli says, “Ordinarily, the Back-to-School program provides basic school supplies to lessen the financial burden on families struggling to make ends meet.

“The post-pandemic Back-to-School program requires more than backpacks, pens and pencils. Community donations help reinforce a child’s sense of hope and stability by ensuring they have the tools they need to excel in school, and opportunities to participate in after-school activities so their parents can focus on getting back to work.”

Tax-deductible donations, in the form of cash or gift cards (Staples, Target, Walmart, etc.) through “We Care Westport,” Human Services’ donation portal. Click here to donate; then choose “Family to Family Programs – Seasonal Program – Back to School.” Checks payable to the “Town of Westport/DHS Family Programs” can be sent to Human Services, 110 Myrtle Ave Westport, CT  06880.

If you or someone you know requires assistance, call 203-341-1050 or email to speak confidentially with a social worker.

The Department of Human Services’ Back to School program helps youngsters get backpacks — and fill them with supplies.


In 2011, JoyRide became Westport’s 1st cycling studio.

This month, they become the first local gym to require all customers and employees to submit one-time proof of COVID vaccination to attend any of their Connecticut studios (Westport, Darien, New Haven).

Effective August 16, proof can be provided via an actual immunization card, or a photo of it. It can be presented at check-in, or sent via email to

JoyRide also notes that the CDC encourages wearing masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status.


Speaking of exercise: A customized program for people with Parkinson’s starts soon at he Westport Weston Family YMCA. The goal of the program — which includes boxing, yoga and tai chi classes — is to reduce symptoms.

A support group for Parkinson’s patients and their care partners is also offered.

For details click here, and watch the video below.


Alert — and concerned — “06880” reader Bob Mitchell writes:

“A reminder: Please walk on the proper side of the street, facing traffic on the left side of a 2-way street. It drives me crazy to maneuver around walkers, particularly families with kids, strollers or dogs, walking with their backs to oncoming traffic, oblivious to potential danger.

“Walking the proper way is not only safer and more comfortable (no looking over the shoulder), but it is state law.

I suspect many people don’t know this. We are lucky there have not been any incidents (that I know of).”

The folks in front are walking properly on Canal Road. Those in the rear are not. (Photo/Gene Borio)


Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo is fascinating — and educational.

Photographer Lou Weinberg — who in his spare time serves as director of Westport Community Gardens — says: “Dragonflies are models of flight. They can even fly backwards. Plus they love to be photographed. I love these insects. Nature wins!”

(Photo/Lou Weinberg)


And finally … the New York Times reports:

“Willie Winfield, whose silken lead vocals with the Harptones in the 1950s made him a favorite of doo-wop connoisseurs, even though the group never achieved wide mainstream commercial success, died on July 27 in a hospital in Brooklyn. He was 91.”

I had never heard of him (or the Harptones). But I sure know this beautiful song:

13 responses to “Roundup: Masks, Vaccines, Backpacks …

  1. Camille Guthrie

    I, too, had noticed the long line at the COVID testing faciity just off of Exit 17 the other day for the first time ever after months of never seeing a car there. Today it looks like the test facility is closed — the tent is gone and everything looks like it’s been packed up.

    • Ernest Lorimer

      I think it has just moved around the corner. Fairly reasonable. Yale charged my insurer $700 for a “free” test.

  2. Good reminder regarding walk against traffic – see too many doing the opposite too often. Might also want to add bike riders should ride with traffic. Equally important, single file is the law for bikes. Riding in a pair or group of three across the side of the road does not make for safe driving. Additionally, going around walker and bikers by a wide margin might be safe to some, but crossing the solid line into oncoming traffic is not safe or legal. Sometimes the best solution is to slow down and trail the walker/biker until it’s 100% safe to go around. Those lattes can wait another minute!

  3. Dick Lowenstein

    Re: Walking on the proper side of roads without sidewalks. Single-file when vehicles are approaching. This applies to runners, too. Please! This ain’t NYC. 😉

  4. Lucinda McGuire

    My Parkinson’s started with me falling for no apparent reason. I Later had stiffness in my legs and need to walk with 2 canes or a walker. I was very slow getting around. I am now 54 years old. I was forgetful at times and had difficulty expressing myself. I had difficulty swallowing at times. I become tired easily. Now am Parkinson’s disease free, after using the Parkinson’s disease herbal formula i purchased from Kykuyu Health Clinic for 6 weeks, tremors disappeared, No more legs stiffness, energy increased, walking without cane. All thanks to God for leading to Kykuyu Health Clinic. please visit their website for more information.. kycuyuhealthclinic . c o m

    • Dan, are you going to delete Lucinda’s comment (advertisement) for an herbal-based curing of Parkinson’s disease? In this time of widespread scientific & medical misinformation, it’s particularly irresponsible.

  5. Jack Backiel

    K Charles, She’s just relating a personal experience and she believes what she took did the trick. Maybe you had problems keeping an erection and credited drinking tomato juice for helping you? By the way, what does the K stand for? If it’s Karen, my example is moot.

    • Bill Strittmatter

      K Charles is probably right.

      If you Google Lucinda McGuire Parkinson’s, you will find “Lucinda” has posted on 3 other Parkinson’s related posts/articles in the past couple of days. First sentences, followed by more detail and a sales pitch for the health clinic are:

      posted 8:26 PM, 05 August 2021

      I was diagnosed of Parkinson’s Disease a couple of years ago, I had severe fatigue, difficulty with mobility and sleeping.

      posted 9:12 PM, 04 August 2021

      I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at the age of 56,in Jan of this year

      posted 2 days ago

      Around age 60 I noticed that my handwriting was getting smaller and After finding a neurologist and some testing I was diagnosed with the beginning stages of Parkinson’s disease. That was 4 years ago.

      Perhaps inconsistency as to age, when she was diagnosed and symptoms are a side effect of Parkinson’s but it seems more likely “Lucinda” is a paid shill for the “clinic” rather than a sufferer relating her personal experience.

    • James Waldron

      Jack, you make social media fun.

      • Jack Backiel

        James, My fantasy was to be a stand-up comic. I really do have a sense of humor. Instead I became a teacher rather than a comedian. Dan’s blog now gives me a chance to live out my fantasy. And what’s great is that I have an audience of hundreds of people. My other fantasy is leaving one million dollars in my Will to anyone who compliments me on my humor!

  6. Two points about Mark Posts’s post.
    It is quite legal to ride a bike two abreast, but not in traffic where single file is the rule.
    Motorists may now cross the yellow line to pass slow moving traffic (law revised recently)
    And always always wear visible garments. Asphalt colored clothing is not safe.

  7. Chris Washington

    Regarding vaccines and the Delta variant, Dr. Malone, the inventor of mRNA technology, is interviewed here. Fascinating. Please pass along to others.