Tag Archives: COVID_19

Westport Kids Say “Thanks, Scientists!”

When Westporter Ellie Magunson learned that her friend Jacqueline Fabius — COO of the Quantitative Biosciences Institute at the University of California, San Francisco — was part of a group on the front lines of COVID-19 research, she told her family.

Her son Gavin — a 3rd grader at Kings Highway Elementary School — is very interested in science. Her daughter Hanna is part of the “Kindness Squad” there.

So when — as part of the Westport schools’ distance learning program — students were encouraged to spread kindness, Ellie and her children decided to thank Jacqueline’s team of scientists.

They wrote messages of encouragement on a postcard, then texted it to her.

The COO was thrilled. She asked for the actual card, to hang in the UCSF office.

Then — just before QBI director Dr. Nevan Krogan’s 4:30 a.m. live interview with “Good Morning America” — Jacqueline texted it to him. He said it gave him “a total boost.”

Ellie was surprised that one postcard from a couple of kids was valued so highly by scientists working on the most important project in the world.

Then she realized, they probably don’t get thanked much — or even recognized for the work they do.

So, Ellie thought, why not gather more words of gratitude?

She looked online for a free, easy way of collecting video messages. She found Tribute, shared it with friends all around town, and euraka! The tribute was made.

It’s genuine, cute, and truly heartwarming. (Click here to view.)

A screenshot from the Magnusons’ video.

USCF shared it with their collaborative partners: Mt. Sinai in New York, and Paris’ Pasteur Institute.

The scientists — some of the most respected and important researchers in the world loved it.

They responded with their own thanks:

  • “That is so adorable, and just what I needed as I struggle to keep my energy up. My lab is going to love this!”
  • “Ok, well this is the best thing I have ever seen — hands down!”
  • “Remarkable and heart warming.”
  • “I am trembling and of course crying. It’s wonderful!”
  • “Love. Love. Love. Thank you for sharing! Watched it with my kids!”

“So many first responders and vital workers deserve our thanks these days,” Ellie says. “Let’s not forget the unseen scientists who are doing so much to actually bring this virus to its knees.”

To learn more about QBI’s work, or donate to their research efforts, click here.

Then go thank every scientist you know!

Work at the QBI lab.

COVID-19 UPDATE: Town Report; Clothing Drive; Blood Donations; Help For Healthcare Workers; Playhouse Update, And More

As of 4 pm yesterday (Monday), , March 23, 2020, out of the 415 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Connecticut, 74 were from Westport and 4 from Weston.

Westport Weston Health Director Mark Cooper says, “Being ‘hit’ first, we may be first to see the virus start to slow its spread, so long as people self-isolate and socially distance themselves from others. Only time will tell.”

Although no age group is spared, the 40-49 and 50-59 age groups have the highest number of confirmed cases in the state. The 60-69 and over-80 age groups make up the majority of those hospitalized.

According to the WWHD, private company Murphy Medical tested 45 Westport and Weston residents today. However, due to the shortage of test supplies, some of this morning’s tests had to be rescheduled.

WWHD will restart the Westport Weston drive-thru testing site next Tuesday (March 31), testing supplies availability permitting. Appointments can be obtained by filling out forms at www.coronatestct.com.


Staples High School junior Remi Levitt runs a great clothing and lifestyle blog, called “Coat of Love.” Now she’s using it to organize a county-wide clothing drive for those affected by the coronavirus.

So, “06880” readers: Clean your closets. Separate items by gender and size, in garbage bags; mark their contests on the outside. Place them by your mailbox or the end of your driveway. Email remilevitt@gmail.com with your address; they’ll be picked up within 24 hours, and sent to folks in need.

For more information, click here.


Reader Paloma Bima writes that just before all non-essential stores shut down yesterday night, a customer called Compo Farm Flowers. She arranged for delivery of beautiful bouquets to many friends. It was an act of great kindness for them — and for one small, about-to-close business too.


Reader Nicole Klein has been passionate about giving blood for the last 25 years. When she was in college, a sibling was diagnosed with leukemia. Nicole is adopted, so she could not help medically.

She felt helpless that she was unable to donate blood platelets or bone marrow. Then she realized that although she could not help her sibling, she could help others.

“In today’s world of COVID-19, I again have the overwhelming feeling of hopelessness,” she says. “The only thing I could think to do was donate blood. There is an extreme shortage right now. I urge anyone who is healthy and able, to please click here to make an appointment.

“They are amazing and so grateful. During this time of indescribable helplessness, it will help you too.”


Like every gym, Upper Deck Fitness is closed. They’re doing what they can for their clients, using a two-way video platform. It’s a great solution — but not easy.

Yet Upper Deck still wants to help others. So the fitness center is offering a free month of virtual workouts to all nurses, doctors, techs and EMTs.

“Healthcare workers don’t have the liberty of social distancing, so keeping their immunity strong is of utmost priority,” says founder and CEO Suzanne Vita Palazzo.

“This is not just about a workout, but providing them with an hour to release stress and maintain their strength, while receiving support from a fully interactive community.”

The 2-way video service enables a certified coach to keep on eye on all participants. There are over 20 classes a week, all done via any device with an internet connection.

Healthcare professionals: Email
info@upperdeckfitness.com with your name and credentials.

National Hall and Upper Deck Fitness.


It’s not quite the way the Westport Country Playhouse expected its 90th season to go.

The iconic theater has pushed its April opening back to July.

The revised 2020 lineup includes the musicals “Ain’t Misbehavin’” and “Next to Normal,” and a new comedy, “Tiny House,” down from the original 5 productions. “Antigone” and “Blues for an Alabama Sky” have been postponed to future seasons.

The modified season will run from July 14 through October 24.

(Photo/Robert Benson)


Who has time for spring cleaning?

This year, most of us.

Westport Hardware is open for business, with a full supply of whatever you need for your yard, garage, attic, basement, deck, driveway, shed, etc., etc., etc.


As medical personnel desperately seek face shields, Westport Maker guru Mark Mathias says that people with 3D printers can help. For information on what to do, and how, click here. For additional info, email mark@mathias.org.


Yesterday’s post about Tina Dragone drew many comments on “06880” — and hate calls and emails to the store.

C’mon, readers. You’re better than that. She’s a small businesswoman, facing hard times like so many others.

It’s your choice to shop there or not. But personal attacks are definitely not cool.


And finally, in case you need a little reminder about social distancing, click below: