The Coronavirus Hits Westborough

Ryan Guilbeau and Keegan Kerr

Life has come to a screeching halt in Westborough as it has all across the country. Schools are closed, nonessential businesses have shuttered, and residents have been advised to shelter in place. As of April 3, there are now 19 confirmed cases in the town, with 6 other presumed cases. Officials expect that number to rise even further as testing increases and the virus spreads. The town posts updated numbers twice a week on the town website. So, with the end to this pandemic still nowhere in sight, let’s take a moment to outline what we can still do in and around town while staying safe. 

The state of Massachusetts has been essentially on lockdown since Tuesday, March 24, with a scheduled end date of May 4. President Trump has extended federal social distancing guidelines through the end of April. This means that all nonessential businesses and organizations have to close their physical workplaces. Employees and customers will not be allowed inside. Although this may be upsetting and annoying, this was definitely a smart move. The coronavirus is extremely contagious, and it is important that we are social distancing to prevent the virus from spreading.

There’s still some light in this darkness, though. Restaurants are encouraged to stay open and serve food via takeout and/or delivery as long as they are following social distancing protocol, so we can still eat from the restaurants we love. One restaurant in town that is very flexible to the situation is Arturo’s Ristorante. They are offering the “Family Meal To-Go” for $34.95. This comes with bread, salad, and a boatload of pasta. My family and I had this a couple of nights ago, and there was a ton of food that tasted great. 

Another local restaurant that’s offering takeout is Harry’s. They are doing takeout meals for up to eight people, so even big families can get takeout for everyone. Of course there are plenty of other restaurants that are still operating, but it’s always good to support our local restaurants that aren’t chains in times like these. If you can, try to get the family to get some takeout from a local business. It will help our community, as well as give your family a great meal.

All town courts have closed, per the Westborough Recreation Department. With gyms also closing their doors, people may be wondering where they can exercise safely. Walking around your neighborhood, downtown, and around the high school track are still good options. Local walking trails also remain open, for those who want to explore some nature. 

All of our lives have been temporarily altered by this pandemic. Some people in our community may be impacted more than others. If you decide to leave your house, do so with extreme caution. “When I left the house to go to the grocery store,” said Kim Guilbeau, “nearly everyone had gloves on, and many people had masks. It looked like something out of a movie.” 

When shopping, Thomas Kerr used his own safety techniques. “I wipe down the cart with Lysol wipes before starting, and I try to touch as few things as possible in the store. I also keep my distance from the other shoppers.” 

Make sure you practice proper social distancing and personal hygiene if you do decide to leave the house, not just for yourself but for everyone else in the community. We can overcome this, but only if we all do our part, together.