While the Town of Wellesley has done a nice job disseminating its coronavirus (COVID-19) updates, we at The Swellesley Report have also had a job to do in keeping the community plugged in on the unofficial word. It’s been a challenge. We’ve shown discretion in most cases (those teens and their cars…), maybe jumped the gun on a few others (a rogue food delivery effort).
While the coronavirus situation in Wellesley remains serious (up to 14 total cases, 6 active), we’ve also tried not to be all coronavirus all the time (“Spring trying its darndest to boost Wellesley’s spirits”).
Events and Cancellations
During the early phase of the crisis, it seemed like we spent half of our time posting about new events, then days or hours later removing those events when organizations would alert us the events had been canceled or postponed.
They’re still coming: The Wellesley College Club has just canceled its May 12 Authors on Stage program and the Wellesley Trails Committee has nixed its April 19 guided trail walk.
Oh, and about that word canceled. Mrs. Swellesley had something to say to me about that the other morning as I was about to head into the shower: “So, how many ‘l’’s do we have in the word ‘cancelled’?”
Authoritatively, I responded 1 in “canceled” or “canceling,” 2 in cancellation. I’d researched all this earlier in the week for work I do for the Commonwealth’s Mass.gov, website, which has seen traffic soar. Mrs. Swellesley, identifying with her English relatives, insisted on 2 “l”’s across the board.
So Much for the Empty Nest
It’s been a cozy household, with the 2 of us “essential” employees working here in what is not a naturally socially-distanced house of the McMansion variety. I’ve tried not to cramp Mrs. Swellesley’s style too much now that I’m teleworking. I pretty much behaved myself when she was on a Zoom call with neighborhood friends, and resisted doing a TV show-like review of it like I did with recent Wellesley town government meetings that were live streamed.
Meanwhile, our college-age offspring have been kicked off their respective campuses due to coronavirus concerns and right back into what was briefly our empty nest.
They’ve been highly useful for making dump runs, and we’ve emphasized that they need to follow the new safety practices being enforced at the Recycling & Disposal Facility.
Helping Small Businesses…like us
Good-hearted people in town have been tripping over each other to help one another, whether it’s collecting masks for medical workers or sharing online yoga classes or offering to pick up groceries and things for those who can’t get out.
They’ve also urged us to spread the word about restaurants and other small businesses that have reworked their operations to get through this rough stretch. We set up a page on take-out and deliveries.
We’ve also reached out to small businesses to encourage them to share their behind-the-scenes stories with us, and you. If you’re interested in sharing, please let us know: [email protected]
As a small business ourselves, we know only too well the hurtin’ that the coronavirus outbreak is putting on small operations like ours. We’ve been applying for grants from the likes of Facebook (I know, scary) that are freeing up funds to support local journalists. We’re working overtime, have never seen higher traffic on our website and our daily email subscriber numbers keep going up. But we also have temporarily lost advertising on events that have been…canceled. Please consider contributing to sustain our independent news venture.
Questions & Suggestions
We’ve had a higher number of reader tips, suggestions and questions over the past few weeks, and we want to say “Thank You.” Readers such as AT and PC have entered our mythical Swellesley Hall of Fame.
After all, we only have so many eyes and ears, and need the community’s help to spot important, interesting and just plain quirky news in Wellesley. Especially since we’re doing our best to limit our expeditions in light of the state’s advisory to hunker down at home.
Given that we no longer have kids in the school system (which in Wellesley and the rest of the state is now closed until at least May 4), we’re especially thankful to those of you keeping us in the loop about Wellesley public school developments.
Other tips and inquiries and have been all over the map. While we don’t always have answers off the top of our heads, we often know who to ask.
*Who can I contact about the cruddy condition of a Hastings Street sidewalk? We passed along our Highway Division contact.
*Why’s the DPW digging up Bristol Road? We hit up the Municipal Light Plant’s Don Newell, who said: “The Wellesley Municipal Light Plant is installing fiber optic cable to support the expansion of our distributed antenna system with Small Cell Wireless antennas that will improve cell phone coverage.” Good answer.
We’ve got a handful of other inquiries that we’re digging on, and you’ll be seeing posts in the days and weeks ahead that stem from those.
Other ideas or inquiries? [email protected]