"We can all take measures to protect our safety. Be selfless. Be neighborly. Be safe."
Those words from Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff are to reassure those facing the coronavirus pandemic with uncertainty and fear. They're to remind us: We're in this together.
The Senator urges all to keep practicing social distancing, stressing that it's to "protect everyone." Duff has been diligently practicing social distancing, noting that when encountering another person while jogging or walking his dog, he crosses to the other side.
Today, Tuesday, March 24, Connecticut woke up to Gov. Ned Lamont's executive order, "Stay Safe, Stay Home," that went in effect last night at 8 p.m. It calls for the closure of all non-essential businesses in the state. Duff, in an email, explained what it means and emphasized again the importance of neighbors being neighborly as everyone faces the threat of the deadly coronavirus.
He explained what can stay open and what must close, and called on the public to look out for children and check in on the elderly in his Tuesday, March 24 email to constituents.
"While the COVID-19 outbreak is concerning for many, we need to keep in mind that we are all in this together," Duff said in his summary outlining what may remain open and what should close.
"All non-essential businesses and not-for-profit entities in Connecticut are prohibited from holding in-person functions as part of the state's response to the COVID-19 outbreak," said Duff's message.
"In other words, as many people should be staying home as possible," Duff said.
Connecticut's stay-at-home order allows for businesses that provide essential services and functions — including healthcare, food, law enforcement and critical aid services — to stay open, among a lengthy list of other essential businesses.
Otherwise, all businesses are encouraged to utilize work-from-home and telecommuting procedures as extensively as possible.
The executive order allows for non-essential retailers to take remote orders and operate using curbside pickup and delivery services and non-essential businesses minimum staffing levels to handle essential services.
Duff's message also addressed the fight against domestic violence and concerns over how isolation might affect victims.
"Professionals fear that increased isolation and quarantining can cause harm to survivors and victims of domestic violence. While current times are tough, domestic violence organizations across Connecticut are ready and waiting to help," Duff said.
"Free confidential services are available for those at increased risk or those in danger, including assistance in court. If you are worried and need help, please contact #CTSafeConnect at 888-774-2900 or www.ctsafeconnect.org. Professionals are available for phone calls, internet text chats and emails," Duff said.
Duff urged parents, relatives and neighbors to keep patient with children stuck at home and check on those they know to be at-risk.
Additionally, Duff reminded the public to "be good neighbors" and suggested calling or texting neighbors over 70 to make sure they are doing well.
"If you are able, it may be a useful idea to volunteer to bring them groceries, reducing their risk of contracting COVID-19 and allowing them to stay safely at home. Additionally, if you can, stop by to chat with them! While it will be important to keep socially distant, even chatting through a window or staying socially distanced from their home, can be enough to brighten spirits and keep all of us motivated while this outbreak continues."