In the spirit of advice associated with Sir Winston Churchill, “Keep Calm and Carry On,” residents of the Hamptons, as unfortunately exits throughout the world, are being affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which is defined by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) as “an epidemic that has spread over several countries or continents, usually affecting a large number of people.”
Churchill never actually uttered or wrote that phrase – the author is unknown – however, it does seem to resonate today more than ever, including with a group of industrious and community minded Springs individuals who have launched a website at easthamptoncovid-19.com to provide the community with both accurate information and available resources on school closings and other information, and even includes updates on teleconferencing meetings related to substance abuse.
Robert Anthony, owner of Computer Services of East Hampton, was having a conversation with a client and friend, Mary Blake, who suggested they should do something that would keep local residents up to date on what was happening with regard to COVID-19. Anthony agreed, built and launched the site around March 3.
He reveals, “I love my country and my community. I have been with the Springs Fire Department for 19 years; and am on the Board of the Artist Alliance of East Hampton, Springs Improvement Society and Ashawagh Hall. Since web design is one of our business objectives I had the ability to launch the site. I am happy to service my community. East Hampton is our ‘mother’ and what happens there pertains to everyone living in the Springs as well, and I want to help my community survive and stay strong.”
The voluntary and non-partisan community forum includes organizational members Anthony and Blake, along with Loring Bolger, Jane Hastay, Phyllis Italiano, Kevin Kennedy and Peter Martin Weis.
Anthony explains, “We are not rumor spreaders, and I have been devoting almost all of my time to this with postings that are only verified information – all resources have to be verifiable – there is no rumor or hearsay on the site. After discussions with East Hampton Town Supervisor, Peter Van Scoyoc, we included East Hampton information as well.”
Presently 63 cases have been confirmed in Suffolk County, including two deaths (as of March 16). “All cases to date in the county appear to have been community spread and not linked to travel,” according to authorities, however, fear, concern and desire for information is keeping people constantly monitoring the news, where sometimes it is difficult to isolate what is happening in your own backyard.
“We just finished handing our 1,000 flyers in both English and Spanish about the site, and are getting information out via social media as well. There is no direct contact on the site but Anthony urges anyone with updates or pertinent information to reach out via Facebook.
Anthony’s sentiments reflect those of us all, “My prayers are with the people of this country. There is a new way of living today because of this – it’s the new normal right now, and I just hope life will return to what is was, but for the time being sacrifices and changes in our lives must be addressed. I pray that this will be resolved as soon as possible, however, the numbers just seem to be climbing and climbing. Watch the numbers hour by hour and increase by sometimes 200 or 300 new cases at easthamptoncovid-19.com in real time.”
Thanks to the “Magnificent Seven” who have taken time from their own lives to form an arena where we can all gather important facts.