Londonderry life includes lights, support and senior care

COURTESY PHOTO/Town of LondonderryLondonderry's Town Common is lighting up these days, offering hope to the community during the coronavirus crisis. Residents are asked to keep their own holiday lights going if they'd like, to help spread support. Other neighborhoods around town are decorating lawns, putting up special decor and offering a safely distanced way to keep in touch with neighbors and friends.

LONDONDERRY — As the challenges continue due to the new coronavirus, commonly known as COVID-19, the community is rallying in many ways to support those needing help with meals, town business, or just needing a simple friendly gesture while everyone stays home and practices social distancing.

Holiday lights on the Town Common lit up the community to show support and make residents happy during some troubling times.

Neighborhoods in town are decorating front lawns with lights, signs and other shows of solidarity to help each other get through.

It's all about looking out for one another, officials say.

Londonderry's town hall has been a virtual way of doing business, with some staff on hand in offices, but most transactions done via online efforts or through drop-off options.

Assistant Town Manager Lisa Drabik said at a recent meeting that just because town offices are closed, things will still get done.

"If everything is closed, that doesn't mean we won't be working for the residents," she said.

Town meetings are cancelled and after the most recent Town Council meeting on March 16, the Moose Hill Council Chambers meeting room was thoroughly scrubbed and cleaned.

It's a collective effort.

School district business administrator Peter Curro said at a recent meeting that school food service staff are working hard to provide regular meals to students who are home from class and learning remotely.

"A lot of children are getting meal assistance," he said, adding that the school district would also offer meal delivery to senior citizens in town, if needed.

Curro said a fleet of several mini-buses would be able to deliver meals safely.

He credited a continuing strong relationship between town and school district, especially when challenges and needs arise.

"There is no town, there is no school, there's us," Curro said.

Elder citizens and others who may have comprised immune systems town are also reaping other community benefits with a corps of volunteers now in place to help deliver groceries and other supplies to people so they don't have to physically go to the supermarket, pharmacy, post office or other stop.

Flyers with information on how the service works are being distributed through local markets and via the town website so people in need can contact the town to connect with volunteers who can help.

Senior Affairs Director Cathy Blash said senior citizens need to stay safe and having crowds gather at markets during special senior shopping times may not be optimal.

"Just because they are seniors doesn't mean they are safe from one another," Blash said in an email

Senior residents may also see changes in the bus schedule through CART, the Cooperative Alliance for Regional Transportation. CART has seen its ridership numbers drop due to the coronavirus and has transitioned to an essential travel only schedule.

CART will communicate with everyone who currently has a trip scheduled and make adjustments. Essential travel includes medically necessary trip for dialysis, pharmacy trips, or trips to grocery stores. Service will remain in all five towns that CART services.

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