Reminder: be kind during unsettling times


Grace Livecchi '21

Westport Front Porch is a popular facebook group that is frequently used by local adults.

A few weeks ago, my friends and I were sitting in the trunks of our cars at Sherwood–six feet apart as permitted–to celebrate one of our birthdays. All within minutes, a Mercedes pulled up, and without a word of exchange, a man stuck his phone out the window to snap a picture. The photo was quickly posted on Westport Front Porch, a popular Facebook group used by local adults. About ten minutes later, a police car roaming the area stopped by to congratulate us on
our efforts of social distancing.

Within the past month, a handful of Westport adults have used media outlets to shame others on the internet.
Another photo of kids maintaining six feet apart while socializing was posted on the “WestportNow” Instagram account with the caption “defying an order that Parks & Rec facilities are shut down, some young people today gathered in the lower parking lot near the Longshore Driving Range.”

Although the teenagers were in the wrong for parking in a shutdown facility, some of the comments left by grown adults seemed to be fueled by fear and judgment.

“Brats!” a Westport man wrote.

“They should start arresting people. What part of social distancing don’t people get!?!,” commented a Westport woman.

The younger people whose cars were pictured wrote back to the comments, along with others completely uninvolved who wanted to stick up for their friends.

It isn’t all negative though.

Outlets such as Westport Front Porch can be extremely helpful and comforting, especially in times of need. I’ve seen numerous posts thanking healthcare workers and spreading awareness of donating masks and such. Posts like these are wonderful and are just what Westport needs right now.

Truthfully, it’s not the posts, but the comment section which often turns into judgment and finger-pointing.

A Westport woman posted about the improper use of masks. The comment section rapidly led to a downward spiral as one woman critiqued Whole Foods workers for “clustering together” in aisles, completely disregarding the fact that these employees risk their lives daily to provide for our families during this pandemic.

Things are really scary right now and are changing by the day. But as a community, it’s important to remember that we’re all on the same side. At times where we feel as though we are surrounded only by darkness, it is our job to fill this void by being kind.