Focus On: Kristin Ehrlich & Family

We’ve lived in Westport for 17 years and I am an Occupational Therapist at a special needs school. With our school closed we are unable to provide direct hands-on therapy, but I have been providing remote support to parents of my students who are aged 3 to 20 and offering ideas for home activities. Because of my job I always feel I have incredible perspective on what is truly a hardship. The families I work with are juggling work with the demands of caring for a special-needs child, and during this time there is increased anxiety, as they have complex medical needs and are more vulnerable. I am just feeling grateful that my family is together and healthy. 

In my personal life, all four of us are home and working/doing school work. I unexpectedly have gotten to spend extra time with my oldest son, who was supposed to be studying abroad in London and with my younger son, who is a senior at Staples. In addition to working from home, I’m doing online fitness classes, going for runs and walks, making dinner with the family, reading, organizing my house, having Zoom calls with friends and family, playing games or watching shows with my two boys and husband. 

I am really trying to focus on all the kindness I am hearing about – and there is a lot of it. I feel that generally speaking everyone understands the severity of the situation and is taking the right steps to do what is right for the greater good. I’ve noticed that when I’m out walking, people are generally friendly – with waves and smiles – as there is this sense that we are all in this together. 

My greatest hope is that we can get through the worst of it quickly without more loss of life. I am concerned about all of the people on the front-lines who are putting themselves at risk every day. I hope we can come through this with a renewed appreciation for our community and be able to just celebrate all the small things we perhaps took for granted. 

While I am often the type to worry, during this pandemic I’ve tried to remain optimistic and to limit the amount of news and social media I am exposing myself to. As a family we have also tried to support our community in little ways, and it makes me proud to see everything that Westporters are doing, using their unique talents, to help others.

I hope we can come through this with a renewed appreciation for our community and…celebrate all the small things we perhaps took for granted.

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To read more of the museums long lens oral histories please visit the Westport In Focus page.