On May 1 certain non-essential Maine businesses were allowed to reopen. After almost one month of staying within the confines of my home and neighborhood, I decided to drive around the Portland area to explore. Equipped with my zoom lens, I photographed and observed Mainers’ behaviors in the midst of the pandemic.
Initially, I expected the newly reopened businesses to be somewhat empty; however, I was wrong. The barber shops, golf courses and car washes were mostly full. The only signs of the pandemic were the masks on people’s faces — many worn loose or with the nose uncovered.
Aside from this, people seemed to be in high spirits, clearly happy to be out of the house. Jason Dodge, the owner of Momentum Barbershop, knew that business would be flowing upon opening.
“We’ve had a good show of people — there were lots of pre-booked appointments.” Dodge said. “It’s been a pretty smooth transition reopening, since people have been really happy and excited to be here. I hope that people’s happiness rubs off on other people when they go back to wherever they are in the community.”
Although it was heartening to see sense people’s optimism, I hope people still exercise as much caution in maintaining hygiene, staying home as much as possible, practicing social distancing and staying educated on the virus. The legal reopening of businesses is not, by any means, a cue to let our guards down.
The number of COVID-19 cases in Maine peaked on April 17 with 445 active cases. Since opening on May 1, the number of cases has picked up again, with the current number at 481 as of May 7, according to Bangor Daily News.
Contact Katie Han at khan23 ‘at’ stanford.edu.