Mainers flock to barbershops as businesses reopen


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’

The Beach
Children play in the ocean at a public beach in Falmouth, Maine. (Photo: KATIE HAN/The Stanford Daily)
Social distancing
A sign at the beach promotes social distancing. (Photo: KATIE HAN/The Stanford Daily)
Two golfers enjoy the sunny day at Val Halla, a public golf course. (Photo: KATIE HAN / The Stanford Daily)
The Barbershop
As of May 1st, some businesses—including barber shops—reopened under Governor Janet Mills’s gradual plan to restart the economy. (Photo: KATIE HAN / The Stanford Daily)
Through the Window
As of May 1, some businesses — including barber shops — reopened under Maine Gov. Janet Mills’ gradual plan to reopen the economy. (Photo: KATIE HAN/The Stanford Daily)
Jason Dodge
“Everyone’s been really eager to get a haircut, kind of to feel normal again and get back to socializing.” Jason Dodge, owner of Momentum Barbershop said. “I think it’s been a big morale booster for people to be able to get a haircut and feel good again." (Photo: KATIE HAN / The Stanford Daily)
The Doorway
"The unknown in the past month has been hard, and it’s made people realize how important routines are," Jason Dodge, owner of Momentum Barbershop said. (Photo: KATIE HAN / The Stanford Daily)
Nik Wormstedt
Nik Wormstedt, a barber at Momentum Barbershop, wears a mask as he cuts a customer’s hair. (Photo: KATIE HAN / The Stanford Daily)
Ryan, The Ice Cream Man
Ryan, an ice cream truck operator, serves customers at a park in Portland. (Photo: KATIE HAN / The Stanford Daily)
Closed Doors
Even though many businesses have been given the green light to reopen, many have chosen to stay closed. (Photo: KATIE HAN / The Stanford Daily)

While you're here...

We're a student-run organization committed to providing hands-on experience in journalism, digital media and business for the next generation of reporters. Your support makes a difference in helping give staff members from all backgrounds the opportunity to develop important professional skills and conduct meaningful reporting. All contributions are tax-deductible.

Get Our EmailsDigest