As parts of New England reopen, states are working to protect themselves from visitors. This week on NEXT, New Hampshire is wary of beachgoers from Massachusetts. And despite hiccups distributing stimulus money to small businesses, some bankers are working overtime to secure funds. Plus, Maine summer camps wonder if they can open this year.

As Summer Nears, Seacoast Grapples With Extended COVID-19 Beach Closures

A few pedestrians and cyclists cross the closed parking lot at Jenness State Beach in Rye, New Hampshire on May 3. (Annie Ropeik/NHPR)

The United States’ patchwork approach to reopening is mirrored in New England states that had ordered shutdowns in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Massachusetts, Connecticut and Vermont are scheduled to begin loosening restrictions next week, while Maine, Rhode Island and New Hampshire have already started phasing in their reopening — allowing elective healthcare procedures, for example, or a trip to a drive-in movie theater.

But despite New Hampshire’s slow reopen, the public beaches on the Seacoast are staying closed. New Hampshire Public Radio‘s Annie Ropeik reports it’s sparked debate in seaside towns like Rye over which restrictions are warranted.

Maine Summer Camps Consider How They Can — And If They Should — Open Their Doors

Pine Island Camp boathouse in Belgrade, Maine. It is the oldest summer camp for boys in continuous operation in Maine, according to Ed Andrews, a retired consultant to the Maine Youth Camping Association. (AP Photo/Joel Page)

Another summer staple that’s still uncertain is sleepaway summer camp. For more than a hundred years, kids have flocked to camps around New England to play, swim, forge new friendships and find a bit of freedom from their lives back home. Maine Public Radio‘s Patty Wight spoke with camp directors planning for possible scenarios, and reports that some parents are holding out hope that this formative experience for kids can be preserved — even during a pandemic.

‘Humanity Over Vanity’: The Hairstylists Who Want Out Of Connecticut’s May 20 Reopening

Hairstylist Georgeanne DaCosta clips her 5-year-old son Rock’s hair in their home on May 12 in Shelton, Conn. (Joe Amon/Connecticut Public/NENC)

Some business owners are pushing hard to find ways to reopen, while others are not quite ready. Hair salons are now allowed to operate in Maine and New Hampshire, and Connecticut’s not far behind with an opening date of May 20. But as Connecticut Public Radio’s Frankie Graziano reports, some hair stylists are worried about being too close to customers.

Tick Season: How Not To Get Bit

A researcher at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies locates a tick feeding on a white-footed mouse. (Taylor Quimby/NHPR)

With May’s warmer weather comes ticks and the threat of tick-borne illnesses. This month, Taylor Quimby, host of the New Hampshire Public Radio podcast Patient Zero, is bringing us straightforward advice on tick-borne disease in the series “Tick Season.” Part one is all about how not to get bitten by a tick. You can find more information here.

NEXT Wants to Hear From You:

Last week, we asked you to share how your routine has changed since the pandemic. We heard from Vince Sileo in Connecticut who’s taking time off from work to self-quarantine for a couple of months. He wrote this in an email:

“I took one nice motorcycle ride through the farms and forest of Eastern, CT before I realized that one mishap would land me in the Emergency Room; a petri dish of Corona and other diseases.” 

Now Vince says he’s sticking to house projects and puppy training.

Things are shifting right now as states begin to reopen. How are you feeling about returning to a new normal? Are you excited or worried? Leave a voicemail on our comment line: 860-275-7595. Or shoot us an email at next@ctpublic.org. We look forward to hearing from you.

Also On This Week’s Show:

About NEXT

NEXT is produced at Connecticut Public Radio
Host/Producer: Morgan Springer
Executive Editor: Vanessa de la Torre

Senior Director: Catie Talarski
Contributors to this episode: Annie Ropeik, Patty Wight, Frankie Graziano, Adrian Ma, Erica Heilman, Carrie Jung, Taylor Quimby, Jill Kaufman and Judith Kogan.
Music: Todd Merrell, “New England”  by Goodnight Blue Moon, “On My Way To You” by Noelle Micarelli, “South Dakota” by The Wolff Sisters and “To Meet You There” by Anjimile.

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