Weekly Update: How Mainers Are Coping With COVID-19 (3/24)

From musical performances to read-alouds to free food for hospital workers, Mainers are finding ways to help one another feel a little less isolated in the era of social distancing.


Hannaford, the locally based grocery chain, established early-morning shopping times exclusively for customers over age 60 or otherwise at high risk from COVID-19.  Shaw’s locations and other grocers have made similar accommodations.

South Portland

To help tenants make ends meet amid the economic disruption caused by the pandemic, Nathan Nichols, who rents out a two-unit building, posted on Facebook that he would not collect April rent. His post went viral — and prompted other landlords to suspend rent too.


Children’s-book author and illustrator Chris Van Dusen — whose If I Built a Car won an E.B. White Read-Aloud Award — started hosting daily read-alouds of his stories on Facebook Live. Librarians around the state have been doing online readings too.

Yarmouth & Bath

The Chocolate Church Arts Center, in Bath, and 317 Main Community Music Center, in Yarmouth, arranged for musicians to pick up their instruments in their living rooms and deliver streaming concerts.


Governor Janet Mills directed the Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife to suspend its fishing license requirement through April 30. “The great outdoors is still open,” the governor said. “Please enjoy it safely.”


Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine has launched a series of “At Home Together” online streaming sessions, with instruction for in-home projects and outdoor exploration that keep kids busy and learning.


To help aid offsite learning following school closures, internet providers, including Comcast, Spectrum, and LCI, started offering one to two months of free upgraded Internet service for residents with school-age kids.


Woodford Food & Beverage and Luke’s Lobster counted among local restaurants delivering food to local assisted-living and hospital staff through an initiative called Feeding the Frontline, which originated in Boston.


Cheesemaker Allison Lakin compiled a list of where consumers can pick up farm products from farmers without violating social-distancing guidelines, and the University of Maine Cooperative Extension turned her list into a searchable database.

South Portland

Residents of the Highland Meadows neighborhood hid stuffed bears in their windows so that kids could go on a bear-finding scavenger hunt — and they plastered the neighborhood with “happy birthday” signs for a local seven-year-old who couldn’t have a birthday party with friends.

Have you heard of individuals or organizations doing work to help Mainers that we should highlight here? Let us know.