Through our lens: Reopenings and reemergence 

  • A memorial for Daniel Szczur is part of a memorial at the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke. Photographed last Friday. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Jon Camp, left, who is the treasurer of the Proprietors of the South Hadley Cemetery, installs war memorials while working on the renovation of the veterans memorial at The Village Cemetery in South Hadley Falls, Wednesday, May 13, 2020. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • A design made with drinking cups created by the staff of Lt. Elmer J. McMahon Elementary School in Holyoke for their students. Photographed last Friday. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Deb Hordon rides her bike down State Street with her daughter, Saoirse Hordon, 4, in Northampton last Friday. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Alison Rex paints a fence by her home in Hadley. She works at Sei Bella Salon in Amherst and had just heard she could go back to work soon. “I’m excited to see my clients, and I know my boss will make it safe, but I am nervous of the unknowns,” she said Monday. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Friends Kathryn Massey, left, and Lisa Fortini enjoy conversation after a lunch on the Amherst Common on Thursday afternoon, May 14, 2020. It was the first time Massey, of Palmer, and Fortini, of West Springfield, had gotten together since before Massey was hospitalized with COVID-19 in early April. The two, who said Amherst was their favorite town, decided to order wings at the Hangar restaurant and meet on the Common to have their lunch. Massey said, “The only thing missing is the beer!” STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Josh Levine, a singer and bassist from New York City, performs near Paradise Pond at Smith College this past Tuesday. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

Staff Photographer
Published: 5/21/2020 7:22:22 AM

If I could use one word to describe the change in our community in the last week, it would be reemergence. If you’ve been out on the streets, you’ve seen the increase in traffic, both by foot and with vehicles. Though the perfect spring weather probably accounts for most of it, I’ve also sensed a bit of restlessness. It’s been about two months since nonessential businesses closed, and as reopenings begin in some parts of our country, it’s natural to wish we could do the same.

In my work, I miss the crack of the bat and the roar of cheering fans that my sports photography brings. And in my personal life, I miss the same things we all do — shows, movies, museums, dining out at restaurants and pubs, shopping, and visiting friends and relatives. But we must remind ourselves that any discomfort we may feel in our lives is trivial compared to the trials of the unemployed, of our frontline workers, of those who are sick or fearing death and others who have lost loved ones due to this insidious, relentless virus.

On Monday, construction, manufacturing and worship were given the nod to resume from Gov. Charlie Baker, the first step of his four-phase reopening plan. I photographed steel workers at the new Easthampton K-8 school as construction continues there, but it will likely be months before we begin Phase 4, the “new normal” of his plan.

On Tuesday, I met singer/bassist Josh Levine, who said he was “hunkering down” from New York City. While playing near Paradise Pond at Smith College, he described himself as a lifelong busker who frequently sets up in Central Park. When schools closed, his work as a music educator for a supplemental arts education nonprofit ended. Then his gigs were canceled, and he said, “there was only downside to staying in New York.” He has been staying at his parents’ home in Northampton for about seven weeks.

Back in March, I shot a group from Pioneer Valley CrossFit that had decided to meet outside at the Smith College track after the nonessential businesses were closed. We joked that it would be nice to go into hibernation and wake up months later when everything is back to normal. But since then, I’ve decided that it would better yet to awaken and find it was all just a dream.

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