To readers and residents out there struggling during these trying times – following guidelines issued by state and national authorities can be hard, especially “social distancing,” but it’s the only way to stop the spread of the coronavirus. We can get through this if we all work together.

Town closings, restrictions

All Bridgton town buildings are closed to the public and programs have been postponed, but staff will be available via email or telephone. Go to bridgtonmaine.org for updates on town services, meetings, staff contacts and other information. To date, the transfer station remains open during its regular hours.

Bridgton Hospital has tightened restrictions on visitors, so call 647-6000 for more information before you go. The Lakes Region Recovery Center is encouraging phone meetings to prevent isolation; their number is 803-8707.

Land trust properties open

Fortunately, we are being graced with an early spring, which can make isolation a bit more bearable. Get outside and work on your garden, do some home repairs or spend time reconnecting with nature. Loon Echo Land Trust (loonecholandtrust.org) and Lakes Environmental Association (mainelakes.org) have cancelled group activities and programs, but their properties are still open to the public for hiking and biking, depending on conditions. Check their websites for more information and staff contacts.

A walk in the park

Pondicherry Park in the center of town is open to the public, so why not take a walk and see what’s happening with this glorious early spring? Escape from anxiety-producing news on your devices and brush up on bird watching and tree identification, or just enjoy some soothing fresh air and sunshine.

Extra customer service

While many businesses in town are closed, some remain open and are offering takeout or curbside pickup service outside their stores. Call ahead or check websites or Facebook pages to make sure they are open and what services they are providing at this time. Supermarkets are opening special hours so senior citizens and immunocompromised individuals can shop more conveniently, avoid crowds and ensure they can buy the items they need. Food City (647-2766), 6-7 a.m. Thursdays; Hannaford (647-2015) 6-7 a.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

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Farmers market going strong

The Bridgton Farmers Market, 214 Main St. in the former Methodist church, is still open 9 a.m. to noon Saturday and most of the vendors are now outside to allow for extra space. They are also offering a shopping and pickup service to minimize public contact. The farmers are working hard to make sure there will be plenty of healthy, local food available for customers. To learn more, check their Facebook page or email [email protected]

Helpful organizations

Local food pantries, including Bridgton (318-4467), Sweden (647-5735) and Harrison (647-3384), are still open their regular days but some procedures have changed in response to the current situation. Call ahead or check websites or Facebook for details. The Bridgton-Lake Region Rotary Club can also help in a variety of ways. Call 200-5084 or go to lakeregionrotary.com for more information.

Be kind to each other. Stay safe, healthy and sane!

Perri Black may be contacted at [email protected]

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