By early April 2020, Portsmouth, and the rest of New Hampshire were under a "Stay at Home" order. The Stay at Home order closed most businesses, but still allowed people to leave their homes to walk, shop (where possible) and exercise outdoors. Fortunately, as Portsmouth is a small city with many wide streets, it is easy to go out and walk around while still responsibly practicing social distancing.
This an ongoing project to document this strange and difficult time in Portsmouth, and I expect to be adding more photos as time passes and things change. The photos were intially divided into five categories, Empty Streets, Social Distancing, Closed Down, Signs of our Times, and Life Goes On!
On May 1, 2020, the governor announced "Stay at Home 2.0" which allowed for a phased reopening of the state. Around May 20, 2020 Portsmouth started to show signs of opening up a bit. At first some restaurants were opened for outdoor dining (following state guidelines for social distancing, disinfecting, etc), some tennis courts, pickle ball courts and basketball courts opened up to Portsmouth residents. In early June the public library opened up of returns and curbside pickup of books, playing fields opened up and, beginning around 15 June, restaurants were allowed to open for indoor dining (at about 50% capacity), the Farmers Market reopened in a new venue and playgrounds opened up. Walking around parts of Portsmouth in mid to late June, especially downtown, the only indication that we are still in the midst of a pandemic is that, thankfully, many people are still wearing facemasks....as we head into July, more and more restaurants and businesses are opening up. While national trends show COVID-19 infection spikes in other states that opened too quickly...hopefully, here in New Hampshire, we are opening up smartly....