On July 1, the first day Lake Compounce in Bristol reopened to members post-pandemic, Brenda Baez was there with five-year-old Mikayla in tow and three-month-old Mason in her arms.
“I wanted to take advantage when not many people are here,” she said, watching Mikayla play in a rain puddle.
Baez, of Meriden, said she felt safe after reading about the park’s sanitation and distancing protocols, so she booked a season pass online and packed masks and raincoats. After giving birth during a pandemic, a little rain didn’t sway her.
“The first month I had him, I think I was crying every day,” she said. “It was hard, but we’re getting through. It’s not over, but we’re making the best out of it.”
Lake Compounce is one of the many businesses throughout Connecticut that opened their doors again when the state started Phase 2 of its reopening plan in late June, allowing outdoor amusement parks, gyms, movie theaters, restaurants and museums to welcome customers – with ample coronavirus safety guidelines in place.
The state was last in the nation to begin reopening, and it’s one of the few where infection rates are still trending downward. The virus’s vast resurgence made Gov. Ned Lamont reconsider on Thursday the timeline for starting Phase 3, which would have allowed bars in the state to reopen mid-month.
In the meantime, residents are starting to venture out for socially distant yoga classes and masked haircuts, trying to recapture a sense of normalcy in a very abnormal time.