Coronavirus upends day-to-day routines in Upper Valley

Published: Mar. 16, 2020 at 4:17 PM EDT
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The coronavirus outbreak is changing life as we know it, with businesses closing their doors, hospitals changing the way they deliver care, and people adjusting their day-to-day routines. Our Adam Sullivan took a look at some of the changes in the Upper Valley.

These are surreal and uncertain times, but life goes on, with some changes for better or worse. There is still plenty of economic activity in supermarket parking lots in West Lebanon, as shoppers stock up on food and supplies. But inside, bare shelves are startling to the eye.

"You can get basically anything except paper products or meat. The meat is dry on the shelves. They are trying to restock it but it is hard because it gets emptied out every day they say," said Rebecca Wheeler of South Royalton.

"It is unfortunate that people are in this panic mode. We are not at critical supply shortages," said Lebanon Fire Chief Chris Christopoulos.

In Hanover, it's the Dartmouth Green that's empty as college students transition to online learning.

There are plenty of parking spots at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Security guards have more of a presence. The hospital is now screening everyone who enters the facility at the main entrance. Elective procedures have been postponed.

All eight Grafton County senior centers are closed indefinitely. However, the Meals on Wheels program is still delivering. The elderly population is the most vulnerable.

"I need to renew my medicine. Do I want to go over to the place where it is? I keep thinking, well, if I go over there when the pharmacy opens, there won't be many people there," said Theresa Boutin, a Lebanon senior.

The public health emergency response team in Lebanon, New Hampshire, coordinates planning for 12 cities and towns in the Granite State. The team is currently working to inventory supplies for first responders.

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